Bear Gulch Day Use Area to Lower and Upper Caves

Soledad, California

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Rarely does such a short little hike pack so much adventure. This is one of the many unique and distinct worlds within Pinnacles National Park, which has some of the most accessible talus caves in the National Park System. The catch is that you must be sure-footed and comfortable in dark, tight spaces. If you meet those criteria, this hike through one of the park’s most extensive talus caves will astonish you. Bear Gulch Caves happen to also be the home of bats. They are “bat caves” of sorts. Park biologists specifically monitor the Townsend’s big-eared bat population and their migration patterns to determine which caves to close when and for how long, so the public can have access to parts of the talus caves (if not both Lower and Upper Caves) without risk of disturbing the breeding, birthing, and rearing process.
Best Easy Day Hikes Pinnacles National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes Pinnacles National Park

by Linda B. Mullally and David S. Mullally (Falcon Guides)

Rarely does such a short little hike pack so much adventure. This is one of the many unique and distinct worlds within Pinnacles National Park, which has some of the most accessible talus caves in the National Park System. The catch is that you must be sure-footed and comfortable in dark, tight spaces. If you meet those criteria, this hike through one of the park’s most extensive talus caves will astonish you.

Bear Gulch Caves happen to also be the home of bats. They
are “bat caves” of sorts. Park biologists specifically monitor
the Townsend’s big-eared bat population and their migration patterns to determine which caves to close when and
for how long, so the public can have access to parts of the
talus caves (if not both Lower and Upper Caves) without
risk of disturbing the breeding, birthing, and rearing process.

© 2016 Linda B. Mullally and David S. Mullally/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Soledad
Distance: 1.9
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,279 feet
Top Elevation: 1,620 feet
Local Maps: USGS North Chalone Peak; Pinnacles National Park map; Tom Harrison map of Pinnacles National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Bear Gulch Day Use Area to Lower and Upper Caves

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Apr 2018