Juniper Canyon Trail to High Peaks

Soledad, California

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If you have already hiked among the rock formations on other trails in the park, you may think this trail starts out a little ho-hum as you hike through the chaparral flatlands staring up at the base of more towering rock palisades. The best is yet to come. The Civil Conservation Corps’ engineering feat of metal catwalks, steep Incan pyramid–like footholds picked out of the rock, and metal pipe handrails on the High Peaks’ narrow ledges has an almost Italian Dolomites Via Ferrata flair that will charge your adrenaline batteries. You might even be rewarded with spotting condors on their midday soar. The trail begins in open chaparral terrain by the information panel. Walk 150 feet up the trail in the fenced trail corridor to the Condor Crags interpretive panel and turn right. Enjoy the wispy shade of the juniper and gray pines spread among the buckeye trees for the first mile. From here on, the trail climbs up the exposed rocky flanks, treating you to views of various element-sculpted volcanic rock monuments. The trail is at its most challenging, unique, and precipitously exciting from the High Peaks via Tunnel Trail junction at 1.2 miles for almost 2 more miles. On this section you will use rock-chiseled footholds and metal pipe handrails installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. The views are breathtaking; the trail itself is a heart thumper and not for the timid or anyone fearful of heights.
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)

If you have already hiked among the rock formations on other trails in the park, you may think this trail starts out a little ho-hum as you hike through the chaparral flatlands staring up at the base of more towering rock palisades. The best is yet to come. The Civil Conservation Corps’ engineering feat of metal catwalks, steep Incan pyramid–like footholds picked out of the rock, and metal pipe handrails on the High Peaks’ narrow ledges has an almost Italian Dolomites Via Ferrata flair that will charge your adrenaline batteries. You might even be rewarded with spotting condors on their midday soar.

The trail begins in open chaparral terrain by the information panel. Walk 150 feet up the trail in the fenced trail corridor to the Condor Crags interpretive panel and turn right. Enjoy the wispy shade of the juniper and gray pines spread among the buckeye trees for the first mile. From here on, the trail climbs up the exposed rocky flanks, treating you to views of various element-sculpted volcanic rock monuments. The trail is at its most challenging, unique, and precipitously exciting from the High Peaks via Tunnel Trail junction at 1.2 miles for almost 2 more miles. On this section you will use rock-chiseled footholds and metal pipe handrails installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. The views are breathtaking; the trail itself is a heart thumper and not for the timid or anyone fearful of heights.

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

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Soledad
Distance: 4.3
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,389 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 Juniper Canyon Trail to High Peaks

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Apr 2018