Pinnacles National Park - Day 2

Hiking the Prewett Point Trail

On our second day in Pinnacles National Park, California, we started with the Prewett Point Trail near the park’s western entrance—a short, easy hike with great views of the Father of the Pinnacles Hain Wilderness. We learned that nearly two-thirds of Pinnacles National Park is designated wilderness, untouched by modern human influences. It offers nature at its best!

Condors on the Juniper Canyon Loop

Our second hike in Pinnacles National Park was the challenging Juniper Canyon Loop, a 4.6-mile adventure that combines three trails: Juniper Canyon, High Peaks, and Tunnel Trail. The hike has a significant elevation change of 1,410 feet.

We began on the Juniper Canyon Trail, which gradually climbs toward the park’s heart. Following the trail, we entered the High Peaks section to the exposed rocky areas of Pinnacles. Here, we were lucky enough to spot a soaring California condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world! The next part of the loop was an unforgettable experience. We navigated a steep, narrow section with carved stair steps in the rocks. This section is definitely not for everyone! Thankfully, we were going downhill – going up while sitting wouldn’t have been an option.


The final leg, the Tunnel Trail, was a welcome return to easier terrain. It led us back to the loop junction, and we descended the remaining Juniper Canyon Trail back to the starting point. Here, in the distance, once again, we saw a beautiful condor circling above the Pinnacles.

Balconies Trail: A Challenging End to a Perfect Day

We saved the most challenging hike for last: the Balconies Trail. The views from the Balconies were spectacular, with the late afternoon sunlight and warm fall colors creating a unique atmosphere. Crawling through the dark in the Balconies Cave was another adventure, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Pinnacles, A Hidden Gem!

Pinnacles National Park has proven to be a hidden gem – a less familiar national park than others. I truly hope it stays that way! I loved the absence of large crowds and a significant road, which means only dedicated hikers can reach the viewpoints. The park offered me many first experiences, from watching condors glide in the sky to crawling through dark, steep caves and walking on stair steps carved directly into massive boulders. Pinnacles National Park will definitely leave a lasting memory.


Sunday, October 22, 2023


1.39 mi, 4.62 mi, 3.45 mi

Moving Time

0:30:41 hrs, 2:22:47 hrs, 1:17:28 hrs


55 - 66 °F, cloudy, rain