» 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 in brief: From Bear Gulch Day Use Area, walk along Bear Gulch Trail (0.5 miles) → Moses Spring Trail → Bear Gulch Cave Trail (0.7 miles) → Rim Trail (0.4 miles) → High Peaks Trail (0.3 miles) → Bear Gulch Trail (0.5 miles).
Highlights: This hike first takes you through Bear Gulch Caves. As you emerge from the caves, you get beautiful views of Bear Gulch Reservoir. Then you gain elevation to High Peaks, from where you can see almost the entire park. The portion of the marked "Steep and Narrow Section" is quite steep indeed.
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.
I visited both caves in March 2010 — there was about 5 to 12 inches of water in some section of Bear Gulch Cave. I was able to hop on stones most of the time but there were some portions where my feet got wet. Rubber slippers would be handy. The park website warns that sometimes there is knee-deep water inside the caves. So be prepared.
Best time to visit: Most of the trails are in the open. So avoid summers — it's quite hot. Also check out Cave Status.
Parking: In March 2010, parking fees was $5 per vehicle. The parking lot close to Bear Gulch Day Use Area was full. March is a popular month for visiting Pinnacles. There was an overflow parking area next to the East Entrance. The park provided shuttle service between these points. It took us about 20 minutes one-way waiting for the shuttle and traveling in it.