Past Meetup

Caves, Peaks & Stars - Camping at Pinnacles National Park


Price: $6.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


This event is organized by the Bay Area Chapter and cross posted in all "US Hiking" Chapters


Organizer: Deepak

Location: Pinnacles National Park

Weather: Weather report (

Difficulty: 7/10

Group Size: 10

Distance: Day 1: 12.5 miles loop; Day 2: 11 miles (out and back trail)

Elevation Gain: Day 1: 4500'; Day 2: 4100' (accumulated)

Fee: $6 (Includes camping and parking for 4 cars in all. Prepayment is not refundable.

Payment date: 11/30/2015 (Monday)

Trail condition: Single file trail, almost no shade

Trail Map: Pinnacles National Park map (

Park Website: Pinnacles National Park (

Water: 2-3 liters for each hike (Refill at campground)

Shower: At the campground

Guests: No

Dogs: No

Carpool: Carpool sign up (


Directions: From Los Angeles - Google driving directions (,+CA/Old+Pinnacles+Trailhead+Parking,+Chalone+Creek+Rd,+Paicines,+CA+95043/@35.2799766,-120.8163682,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2c75ddc27da13:0xe22fdf6f254608f4!2m2!1d-118.2436849!2d34.0522342!1m5!1m1!1s0x8092438844718b9b:0x9cd121455de21cd9!2m2!1d-121.1729949!2d36.4948814?hl=en)

Parking: At the trailhead. Park entry fee - $10 for 7 day pass, $20 for annual pass. Federal Interagency pass is accepted.

What to bring & wear: Please follow Day Hike Equipment List (, Camping Equipment List ( and Organizer's Choice List ( Headlight recommended for the caves.



Day 1 (Saturday December 12): Balconies Caves, High Peaks and Bear Gulch Caves. Stargazing in the new moon night at the campsite.

Day 2 (Sunday December 13): Monolith, North Chalone Peak and South Chalone Peak.


Venue description:

(From NPS website) The Pinnacles story begins 23 million years ago when an ancient volcanic field began forming the rocks that characterize the park today. The result of millions of years of fire, ice, water and upset are the serene rock formations. Strange, the way a violent and dynamic past has resulted in such a peaceful landscape for today's hikers and climbers!

While condors and magnificent rock spires are certainly what draws many visitors to Pinnacles, they are by no all there is to see at the park. Visitors can explore two systems of talus caves, which are formed by massive boulders wedged in ravines and widened by water and erosion. Rocks the size of houses will hang steadily over your head as you make your way through a cool, dark environment that provides a home for Townsend big-eared bats and red-legged frogs, among others.


Trail description:

Day 1: Old Pinnacles Trail and Balconies Cave Trail to the West entrance. Juniper Canyon Trail, High Peaks Trail and Rim Trail to Bear Gulch. Condor Gulch Trail, High Peaks Trail and Old Pinnacles Trail to the parking lot.

Day 2: Bear Gulch to Rim Trail and Chalone Peak Trail to North & South Chalone Peaks. Return on the same trail.


Our Policy:

Profile photo: Anyone interested in joining US Hiking must have a profile photo showing his/her face. This is a requirement of our group. Without it, you will not be allowed to sign up for an event.

Waiting list priority: People who hike with with US Hiking regularly will be given priority when they are on the waiting list.

Advanced hikes: Anyone interested in participating in advanced hikes (>3,000' elevation gain or distance > 10 miles or Difficulty Level > = 7) will be subject to prescreening before his/her name will be added to the list. Therefore, interested hiker must share with the event host his/her recent hiking background to establish proficiency before his/her name will be added to the list. Guests are not allowed on advanced hikes.

Early departure: If a hiker needs to be separated from the group for any reason, he/she must inform the event host. Not knowing a hiker's where about may prompt the event host to report a hiker's missing to proper authority for further actions.

No show: If you sign up for an event but did not show up, you will be removed from the next event you sign up.



If you have prior medical condition or a family history of illnesses pertaining to heart, lungs, brain, etc. that can be aggravated by heat and physical exertion, this is not the hike for you.

If you have never done a hike of this distance or difficulty before, this hike will be very difficult for you. It may well be your death march. The mountain is not going anywhere. We will schedule this event again in the future. Do it when your mind and body are ready.

Hiking is a recreation, not a suicide mission.

Release of Liability:

The organizer (me) of this trip is a volunteer and is not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/hike/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests.

By signing up for this trip, or any other event organized by me, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the organizer (me) of this hike from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

US Hiking, its organizer, assistant organizers, event organizers are not responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur carpooling to and from this event, or for any injuries or accidents incurred before, during, and after this event. If you sign up or participate in an event you acknowledge that you freely and voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injuries and damages arising from, as a result of and associated with this event.

In addition, you and your guests are acknowledging that you agree to the Meetup terms of service especially paragraph 6.2: