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Hiking & Walking: California > Pinnacles National Monument

Quick Facts

Balconies Trail

Beginning Elevation: 1,401 Feet (436.7 Meters) Chaparral Ranger Station
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 320 Feet (99.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 1,401 Feet (436.7 Meters) Chaparral Ranger Station
Length, Round Trip: 2.4 Miles (4.0 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Fall
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Balconies Trail begins at the Chaparral Ranger Station. The trail leads northeastward .6 miles, following the West Fork of the Chalone Creek, to a fork. This is the beginning, and end, of a 1.2 mile loop that leads through terrain that quintessentially represents Pinnacles National Monument. Hikers that take the right side of the fork will reach the Balconies Caves in .1 miles. The end of the small loop comes .4 miles from the fork in the trail. The Old Pinnacles Trail leads to the right at this fork and Balconies Trail leads to the left. The northern portion of the loop winds for .8 miles above the drainage. Upon reaching the end of the loop hikers should turn right to reach the Chaparral Rangers Station in .6 miles. The total mileage for this hike is 2.4 miles. It is rated as moderately difficult by the park service staff.

Directions from Soledad: Follow Highway 146 12 miles to the Chaparral Ranger Station. The trail begins from the northern end of the parking area.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Caving Balconies Caves
ICON Geology Balconies Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Balconies Trail
ICON Plant Identification Balconies Trail

Related Activities
Balconies Caves - The Balconies Caves lie less than one mile from the Chaparral Ranger Station in the western portion of the monument. Visitors are encouraged to explore the caves.

Juniper Canyon Trail - This trail leads 1.2 miles to connect with Tunnels Trail in the western district of the monument. It provides excellent views of the area.

North Wilderness Trail - This trail leads into the northern reaches of the monument. It begins at theChaparral Ranger Station and ends at Old Pinnacles Trail.

Old Pinnacles Trail - This easy to follow trail follows the drainage of the West Fork of the Chalone Creek east to west through the monument.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Pinnacles National Monument, 5000 Hwy. 146 , Paicines, CA, 95043, Phone: 408-389-4485, Fax: 831-389-4489


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