Hike to the Pinnacles of the Flesheaters
Location visible to members
Hike with us at Pinnacles National Monument, home to many flesh-eating California condors. We will be doing a streneous 11-mile hike through rugged terrain, two underground cave systems, and two very steep ridges. We'll stop for lunch by the reservoir, and then continue our adventures through the rest of the park. This isn't your grandma's hike. You must be in-shape and a regular hiker to participate in this event.
NOTES AND LINKS
-You must be in great shape and a regular mid-distance hiker/runner to participate in this event.
-Hike will take place even in warm weather. You MUST bring plenty of water.
-11 Miles, 1,800ft Elevation Gain
-Flashlights are required
-Pets are not allowed on trails
-Bring a lunch as we will stop to eat along the shores of the picturesque reservoir
-We will meet at the StarBucks on Bernal at 8:30am and depart immediately at 8:45am. If you want to carpool with attendees, discuss it in the conversation area below.
Pinnacles National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/pinn/index.htm)
Park Map Viewer (http://www.nps.gov/common/commonspot/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=pinn&parkname=Pinnacles)
Excellent Park Map with Trail Names & Mileages (http://www.mtycounty.com/pgs-parks/pinn.html)
After paying the entrance fee at the Pinnacles Visitor Center, we will drive to the end of the road, taking a right at the fork. The road ends at the OLD PINNACLES TRAILHEAD PARKING lot at Chalone Creek.
From there, we follow the Old Pinnacles Trail trail northwest, following West Fork Chalone Creek. This part of the trail is relatively flat. We will follow the creek into the Balconies Cave. Once in this cave, the only way to proceed is to climb up and out of the ceiling. The scramble isn't that bad, but it is pitch black and you are required to bring a flashlight!
We will continue southwest along the trail until we reach the west park entrance parking lot, named Chaparral. We will stop at the restrooms and prepare for the nasty, I mean, fun part of this hike. We head southeast on the Juniper Canyon Trail and will climb up and over a very steep ridge that cuts the park in half. We will continue down the other side on the High Peaks Trail towards Bear Gulch Reservoir. Once at the lake, we will eat a very well-deserved lunch!
After lunch, we head back north but hike down into the Bear Gulch cave system. Flash lights are required here as well. There will be a bit of crawling in parts, but the trip is safe and fun!
At the Bear Gulch Day Use Area, we head back up into the hills along the Condor Gulch Trail. Once we reach the top of the ridge, we follow the High Peaks Trail east for a while until we begin our gradual descent back to the parking lot. Fun!