Bear Gulch Day Use Area to High Peaks

Soledad, California

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This is one of the classic hikes in Pinnacles National Park, with almost half a mile of intimidating, steep, narrow, chiseled rock steps, sometimes assisted by metal pipe handrails on the rock faces. The scenic trail climbs out of leafy Bear Gulch up to the Pinnacles saddle, straddling the east and west sides of the park beneath Scout Peak, before looping around the panoramic High Peaks where condors love to soar. The loop closes back at the saddle. Within 350 yards from the trailhead, the trail cuts through a shady picnic area before reaching the Moses Spring trailhead and a parking area and sign for the High Peaks. At 0.3 mile up the trail, you come to a junction for the Moses Spring Trail to the left and the High Peaks Trail to the right. Bear right on the High Peaks Trail for the 0.5-mile-long gradual climb before the trail transitions to switchbacks in more exposed chaparral terrain. On weekends especially, keep your eyes open for climbers perched on massive boulders or dangling from ropes on the right side of the trail.
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)

This is one of the classic hikes in Pinnacles National Park, with almost half a mile of intimidating, steep, narrow, chiseled rock steps, sometimes assisted by metal pipe handrails on the rock faces. The scenic trail climbs out of leafy Bear Gulch up to the Pinnacles saddle, straddling the east and west sides of the park beneath Scout Peak, before looping around the panoramic High Peaks where condors love to soar. The loop closes back at the saddle.

Within 350 yards from the trailhead, the trail cuts through a
shady picnic area before reaching the Moses Spring trailhead
and a parking area and sign for the High Peaks. At 0.3 mile
up the trail, you come to a junction for the Moses Spring
Trail to the left and the High Peaks Trail to the right. Bear
right on the High Peaks Trail for the 0.5-mile-long gradual
climb before the trail transitions to switchbacks in more
exposed chaparral terrain. On weekends especially, keep your
eyes open for climbers perched on massive boulders or dangling from ropes on the right side of the trail.

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

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Soledad
Distance: 6.1
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,279 feet
Top Elevation: 2,598 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 High Peaks

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Apr 2018