Bay Area Hikes through Caves
1 Jan 2012
Cave hikes are found only in Pinnacles National Monument, about 90 minutes south of San Jose.
Pinnacles National Monument

At Pinnacles, there are two cave trails (Balconies Cave Trail and Bear Gulch Cave Trail) that require flashlight. The caves are open only in select months, so check Cave Status. Caves are closed for the protection of Townsend's big ear bats that reside in them. They are open for a limited period: twice an year for at least one week and up to four weeks each March and October, depending on the presence of the colony of bats.

Pinnacles is generally hotter than San Jose. So avoid summers. Spring and Autumn are good times for cave hikes. In spring, wildflowers bloom.

12.7 miles
2600 ft
Balconies Cave, High Peaks & Bear Gulch Cave from Bear Gulch Day Use Area - Route I
Awesome hike through all major attractions of Pinnacles including both caves and High Peaks.
6.2 miles
1500 ft
Bear Gulch Cave, High Peaks from Bear Gulch Day Use Area - Route I
Fantastic short hike going through Bear Gulch Cave and High Peaks which offer panoramic valley views of rock formations in Pinnacles. Some short sections along High Peaks Trail are particularly steep.
2.5 miles
500 ft
Bear Gulch Cave from Bear Gulch Day Use Area
Short, sweet hike through Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles. Among the two caves at Pinnacles, Bear Gulch is longer and more interesting.
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