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Pinnacles National Monument deja vu hike

For those meeting us at the Pinnacle's Visitor's Center, we will be there at 9:00 am, accessed from the east entrance gate off Highway 25.

Directions:

Pinnacles National Monument is located along the east side of the Salinas Valley between Hollister and Coalinga along Highway 25. It is a 3 hour drive from Bakersfield to the entrance, Highway 146, off of Highway 25.

From the Albertson's at Allen and Rosedale, we will take Rosedale/Hwy 58 west to I-5 north. We will take I-5 to the Jayne Ave exit near Coalinga. West on Jayne Ave until it joins with Hwy 198. We can meet Alice or other northern members here and take a break on the west side of Hwy 33 and 198 junction at Starbucks, just past the Perkos. We will than proceed west on 198 to Hwy 25. North on 25 to 146, west on 146 to the monument Visitor's Center, 5 miles in. After checking in at the Visitor's Center we will then proceed to Bear Gulch Day Use Area and parking lot.

If anyone wants to eat on the return trip, Harris Ranch is at the junction of Hwy 5 and 198.

A Park Service fee of $5 per vehicle must be paid if no one in your vehicle has a Park Pass. CORRECTION: VETERAN'S DAY WEEKEND, 11/10/ THROUGH 11/12/12 IS A FREE ENTRANCE WEEKEND!

Itinerary:

Once in the Monument we will stop at the Pinnacles Visitor Center to use rest rooms and verify our Hiking Plan. We will then proceed to the Bear Gulch Day Use Area where we leave the vehicles. From this point we start a succession of loop hikes, depending on abilities, weather, and time, that are:

2.2 miles with 500' gain, on the Moses Spring-Rim Trail Loop, includes Bear Gulch Cave and Bear Gulch Reservoir;

6.1 miles with 1300' gain, combining the Moses Spring/Rim Trails with the High Peaks Trail and returning along the Condor Gulch Trail, including a walk through the heart of the Pinnacles rock formations; or an

8 mile loop with 1500' gain, bypassing Condor Gulch Trail and taking the High Peaks Trail to Bench Trail and Bear Gulch Trail back to the Day Use Area.

Click here to go to a map showing these trails.

Hiking Plan: From the Bear Gulch Day Use Area, our route will go clockwise, first hiking the Moses Spring and Rim Trails where we pass through a talus cave. Bear Gulch cave is partially open. A protected colony of Townsend's big-eared bats is occupying the upper-portion of the cave. A flashlight is required in the cave! If needed, a trail around the cave is available. We then proceed to the Bear Gulch Reservoir, and the Rim Trail where we start the High Peaks trail to the top of the monument and the pinnacles!


High Peaks-Condor Gulch Loop is a 5.3 mile loop, 3 to 5 hours with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet. The Park Service rates this hike strenuous. This loop is a walk through the heart of the Pinnacles rock formations, particularly on the steep and narrow section of the High Peaks Trail. An alternate route around the "steep and narrow" section is available along the Juniper Canyon and Tunnel Trails. This route is .5 miles longer, 1.2 miles instead of .7 miles on the High Peaks Trail. A side trip to Hawkins Peak for a peakbag looks possible to add about half mile if time allows.

After walking through the Pinnacle formations and hiking to Hawkins Peak there is the third option for those who want to hike further. After descending down to the Bench and Bear Gulch Trails, we will be walking along the Chalone and Bear Creeks for the final 1.6 miles.

Things to bring:

A flashlight or head lamp, lunch, 2 liters water, regular day hiking gear.

Weather link:

Click here to see NOAA's predicted weather for the Pinnacles Natinal Monument.

*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers, and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club - Tulare-Kern Peakbags & Hikes from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.

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  • Mike

    The Pinnacles are a great place to hike! Thanks Tony for putting this hike together.

    November 13, 2012

  • Alice

    This is a great hike!

    November 12, 2012

  • Alex S.

    I saw the photos, Wow! some spectacular shots.

    November 12, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent

    November 11, 2012

  • Tony S.

    As it was last year, another beautiful day in the Gabilan Mountains! It was nice to see old and meet new friends on this gorgeous hike through the middle of the Pinnacles National Monument! Thanks to all for making this another successful KRVHC-TKPH hike!

    November 11, 2012

  • michal r.

    thank you alice for introducing me to meetup, tony for organizing this delightful hike, and scott for driving! i had a lovely day!

    November 10, 2012

  • Mike M.

    Very good hike. Finished nice and early!

    November 10, 2012

  • Paul

    Dinner was good!!!

    November 10, 2012

  • michal r.

    can someone post a phone number in case i have some confusion with the coalinga connection? mine is[masked] thanks!

    November 9, 2012

    • Alice

      Michal, mine is[masked]

      November 9, 2012

    • michal r.

      thanks!

      November 9, 2012

  • Scott C.

    And then there was 31.....

    1 · November 9, 2012

  • Paul

    Weather forecast (for Salinas area) shows few clouds in the area at 10am with no mention of rain.

    November 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll meet you all at the Visitors Center tomorrow morning!

    November 9, 2012

  • Tony S.

    Repeat of email:
    For those meeting us in Bakersfield, corner Rosedale (Hwy 58) and Allen Road

    We will be behind the Chase Bank and McDonald's in the northwest side of the lot. We need to stay away from the Albertson's market so as not to take up customer parking. We will be leaving promptly at 6:05.

