Virtual Guidebook to El Camino Real
West Pinnacles
Pinnacles National Park California


The Pinnacles are rugged enough that no road has ever been built across the Gabilan Range here. Though the west side is easily approached from Highway 101 it remains the less-developed and less-visited half of the park. The small campground that used to be there is now day-use only.

From the parking lot at West Pinnacles there are several routes threading through the rocks and gullies of the Pinnacles. Tiny Chalone Creek leads to the caves and climbing areas of the Balconies and Machete Ridge. Sycamore Canyon leads to the High Peaks, and the Tunnel Trail traverses the western cliffs.



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Distant view of the Pinnacles from the west side road

(May 7, 2006)


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Near the Chaparral ranger station on the west side of Pinnacles

(May 7, 2006)


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A grassy knoll west of the Pinnacles

(May 7, 2006)


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Spring meadow on Chalone Creek, west side of the Pinnacles

(May 7, 2006)


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Giant boulders along Chalone Creek

(May 7, 2006)


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On the Balconies trail, next to Machete Ridge

(May 7, 2006)


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Under the Balconies cliffs, opposite Machete Ridge

(May 7, 2006)


Next Locality: High Peaks Trail at Pinnacles