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Pinnacles Camping and Hiking - April 29-30, 2017

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What: Pinnacles Camping and Hiking
When: April 29 - 30, 2017
Where: Pinnacles National Park
Who: All Troop 33 Scouts. Campsite is reserved for 20 people.
Cost: $35
SIC: Bryan Webb
SMIC: Chris Webb
Activity Coordinator: June Zhu
How: Click here to sign up Currently Full - no more sign-ups


Trails of Pinnacles

Depending on your hiking skill level, here are the potential hikes you can go on:

Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails that showcase the beauty of the park up close and personal. Hikes range from flat stretches of grasslands to uphill climbs through talus caves onward to the rocky spires that Pinnacles is famous for.

Trails from Bear Gulch Day Use Area

Condor Gulch to High Peaks Loop
5.3 miles round trip, 3 to 5 hours
Elevation: 1,300 feet

Walk through the heart of the Pinnacles rock formations, particularly along the Steep and Narrow section of the High Peaks trail.

High Peaks to Bear Gulch Loop
6.7 miles round trip, 4 to 5 hours
Elevation: 1,425 feet

Climb into the High Peaks and descend along the ridge through meadows of grasses and, in the Spring, wildflowers. Return to the Bear Gulch Day Use Area under the shade of sycamore, buckeye, and Oak trees along the Bench and Bear Gulch trails.

Trails from Old Pinnacles Trailhead

Old Pinnacles Trail to Balconies Cave
5.3 miles round trip, 3 to 5 hours
Elevation: none

This sunny hike to Balconies Cave also leads to towering rock formations: Machete Ridge and the Balconies Cliffs. Begin at the Old Pinnacles Trailhead. Flashlight required in the cave.


Hiking, caving and climbing can be a lot of fun at Pinnacles; however, you are a long way from medical assistance, so please plan ahead. Wear sturdy shoes; carry water and a flashlight. Remember the sun and heat...snakes and poison oak...know your rock climbing and hiking limitations...and have a safe, good time. Safety first, last, and always!!!

Talus Caves
If you are planning on hiking through the Balconies Cave or the Bear Gulch Cave, you will need to bring a flashlight. The Bear Gulch Cave is open seasonally. Flashlights are required. The caves are dark and flowing water may cover the trail. You will encounter low ceilings; twisting, narrow passages; uneven footing and a dark environment. Please be careful of your head, where you place your feet, and use a flashlight! Please avoid unnecessary noise in the cave which can be disturbing to wildlife and visitors.

Hiking in Hot Weather
Hikers may encounter high temperatures, often above 100º F, during the summer and early fall months. Please carry and drink plenty of water. Bring hats, sunscreen, and light-colored clothing to protect you from the sun. Drinking water is only available in the developed areas -- there is no water available on any of the trails.

Trail Safety
All the trails are unpaved, rocky in places, and sometimes steep and uneven. It is best to wear sturdy shoes or boots with ankle support and tread that will prevent slipping and sliding. Sneakers, thongs, dress shoes or shoes with heels lack the support and traction required for safe and comfortable hiking.

Visitors experiencing injuries due to falls, slips, animal bites, etc. may have to wait a long time from incident to medical attention. This is especially true when climbing accidents occur. Be prepared to wait for assistance or have a companion seek and/or provide help. The number of park staff on duty is limited and help may not be immediately available.

Poison Oak
Poison oak is a common plant in California and at Pinnacles in particular. It is common along most trails. The secret to avoid encountering poison oak is to learn to recognize the plant.

Poison oak can be a shrub, vine, or even a small tree. Its leaves can be red, green, or any color in between. The leaves sometimes have a waxy coating, but this is not always apparent.

The best way to identify poison oak is by the way its leaves are arranged in groups of three. Remember: leaves of three, let it be!

Poison oak leaves are red when they first emerge in early spring, and then turn green in late spring and summer.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is also found in various areas of the Park. Watch for this tall plant in moist areas and along stream edges. It is common at the east entrance to the Balconies Cave and along the trail just below the Bear Gulch Cave.

Touching the plant will cause a burning sensation with all leaf hairs sticking to the skin. Fortunately, the stinging sensation will disappear within an hour or two, unlike poison oak, which lasts for days or even weeks.

Several types of snakes are found in the Park; the Pacific rattlesnake is the only poisonous critter of the group. By keeping to trails, avoiding heavy brush and watching where hands and feet are placed in rocky terrain, chances of crossing trails with a rattlesnake are minimized.

If you see a rattlesnake while hiking, treat it as you would any other wild animal. Give it plenty of room and make sure that it has a way to move safely away from you.

Rattlesnake bites are extremely uncommon at Pinnacles. If you do get bitten, seek medical attention from park staff immediately. Please remember that rattlesnakes are protected in the Park.

Pinnacles Camp Ground


4/29 Saturday

  • 6:30 am meet at LAUMC  
  • Issue gear and load up vehicles
  • 7:30 am depart LAUMC
  • 9:30 am arrive Pinnacles National park
  • 10:00 begin hikes
  • Lunch enroute
  • 3:00 pm ~ approximately return to parking lot, move to campsite
  • Set up campsites/tents
  • Cooking meals as patrols
  • Campfire/evening activities

4/30 Sunday
  • 7:00 am wake up
  • 8:00 am cook breakfast
  • 9:00 am breakdown camp/clean up
  • 10:00 am depart campsite
  • 12:00 Arrive LAUMC


Scout/Adult Payment ($35 + $1.35 fee)


Chris Webb,
Apr 25, 2017, 2:18 PM
Peter Stanley,
Apr 21, 2017, 7:48 PM
Peter Stanley,
Apr 21, 2017, 7:49 PM
Judy Bergwerk,
Sep 26, 2017, 1:52 PM