    Don't forget:

    Flashlight/headlamp for the cave

    Light weight rain gear, like a poncho or Event rain jacket

    Snack and drinking water

    Possible change of clothes for dinner at Harris Ranch.

    Thank you and see you at 6:00am!

    Tony

    2 · November 9, 2012

  • Tony S.

    Hi Rose,
    We will coordinate drivers and riders there, at the north west end of the Albertson's parking lot, for those still in need of a ride.

    1 · November 9, 2012

  • Rose C.

    Hello everyone, I'd like to carpool from Bakersfield. Does anyone have room for me??

    November 8, 2012

  • Alan M.

    Tony Weather Channel's 10 day forecast this morning shows Saturday with showers at the pinnacles is the trip still on..... I'm looking forward to attending but was just wondering with the forecast

    November 8, 2012

    • Tony S.

      The weather link above on this announcement shows partly cloudy and 45 degrees. I don't plan on cancelling unless there's a 70% chance of showers and I don't see that happening. Jill is right on, be prepared for possible light rain/fog and a low wind chill factor, lots of layers.

      November 8, 2012

    • Alan M.

      Thanks Jill and Tony.....look forward to hiking anytime :-) see ya Saturday

      November 8, 2012

  • Mark W.

    Weather Channel and Weather Underground forecast is for 30% chance of rain until noon then sunny. Looks like any storm will have moved through by the time we arrive.

    November 8, 2012

  • Jordan F.

    Sorry to drop out... My slight knee injury has not quite healed and I don't want to over commit. Hope everyone has a blast and takes lots of pictures!
    Hopefully I will join if the group goes again next year.

    November 8, 2012

    • Tony S.

      Thanks for letting us know Franco, hope your knee is better soon. You might also look this Spring for a trip to the Pinnacles. Bill might be planning one.

      November 8, 2012

  • michal r.

    i've been wanting to join you all for months! i can meet drivers or riders in visalia or tulare if anyone is interested. or harris ranch. let me know. or i will meet up at the visitor's center at 9.

    November 8, 2012

    • Alice

      michal, the Bakersfield people will be bypassing Harris Ranch and stopping at the Starbuck's in Coalinga. If you go there you'll be able to meet up with other drivers/riders. I think the ETA for Starbucks is 7:30.

      November 8, 2012

    • michal r.

      thanks, alice! see you at the starbucks at 7:30.

      November 8, 2012

  • Robert B.

    I'm excited to see this place. I've never been there

    November 7, 2012

  • Bob L.

    What time are we meeting at Albertson's. Tony- I may have been counted twice. Once by myself and as a guest of Belinda.

    November 6, 2012

    • Belinda R.

      We are meeting at 0600. I talked to Tony and I changed my RSVP :)

      November 6, 2012

  • Mark W.

    I will meet the group at the Visitors Center at 9:00 am.

    November 6, 2012

  • Tony S.

    Alice K., odds are someone will be able to give you a ride if you are there by 5:55.... see you Saturday!

    November 5, 2012

  • Jordan F.

    I will definitely keep checking.

    November 5, 2012

  • Alice

    Jordan, maybe someone will cancel and there would be a spot for you. Stay tuned!

    November 5, 2012

  • Jordan F.

    Would have loved to have gotten in on this one for my first time out with the Kern group.

    November 5, 2012

  • Stephanie G.

    Is anyone planning on camping Saturday night? I have Sunday off too and would be interested in continuing the exploration if anyone wants to join.

    November 4, 2012

  • Tony S.

    This is a heads up for everyone gong to Pinnacles, 2 points:
    1. Two things to be sure to bring along with your normal supplies is a headlamp for the cave portion along the trail, and a minimum 2 liters of water for drinking. (There is a route around the cave for those not interested.)
    2. When arranging carpools, a stop in Coalinga will need to be considered. Some people will be stopping at the Harris Ranch Steak House for dinner. For planning purposes Harris Ranch is 90 minutes for west Bakersfield.

    November 3, 2012

  • Alex S.

    Hello Tony, It was a nice bike ride last Monday evening, I really enjoyed the conversation. I am still interested in the Pinnacles hike.

    November 2, 2012

    • Tony S.

      There is a good chnace a spot will be available Alex, you should count on going.

      November 2, 2012

  • Tony S.

    As you all can see we set a 30 person limit on this event. I encourage any body who wants to come and hasn't signed up yet to get your name on the waiting list. There always seems to be "no shows". That said, if anyone signed up is not able to make it, please change your RSVP to not attending. Thank you.

    October 17, 2012

  • Jill W.

    Sam and I plan on joining this hike with a slight variation. We're bringing climbing gear and may do some climbing in addition to hiking. I'm also going tolook into spending the night...not sure yet. This was such a fun trip last year-really looking forward to it.

    October 11, 2012

  • Tony S.

    Staying over is always an option. Last year we had one person stay over and hike over to the other cave, on the northwest side, the Balconies Cave. This is Veteran's Day weekend so I suggest getting your reservations soon.

    September 21, 2012

  • Denise D.

    Pinnacles is a lot of fun, and well worth a stay-over

    September 20, 2012

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