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Pinnacles National Monument

Contact Info
5000 Hwy. 146
Paicines, CA 95043

831-389-4485 ext. 0
East of the Big Sur Coast in west central California, about 85 miles southeast of San Jose
National Park


Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, is Pinnacles National Monument, protecting the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement. Within the monument's boundaries lie 24,000 acres of diverse wildlands. The monument is renowned for the beauty and variety of its spring wildflowers. A rich diversity of wildlife can be observed throughout the year.

The rock formations of Pinnacles National Monument divide the park into East and West Districts which are connected by trails, but not by a vehicle road. More than 30 miles of trails access geological formations, spectacular vistas and wildland communities. The Pinnacles' rock formations are a popular destination to challenge technical climbers. Pinnacles is a day-use park, with occasional full moon hikes and dark sky astronomical observations led by ranger-interpreters.

Hours + Fees


The monument is open for day use every day of the year. Please remember that camping is only allowed in the Pinnacles Campground on the east side of the park. Backpacking is not permitted.

East Entrance

The east side of the monument is open 24 hours a day for hiking. The Pinnacles Campground offers tent, RV, and group capsites. Reservations can be made online at

West Entrance

An automatic gate at the west entrance of the monument opens each morning at 7:30 and closes each night. During daylight savings time, which begins in mid-March, the gate will close at 8:00 pm. During standard time, the gate closes at 6:00 pm. Visitors will be able to leave the park after the gate is closed, but cars will not be able to enter. This will allow for late hiking and climbing. Please remember that camping is not allowed on the west side of the park.

Open year-round


Modern Restrooms
Visitor Center
Picnic Area(s)


Additional Details:
If you''re not sure which side of the monument to visit, keep in mind that there is a variety of trails that start from either side. If you''d like to visit a cave, you''ll probably want to go the west side to take the Balconies Cave Loop, which is two miles round trip. If you''d like to get views of the High Peaks without leaving your car, you can see the rock formations from the west parking area.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Pinnacles National Monument has two entrances: east and west. The west entrance can be reached via Highway 101 near the town of Soledad, then east along Highway 146 to the Chaparral area. The east entrance is reached via Highway 25, south of the city of Hollister and north of the town of King City, then west on Highway 146. The entrances are NOT connected by a road. It is not possible to drive through the Monument from one side to the other.
Customizable Directions

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