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Hiking & Walking: California > Pinnacles National Monument

Quick Facts

High Peaks Trail

Beginning Elevation: 1,030 Feet (321.1 Meters) Chalone Creek Picnic Area
Difficulty: Difficult Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 1,300 Feet (405.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 1,260 Feet (392.8 Meters) Bear Gulch Visitor Center
Length, One-way: 5.3 Miles (8.83 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Fall
Usage: Moderate
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

High Peaks Trail begins in the eastern district of the monument at the Chalone Creek Picnic Area. From the trailhead it leads west toward the High Peaks area in the middle of the park. At mile marker two the Condor Gulch Trail forks to the left and leads 1.7 miles to the Bear Gulch Visitor Center.

The High Peaks Trail continues leading westward. In a half mile the trail forks again. The right side of the fork is the Tunnel Trail, this leads around the eastern side of the High Peaks. The High Peaks Trail leads to the left and around the eastern side of the High Peaks, providing hikers with an excellent view point of the eastern side of the monument. In .7 miles the trails converge and High Peaks continues to lead southward, descending to the Bear Gulch drainage.

From the High Peaks the trail leads 1.5 miles to Bear Gulch. High Peaks Trail turns northward and follows the Bear Gulch drainage .5 miles to the visitor center. The total mileage for this trail is 5.3 miles. It is rated as strenuous and steep by the monument staff.

Directions from East Entrance Station: Follow the park road to Chalone Creek Picnic Area. The High Peaks Trail begins from there and ends at the Bear Gulch Visitor Center, which is 1.6 miles south.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Geology High Peaks Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking High Peaks Trail
ICON Plant Identification High Peaks Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery High Peaks Trail

Related Activities
Condor Gulch Trail - The Condor Gulch Trail is considered strenuous by the park service. It leads 1.7 miles northward from the Bear Gulch Visitor Center.

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.

Tunnel Trail - Tunnel trail leads along the western flank of the High Peaks. It is considered moderately strenuous and provides excellent views of the surrounding terrain.

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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