Hiking Pinnacles National Park


Pinnacles National Park, CaliforniaTeam Action Wipes stopped by Pinnacles National Park, the newest US National Monument, to do a little hiking. From the moment you enter the park, Pinnacles bombards your senses with the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano with names like Machete Ridge, Resurrection Wall and Frog Canyon. This time of year is a great time to visit as it is still relatively cool and the wildflowers are blooming everywhere.

Pinnacles has over 30 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to "strenuous. Because our time was limited, we chose a loop via the Balconies Cliff and CaBalconies Cliff and Cave trailsve trails (Moderate but with some tricky cave passages). With our back packs loaded with jackets, flashlights (for the Balconies Cave Trail) and some of our famous body wipes to pass out to hikers on the trail, we set off on our hike. 

Tight hiking passages, PinnaclesThe trails meander through massive monoliths and sheer-walled canyons that are home to the elusive and endangered California condor. Pinnacles is a nesting area and one of the very few release sites of the condor, an amazing but endangered species that can have a wingspan of over 9 feet! We didn't see one, but hope to next time. The contrast between the spectacular granite rock spires and the luscious green foliage was incredible. Speaking of green, the poison oak was big and plentiful, so watch your step (remember that Action Wipes helps reduce the effects of poison oak exposure).

Aside from fantastic hiking, there is plenty of rock climbing opportunities as well. Climbing areas are clearly marked, so please make sure to follow the signs.  Also, be prepared when hiking through Balconies Cave - If you're claustrophobic, we would not recommend this passage. The caves are dark, very dark with several steep areas, enclosed quarters and did we say dark? But if you're adventurous, have a flash light and are mentally prepared - go for it, it's amazing!!   

Pinnacles National Park Balconies Cave from Action Wipes on Vimeo.

It was a great day and we are so thankful that we had the opportunity to explore the newest addition to the National Park System. We'll definitely be back and plan on camping, discovering more trails and spreading more Action Wipes mojo. 

If you happen to be on the California Central Coast, plan on a visit. Pinnacles is 140 miles south of the Bay area and just a few miles off the 101 near Soledad, California. But if you go, please, leave no trace and obey all park regulations. It was sad to find several pieces of trash littered along the trails.