Old Pinnacles Trail

Pinnacles National Park, California

Distance2.0mi
Elevation Gain623ft
Trailhead Elevation1,055ft
Top1,208ft
Elevation Min/Max1040/1208ft
Elevation Start/End1055/1055ft

Old Pinnacles Trail

Old Pinnacles Trail is a hiking trail in San Benito County, California. It is within Pinnacles National Park and Hain Wilderness. It is two miles long and begins at 1,055 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 623 feet. The Old Pinnacles Trailhead Parking and the Chalone Annex Campground camp site are near the trailhead. There is also an information map. Near the end of the trail is an information guidepost. This trail connects with the following: Bench Trail, Balconies Caves Trail, Balconies Cliffs Trail and North Wilderness Trail.

Old Pinnacles Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is the easiest route to the Balconies Cave from the park’s east side, as it is a mostly level trail with a moderate climb on the return lollipop along Balconies Cliff. The trail begins in the open, paralleling the wide Chalone Creek before veering into a shadier corridor with multiple seasonal West Fork Chalone Creek crossings. The short but dramatic passage through the talus cave requires a flashlight, careful footwork, and some limberness.

The trailhead is in the Old Pinnacles Trail parking lot at the end of the road. From here the gravel and coarse sand trail follows the wide and seasonal Chalone Creek on the left. The trail veers right toward the Balconies Cave at the junction for High Peaks Trail and Bench Trail going left. Just ahead on the left side of the trail is an information panel about the Chalone Creek restoration."

"This is the easiest route to the Balconies Cave from the park’s east side as it is a mostly level trail with a moderate climb on the return lollipop along Balconies Cliff. The trail begins in the open, paralleling the wide Chalone Creek before veering into a shadier corridor with multiple seasonal West Fork Chalone Creek crossings. The short but dramatic passage through the talus cave requires a flashlight, careful footwork, and some limberness."

"This is a longer and less traveled route to the phenomenal tunnel of stacked giant boulders that forms the Balconies Cave. The mostly level but more primitive trail on the park’s east side takes you along and in the North Fork Chalone creekbed in the North Wilderness of Pinnacles National Park before climbing up to a scenic ridge on the west side. Your lollipop route continues through the Balconies Cave to emerge back on the east side. The hike combines the solitude of the North Wilderness with the excitement of the talus cave passage. This hike requires a flashlight or a headlight for the cave."

Old Pinnacles Trail Reviews

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Trail Information

Pinnacles National Park
Nearby City
Pinnacles National Park
Parks
Pinnacles National Park
Local Contacts
USGS North Chalone Peak; Pinnacles National Park map; Tom Harrison map of Pinnacles National Park
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018