An Interior Climate
Pinnacles National Park has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, and mild winters with moderate precipitation. The park is several miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, without the moderating effects that coastal regions of California such as the San Francisco Bay Area experience. Hence, a wider variation in seasonal temperatures can be expected in the local area. On July or August day, daytime temperatures over 100° F are not uncommon, while overnight subfreezing winter temperatures are not uncommon. Spring and fall are typically the most pleasant weather for hiking and visiting the park.
Hiking Smart in Pinnacles Weather
The steep hiking trails combined with the typically dry weather make it very important for park visitors to carry plenty of drinking water in any season. One of the most common incidents that park staff and volunteers respond to are hikers who have dehydration related emergencies. Many of the trails in the park are exposed to direct sun with little shade. Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, lightweight long-sleeve and long-pants) can make your trip much more enjoyable and safe. In winter months, warm layers, and a light rain repellent jacket can help you stay warm and dry from rain and showers. In heavy rain events that produce flooding, be careful at stream crossings, and check with a ranger about trail conditions for hazardous areas such as the Balconies Cave Trail.
What will the weather be on my visit to Pinnacles?