Park Location
5000 Highway 146, Paicines, CA 95043
26,000 Acres
Seasonal. Overnight camping is available.
Rock formations.
Hiking, rock climbing.

The Pinnacles became a national monument in 1908. Over the years it has grown to about 26,000 acres. It is best known as a place to hike, camp and do rock climbing. From Santa Cruz County it takes approximately an hour and a half to drive to. It is located in San Benito County. By bicycle it takes most of the day to get there. Weather in the Summer can be hot and in Winter it can be wet and cold. Best time is Spring and Fall. One of the main features are the rock formations. Rhyolitic breccia is the type of rock that make the formations at Pinnacles.

Pinnacles National Monument is divided into two sides.

The west side is accessible from Highway 101 near the town of Soledad, then east along Highway 146 to the Chaparral area. This entrance has an automatic gate that is accessible from 7:30 am to a little after 6:30 pm. (You can leave any time.) The west side is also know for the narrow road and is not recommended for long vehicles or vehicles with trailers.

The east side entrance is reached via Highway 25, south of the city of Hollister, then west on Highway 146.

Although both entrances are part of route 146, it is not possible to drive through the Monument from one side to the other. There are no plans to connect the route. (It would run through a wilderness area of difficult terrain.)

The east side is the most popular. There is overnight camping, a souvenir shop and a swimming pool. It is also the shortest hike to the famed bat cave. This is closed when the bats arrive in April and remains off-limits until the bats leave. (Usually by June.)

The Pinnacles is also know for California condors and other wildlife such as deer, woodpeckers, and salamanders.

Officially it is Pinnacles National Monument. It is federal, and not a state park.

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