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!!!
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 (current Pinnacles weather forecast). 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.
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.
Rock climbers should remain alert for rocks that may become dislodged or equipment that may be dropped onto unwary hikers below. Existing protection hardware is not maintained by the park and should be tested before using. Be aware of advisories concerning cliff-nesting birds.
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.