WEEKEND CAMPING TRIP IN PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK

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SUMMARY

TRIP · 3-day car camping trip
FOR · Friends & first-time campers

VIBE · Challenging & rewarding

COST · $
DRIVE · 2.5 hours from SF
IDEAL DATES · March - May | September - October

PETS · Allowed at camp, not on trails

WHY PINNACLES
NATIONAL PARK?

Pinnacles National Park (PNP) is the newest national park in California, but its infamous rock formations are more than 23 million years old. What's left from volcanic activity has become a popular destination for rock climbers, cave divers & campers. The park only has 30 miles of trails, so backpacking isn't allowed, but come for the otherworldly rocks and stay for the stargazing.  
 

· Directions To Campground

· Current Park & Trail Conditions
· Pinnacles National Park Official Website

STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW

Map of Pinnacles National Park

Buy a 7-day vehicle entrance fee for $30 online before your trip

Pack your sunscreen and a jacket because temperatures drastically change from morning to night.

☀️

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There isn't a way to drive across the park so plan accordingly! (Pinnacles Campground is on the eastern side)

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Wear face masks, socially distance, and recreate responsibly!

 

ITINERARY

DAY ONE
LEAVE SF BY 11 AM & GRAB SOME
VIETNAMESE FOOD AT HUE RESTAURANT

- Diners love their authentic Banh Beos, steamed rice cakes 
- Located at 3005 Silver Creek Rd. Ste. 190 in San Jose

Open everyday| 11 AM - 8 PM |10 AM - 9 PM on weekends

LAST PIT STOP · Safeway Fuel Station - 591 Tres Pinos Road in Hollister
 

CHECK IN & SETTLE IN AT
PINNACLES CAMPGROUND 

- Set up camp, wander around the campground & relax
 

OR IF YOU'RE FEELING AMBITIOUS, HIKE BENCH TRAIL FOR A TASTE OF THE PINNACLES

- A moderate 4.8 mile round-trip hike from Pinnacles Campground 

- Pack plenty of water & snacks for this trek

- On weekends and later parts of the day, this trail can get crowded 

 

RETURN TO CAMP FOR A SUNSET DINNER

- Prep dinner, s'mores & enjoy an evening of drinking & stargazing

DAY TWO
GET A SUNRISE START, GRAB BREKKIE, AND PREP FOR A DAY HIKE ALONG HIGH PEAKS TRAIL LOOP  

- Aim to get to the parking lot by 7:30 AM because spots fill up fast, plus temperatures will be cooler to hike in during the morning
 

- Pack a daypack with snacks, sunscreen, sunhat, jacket & plenty of water


- This is a strenuous 5.5 round-trip hike with 1,630 ft. of elevation gain. There isn't a lot of shade for the first half of the trail so plan accordingly!
 

- Park at Bear Gulch Visitor Center and start hiking along Condor Gulch Trail (look out for CA condors!)

 

- Condor Gulch Trail -> High Peaks Trail -> Rim Trail

 

- Rim Trail -> Moses Spring Trail -> High Peaks Trail (swing by Bear Gulch Cave if it's open!)
 

RETURN TO CAMP FOR AN AFTERNOON PICNIC

- Prep a picnic lunch & chillax around camp

- If it's open, jump into the pool!

    

GRILL UP DINNER

- Prep a delicious meal and warm up with your favorite hot bevvie.
- Roast up s'mores & soak up your last night in Pinnacles!

DAY THREE
COOK UP BREKKIE, PACK UP
& CHECK OUT BEFORE 11 AM

👀 Clean up around camp & throw away any random pieces of litter

HEAD HOME!
 

GEAR

ESSENTIALS
CLOTHING
ACCESSORIES
 
FRIDAY

Dinner

CAMPFIRE MAC N' CHEESE

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Vegetarian recipes

Dessert

S'MORES

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Gluten-free recipes

FOOD

PAY IT FORWARD LIKE BEZZI

Your outdoor experiences helps people have a safe & memorable time in nature. Share your knowledge about Pinnacles National Park below & you get major kudos if you used this itinerary!

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LAST UPDATED: April 29, 2021

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