Condor Gulch Trail

Pinnacles National Park, California

Distance1.7mi
Elevation Gain1,434ft
Trailhead Elevation1,274ft
Top2,331ft
Elevation Min/Max1268/2331ft
Elevation Start/End1274/1274ft
Condor Gulch Trail is a hiking trail in San Benito County, California. It is within Pinnacles National Park and Hain Wilderness. It is 1.7 miles long and begins at 1,274 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,434 feet. The Bear Gulch Day Use Area and Bear Gulch Day Use Area parkings are near the trailhead. There are also drinking water and restrooms. The Condor Gulch Overloook viewpoint can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Bear Gulch Junction viewpoint. This trail connects with the following: Bear Gulch Trail and High Peaks Trail.

Condor Gulch Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Condor Gulch, in the heart of Pinnacles National Monument, is home to the endangered California condors. The rocky canyon on the south slope of the High Peaks is a nesting and roosting site for the scavenger bird. Part way up the canyon is the Condor Gulch Overlook, offering a unique opportunity to spot the con- dors soaring on warm updrafts. This large loop hike climbs up the Condor Gulch Trail from the Bear Gulch Nature Center to the overlook and the High Peaks Trail atop the mountain. En route, the scenic path passes through chaparral vegetation, live oak, and gray pine. Throughout the climb are breathtaking views of the massive red rock formations. From the ridge, the hike follows the High Peaks Trail east, cross- ing the grassy ridges high above the West Fork Chalone Canyon back down to the canyon floor. The return through Bear Gulch is a cool streamside stroll under the shade of oaks, sycamores, willows, cottonwoods, live oaks, and a beautiful display of ferns. The trail crosses the tumbling Bear Gulch Creek on a series of footbridges."

"Condor Gulch is a rocky gorge on the south flank of the vol- canic High Peaks. The canyon is a favorite haunt of the endan- gered California condors, which nest in the rock faces and forage for food in the oak woodlands. Part way up the canyon is the Condor Gulch Overlook, offering a unique opportunity to spot the endangered birds riding the air thermals. The hike begins from the Bear Gulch Nature Center and climbs up the Condor Gulch Trail through the rocky gorge, passing chaparral vegetation, live oak, and gray pine. The trail traverses the steep side hill above the canyon bottom to the mountain ridge, with views of the massive red rock formations through- out the climb. The High Peaks Trail follows the ridge along the flank of 2,720-foot Hawkins Peak, winding between the knobs and sculpted towers of rock. The amazing trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1 930s and early 1 940s, taking the hiker through a stony wonderland of giant knobs and towers of weather-sculpted formations. The trail follows along a narrow ledge etched into the side of the smooth rock face, up steep steps hand-chiseled into the rock, under overhanging"

"This trail is exposed, with a mile-long uphill huff and puff that rewards with views and a seasonal creek that drapes over the rocks at the overlook. The hike makes for a pleasant picnic destination on late spring afternoons."

"This trail is exposed, with a mile-long uphill huff and puff that rewards with views and a seasonal creek that drapes over the rocks at the overlook. The hike makes for a pleasant picnic destination on late spring afternoons."

"This is a scenic East to West Pinnacles route with a sustained, mostly exposed uphill for the first 2.5 miles, threading through an otherworldly corridor of stone towers before starting your descent along the dramatic Tunnel Trail on the west side. This hike offers multiple stunning viewpoints."

"The entire hike is punctuated by a series of stunning viewpoints. The 2.5 miles up Condor Gulch is a sustained, mostly exposed uphill stretch before reaching the volcanic pinnacles ridge where metal pipe handrails guide you up and down the vertical stone steps. The peaks are a prime condor-viewing area before the more gradual descent back into Bear Gulch Day Use Area."

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Trail Information

Pinnacles National Park
Nearby City
Pinnacles National Park
Parks

Activity Feed

Jun 2018