Balconies Cave, High Peaks from Old Pinnacles Trailhead
10.2 miles     1400 ft
21 Mar 2010
Summary

Nice hike visiting both Balconies Cave and High Peaks in Pinnacles.

Location: Pinnacles National Monument

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Nice map showing all hiking trails.

» Old trailmap preserved by U Texas Library: Good map, very similar to the official trail map. This one shows creeks more prominently.

Route

From Old Pinnacles Trailhead, follow an unnamed trail (0.3 miles) → right on Old Pinnacles Trail (1.8 miles) → Balconies Cave Trail (0.4 miles) → Balconies Trail (0.6 miles) to reach Chaparral Ranger Station. Continue along Juniper Canyon Trail (1.2 miles) → right on Tunnel Trail (0.6 miles) → left on High Peaks Trail (3.3 miles) → left on Old Pinnacles Trail (0.5 miles) → right on unnamed trail (0.3 miles) to return to trailhead.

Hiking through Caves: At Pinnacles, there are two 'cave trails' (Balconies Cave Trail and Bear Gulch Cave Trail) that require flashlight. This hike goes through only one of these saves: Bear Gulch Cave. 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. Caves 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.

Trailhead

Location: Pinnacles West Entrance on Highway 146 . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: (Borrowed from Pinnacles Official Website)

From the San Francisco Bay Area: Take Hwy 101 south to the town of Soledad, and then take Hwy 146 east. Take care as you're driving through town; the highway takes a few turns. Follow Hwy 146 for 14 miles into Pinnacles National Monument.

From the South: Take Hwy 101 North to the town of Soledad, and then take Hwy 146 east. Take care as you're driving through town; the highway takes a few turns. Follow Hwy 146 for 14 miles into Pinnacles National Monument.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: $5 per vehicle (last visited: March 2010)

Capacity: Dozens of cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 36.491736     Longitude: -121.209481

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