Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is filled with adventure, amazing rock formations, wildlife (including California condors), hikes, views, talus caves, and more. This really is a special and memorable place for people of all ages.

With more than 30 miles of trails, there are a variety of terrific hikes throughout the Park for every level. If you can, hiking to High Peaks, North Chalone Peak, and/or Balconies Cave are especially unforgettable. For shorter hikes, Condor Gulch Trail, Bear Gulch Cave (check here for closures to protect bats), and the Moses Spring to Rim Trail Loop are also great options. Keep a look-out for California Condors, especially at High Peaks.

Pinnacles has so much to explore and appreciate. It is a gem of a National Park.



5000 Highway 146, Paicines. There are two entrances, a West Entrance and an East Entrance (the major entrance).

Managed By

National Park Service

Distance from UCSB

202 miles

How To Get There


Things To Do

Birdwatching, Camping, Hiking, Historic/Cultural Interest, Other Recreational Activities (Rock Climbing), Picnicking, Relaxing, Viewing, Walking, Watchable Wildlife

Fun Facts

Originally established as a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, Congress re-designated Pinnacles as a National Park in 2012.

There are many species of plants and animals in the Park, including blue oak, 13 species of bats, and the remarkable California condor. The largest land birds in North America, California condors have a wingspan of over 9 feet, and are estimated to live more than 60 years. An endangered species, the number of California condors dropped to a low of 22 in the 1980s. Through strategic recovery programs at Pinnacles National Park and other locations, their numbers are now over 300 in the wild.

Other Information

The pinnacles are the eroded remnants of an extinct volcano adjacent to the San Andreas Fault. There is a fascinating geological story that explains how the Pinnacles were created.

To make reservations for the Pinnacles Campground go here

Directions to Pinnacles are included here and a variety of maps can be found here

I want to thank my outstanding former student, Samuel Desre, for his extraordinary photo of the California condor, which is featured.

This destination has accessible features; to review, click here.

Best Time To Visit

Spring, Fall, Winter

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