Pinnacles National Park

In early February 2022 we drove 375 miles round trip to Pinnacles National Park just east of Monterey.  We had never been there before and really needed a nice, interesting place to go camping.  We got a nice site in the RV loop which had electric and water and booked four nights.  Most of the other RV sites were a little to close to each other for our tastes.

Weather in the mornings was chilly at 29 degrees but the days warmed up nicely.  It was a two mile hike to the trail heads so we took the jeep.  First full day we hiked the Bear Gulch Cave trail.  Started at 9am in order to get a parking spot in the small lot.  No dogs allowed on the trails so Charlie stayed back in the RV.

We hiked about 2.5 miles to the cave.  Kinda scary crawling in some spots.  It took about 15 minutes to get thru the cave.  My pack and hiking poles made it a little awkward getting thru tight areas.  All in all we really liked it and were glad to see the end.

This area of California gets lost of small earthquakes.  There was one this morning but only a 2.0.  In the evening I must have accidentally flipped the lock on the door so when we got back from a walk with Charlie we found ourselves locked out of the RV.  Problem solved when I was able to boost Kate up thru the window on the front passenger side.  Got to be careful in the future but at least I know of a way to get in.

The next day we drove into Carmel.  It’s a dog friendly town with a great beach.  Charlie had a blast running free and even playing with other dogs.  He even got to join us for lunch at an out door restaurant in town.

On our final day we did the Balconies Cave trail starting at the old Pinnacles trail head.   This turned out to be a 6.3 mile hike.   Kate chose not to go into the cave so I went in by myself for about 5 minutes.  It was a lot of scrambling around and over and under rocks and boulders.  Some places it was not clear which way to go until I finally found a tiny white arrow drawn onto the rock.  Really not very visible, easy to miss.  Anyway, I quickly decided not to go through the whole way by myself and went back to where Kate was patiently waiting.  The rock formations along the hike were quite dramatic and beautiful to see.  Well worth the hike.

When we went to leave the next morning, the septic tank for the dump station was full so we had to wait for it to be pumped out.  Luckily they got to it pretty fast.  I guess it doesn’t have the normal capacity required for a campground so they sort of ration out use of it.  You have to register for it in advance and give them details of how many gallons you will be dumping.  The people in the camp store were extremely helpful.  In fact, you can buy wifi for about $10 for a week which I did, however it didnt seem to work, so the camp store lady gave me their company wifi code.  Very nice of her.


Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

3 thoughts on “Pinnacles National Park”

  1. Great photos! Now that you are caught up with your blogs I’d say it’s about time to hit the road.

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