An easy, short path from a nature center up to an overlook point with a great view of the Pinnacles Formation. An easy way to see some of the sights in the park, with the option to connect to the High Peaks Trail loop and continue your journey.
I’ll admit — I wasn’t planning on hiking this trail. When I woke up at the Pinnacles Campsite, I had originally intended to just explore the Bear Gulch caves and head on out, but when I saw the incredible inversion layer that was hanging over the park in the morning, I knew I had to try to get some good photos of it interacting with the landscape.
And so, I ventured out from the Bear Gulch ranger station on this short and sweet trail to an overlook near the High Peaks.
The trail itself is a simple single-track that parallels a service road, then climbs up the canyon walls and onto the Pinnacles themselves. It’s really not a destination hike, per se, unless you’ve got interesting weather conditions like I did.
This trail does, however, offer an alternative route to building your own loop trail. 0.7 miles past the overlook, the Condor Gulch Trail meets up with the High Peaks Trail. From there, it’s possible to loop along the more southern routes, back through Bear Gulch and to the trailhead.
But if all you’re doing is checking out the view, this is the hike to take.
Excellent. Well-maintained and well-traveled trail that begins just outside a popular nature center in the park.
Pinnacles Campground is inside the park, and features a general store and swimming pool.
From the park's East Entrance, travel past the Visitor's Center and campground and take a left onto the road heading to Bear Gulch. There is a small nature center with a parking lot and bathrooms about a mile from the intersection. Park here, and look for the Condor Gulch Trail, just across a small service road from the bathrooms.
Learn about new trail guides, outdoor news, and be the first to learn about events in the free Modern Hiker Newsletter. All original content and guaranteed not to flood your inbox -- new issues usually come every 2-3 weeks.
Because the situation on the ground is changing rapidly and so many different jurisdictions and land agencies are involved, we will no longer be updating individual parks, trails, or regions for closures. We strongly recommend you stick with neighborhood walks to support efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. Please read this post for more information.