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This is one of those spectacular must-do national parks that is frankly under-discovered. You can approach Pinnacles from the west or the east (we chose the west). Truly unique landscape complete with hikes through caves and streams, rewarded with breathtaking views. But it is HOT in the summer - so highly recommend going in the spring (when the water is still running through the caves) or the fall (no water but still gorgeous). During the busy spring and summer months, be sure to start the hike EARLY as the parking at the trail head gets full quickly (and rangers will turn your vehicle around).
This is now a national park and no longer a National Mounment. The park is great for hiking and climbing. But is gets hot and I do mean hot in the summer. If you are climber the rocks themselves heat up and the reflection is HOT. Hiking would have to be early morning or early evening. Also you need to be aware of the snake population.
That being said in the spring and fall this is a great place to hike and climb.
I have been there in February and have been cold. But it is great time of the year to see raptors including condors. For those of you who like raptors this is a great park to see many.
In the spring and fall there is great hiking. There are two sets of caves to explore - but check first as they are often closed to protect the bat population.
Pick your campsite carefully. Some are really in the open with no shade - which depending on the time of year can be a problem.
The beauty of this ranch completely exceeded my expectations. Only a short drive from Los Angeles, it makes for a really easy local getaway. And, boy did we feel like we got away! The Mountain air with all of those beautiful trees is so refreshing. Not to mention all of the vitamin D we soaked up from that gorgeous sunshine. I cannot express how rejuvenated and relaxed we felt after our stay. So much so, I felt compelled to share our wonderful experience.
One of the most beautiful and pristine properties I've ever seen. Holcomb Valley Ranch is a magical place. So much room to run around and enjoy the outdoors, safely. The RV spaces are well distanced. The staff are incredible. Very welcoming and professional. You'll definitely enjoy your extended stay and will likely want to settle into this beautiful setting for the entire season.
Big Bear RV Ranch is an amazing place to stay in your RV. It feels so peaceful and zen, yet is full of outdoor experiences and very close drive to town. Huge 400+acre ranch surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forrest provides plenty of space to stretch your legs. Highly recommend.
I have to admit, I didn't even know Pinnacles NP exsisted. I'm glad I saw the sign and venture to check it out. It’s a beautiful park and has the largest population of California Condors in the world.
The campground is situated about 2.3 miles from the main trailheads. There's tent and RV campsites. It's a good campground with the NP visitor center located within the campground.
Note: There's only 30Amp service at the RV sites. Bring an adapter if you only have 50 or 20Amps.
CAMPFIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED HERE. Not even in the fire rings at each site!
We enjoyed seeing LOTS of wildlife in Pinnacles from our campsite: California quail scurrying up a hill, mule deer, and raptors of all kinds. Lots of nocturnal animal activity!
But the campsites themselves were dispersed around a parking lot -- not much more to it, and very little shade or barrier between sites. Quiet hours were not enforced at all. People were loud through the night.
Wrong name was written on our placard so we worried all night that someone would accuse us of taking their spot, even though we had reserved. and pre-paid for the one we were in. Camping host was indifferent to this error.
Great National Park, though, and seemed to be the only camping option in the area.
The campground has well spaced spots nice bathrooms but horrible pay showers, definitely bring your shower shoes. The rv spots have electric hookups but no water or sewer. Very warm in summer no fires allowed. If you are looking to explore the caves March or October is when they are fully open. The park gets quite busy on weekends, parking lots at the trails are usually full by 10am, make sure you get an early start.
Summer is not the best time to go. It gets hot and you can’t have fires I went in late June and it was bearable to do an early hike, but bat caves may be closed in summer. That said the nights were beautiful full of stars and warm. They have a pool that will be full of kids but feels really refreshing after a hot hike. There was a lot of wildlife. Some sites are close together, but not all so check them carefully. There were big Oaks in most campsites that offer some shade. The bathrooms were fine, but the showers really needed some help.