March 19, 2006 Pinnacles National Monument

March 19, 2006 Pinnacles National Monument
The announcement
It’s our intent to do Pinnacles this Sunday. Plan on leaving here at 8 AM. As I recall, it’s about a 2 and a half hour drive down past Hollister to the Pinnacles, so we should start the hike around 10:30-ish. This is not an easy hike. This is not a moderate hike. This is a hard hike. If you come along and want to do a non-hard hike, I suppose you can poke around the ranger station, but you’ll miss out on the truly unique and stunning geological features in the park. Look at our website for previous descriptions of the hike.

Plan on about 4 hours of hiking, maybe a bit more. We’ll eat lunch on the trail, and will probably stop for supper somewhere on the way back. This is definitely a bring-your-camera hike. The trails are all wide and well maintained, and pretty much exposed for the whole hike except for a few short sections.

The hike
We did the hike clockwise this year. It’s almost exactly 5 miles, with about 1500 feet total of climb.
Pinnacles20060319

We began the hike at the visitors center. The ranger told us of a tour about to start, which we decided to miss.
Img 2660

Shortly past the picnic area, you see the first great formations.
Img 2662

Just further on, you pass a lot of moss strewn rocks and cliffs.
Img 2664

Looking back to the first formations.
Img 2668

Nearing the end of the shaded area.
Img 2672

There are lots of single monoliths along the trail.
Img 2674

And several cliff faces, each with a completely different character.
Img 2676

And a kissing tunnel along the way up.
Img 2680

Looking off towards the reservoir.
Img 2682

Just past the first peak, on our way towards the second.
Img 2686

The is the same climb, looking down from the top.
Img 2689

In between the two peaks.
Img 2693

Here you have to scrunch down to fit under the rocks.
Img 2694

Coming down from the second peak.
Img 2696

And still coming down.
Img 2699

A slight climb to the trail junction back to the visitor center. There is where we usually see the condors.
Img 2701

Just before the trail junction, looking towards the reservoir.
Img 2702

Cliffs on the next range to the north.
Img 2703

More monoliths along the trail.
Img 2706

An unusual (ahem) rock formation.
Img 2707

Another view of the northern range.
Img 2708

One of the cliff faces on the way down towards the visitor center.
Img 2710

The same cliff from a different angle.
Img 2715

A great place to rest, about half way down.
Img 2720

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.