Hiking - Pinnacles National Monument

(Click on a picture to see the full-size version)

During spring break '96, my friend Kinshuk and I took a bike ride down to Pinnacles Nat'l Monument. The park looked interesting, so we came back later in the week to hike through the caves and up to the peaks.

you can also see the pictures that we took on the bike trip to Pinnacles.

Pinnacles National Monument (photo from the visitor's guide, by Frank S. Balthis). This park is about 35 miles south of Hollister, along Hwy. 25. Entrance fees are $2 per bike, $4 per car. The park has picnic areas, hiking trails, and caves.

The Pinnacles stand on the mountaintop like a granite fortress.

This man-made tunnel provides access to the natural entrance of the Bear Gulch Caves.

A stream flows through the length of the Bear Gulch Caves. Here it cascades down the wall of a cavern. It was actually quite dark in there, except for the flash of the camera... :-)

A narrow section of the cave is marked by white arrows, as if to say "yes, this really is the path!" The ceiling is only about 4 feet high here, and the floor is the bed of the creek that flows through the caves. Photo by Kinshuk Govil.

The stairs at the exit of the far end of the cave. The boulder overhead seemed precariously wedged between the walls of the crevice. Photo by Kinshuk Govil.

The Pinnacles, as we started getting closer. This was from about 2/3 of the way up the hiking trail. Photo by Kinshuk Govil.

From the top, you have a view down to the rest of the park.

I managed to climb up the face of one of the more prominent rock outcrops. That's me waving at the top. Photo by Kinshuk Govil.

We watched a beautiful sunset over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the top of the Pinnacles. We still had our high-powered flashlights from the cave exploration, so we could hike back down the mountain after dark.