Pinnacles Campground is located in the unique Pinnacles National Park, 32 miles south of Hollister, California.
Pinnacles National Park camping encompasses 26,000 acres of spectacular rock formations and remnants of an extinct 23 million-year old volcano.
Hiking and rock climbing are very popular activities in Pinnacles, as is watching for the majestic California condor overhead. Pinnacles National Park is a nesting place for the endangered soaring bird, the largest in North America.
Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, allowing for a short loop or a longer all-day hike. Popular destinations include Bear Gulch Reservoir, High Peaks and the Balconies area. The Bench Trail provides direct access to the park from the campground.
Visitors enjoy exploring Balconies Cave and Bear Gulch Cave, which houses a large colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. Bring a flashlight!
Rock climbers flock to Pinnacles for the variety of climbing routes that range from easy top-ropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge.
Pinnacles Campground is located on the eastern side of the park and is open year-round. It offers family and group tent sites, as well as RV sites with electric hookups. Roads and parking spurs are gravel. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided. Showers are available for a fee. A general store with basic foods and camping supplies is located on-site. A swimming pool is located within the campground and is open from April through September.
The campground is situated in a rolling landscape dotted with shady Valley Oak, Blue Oak and Coast Live Oak trees. A gentle, seasonal creek runs through the grounds.
Springtime finds Pinnacles bursting with a wide variety of vivid wildflowers that line every trail and fill entire meadows with color.
Deer and wild turkeys roam the area, and condors can be viewed from within the campground. The park ranges in elevation from 824 feet along South Chalone Creek to 3,304 feet atop North Chalone Peak.
ADA Access: N
Pinnacles National Park is very cool!!! Lots to check out. You can learn about CA Condors, how pinnacles form, rock climbing, learn about the San Andreas fault. All kinds of things to explore and learn.
The campground is clean with bathrooms. The showers are only near the convenience store, which is not very convenient because the camp sites are so spread out. The RV's have their own campgrounds. As do groups. It's a good size campground.
Our site was #46. We liked it for the privacy it gave. Most sites sit right on the open road throughout the campground. We were more tucked away.
I imagine this campground would normally be very green and the creeks and waterfalls flowing after the rainy season. Unfortunately we have been in some-what of a drought.
There are a lot of cool hikes. Hikes with caves filled with bats, waterfall hikes, huge boulder climbing hikes. Hikes to a reservoir, great for a picnic.
We hiked from our site to the reservoir, about a 9 mile loop. It starts off ok, then it just keeps getting better and better. At one point you actually are walking along the San Andreas Fault!! CRAZY. If you want to do a shorter hike, the park provides parking lots at the base of most of the hikes. Then it's only about 2 mile loop.
The only reason I gave this campground 4.5 stars, is because of the sites. They are very much "out in the open". That's just a personnel preference.
Go check it out, and hike to the top!! Oh Beware of the raccoons. These big guys are savy!!!
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.
Great facilities, easy access to trails. Usually busy.
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.
This campground was perfect for a large group camping trip! We were there during the week so it was pretty quiet and we had free range to play at night in the area.
The group sites were large enough to fit a group of 15-20 and were spaced far apart enough to have your own space. There was shade and great parking spots. There was trash receptacles scattered around the area, and there were were bathrooms easily accessed.
The hiking was filled with incredible views and there were plenty of spaces to climb and have stunning views for a day in the park.
The general store and pool was perfect after a long day of hiking.
Make sure you check out the bat caves and keep your food stored properly, little critters do roam the campground.
This National Park is unlike many we have stayed at in that they do have showers, a swimming pool, a store, lots of amenities, getting there is the hard part as it is in a very remote part of California. The park is known for the California condors and our hike didn’t disappoint as we saw many. The hike to the high peak was crazy!