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Old 03-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
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Pinnacles National Park

Has anyone been there for a firsthand report (recently or when it was Pinnacles National Monument)? I searched here on the forum, and only found a very few references to it, so I thought I'd ask. On my upcoming Summer trip with my son, I had been planning on staying just outside of Monterey (Laguna Seca raceway) so we could hit the aquarium and a few other sites, but now I'm thinking about camping at Pinnacles instead, and just driving to the aquarium for the day. Looks to be just over an hour away.


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Old 03-06-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Herb...

All of the camping at Pinnacles National Park is on the east side and there is no road through the park itself. (There was one decades ago but it is closed and is a trail to one of the caves.) It looks like you could get from the west side to the east side via some backroads but it would be a long drive...
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Good catch Jack.

FWIW, looks like Google maps shows it would be about 1.5hrs from the campground to Monterey, but it is a very indirect route through Hollister.

Might still do it (my son likes to earn Junior Ranger badges), but have to think about it.


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Old 03-06-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

With the recent rains you probably can't hike through the caves. The water flows through a tight spot and you might drown trying to get through there.

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Old 03-06-2014, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
With the recent rains you probably can't hike through the caves. The water flows through a tight spot and you might drown trying to get through there.

Mike
We wouldn't be there until late June, so that probably won't be an issue then. I do understand that the one cave will be closed when we would be there because of the bats raising their young at that time.


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Old 03-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Herb, you may know this already but Laguna Seca has a pretty decent campground right on the track. You didn't mention if you'll be watching a race or just in the area, but I vaguely remember camping just above the track for a Superbike race about 20 years ago. I don't remember much but I remember it was an organized campground.

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Old 03-06-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Yes, Laguna is a great campground for watching races.. And also for mountain biking during non-race weekends if that's your thing. The nice thing is on non-race weekends (either pedal or engine powered) it's a pretty sparsely populated campground, only a few miles from DT Monterey.

Me, I'm just there for the motorcycle races every July..
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

Mt friends and I rode our bikes up for the Motorcycle Grand Prix, in '91 I think. We didn't stay there, but I loved watching the races. Riding my Ducati along PCH wasn't horrible either.

If I decide to stay really close to Monterey, it will likely be at Laguna Seca. They have camp sites and RV sites with hookups. The campground is managed as a county park when there are no major races going on.


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Old 03-06-2014, 07:58 PM   #9
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

I've stayed there with my family a couple times. Good hikes, but very hot in the summer. No remote camping. Just in the developed campground. There is a pool if it is hot though! I admit, I used it. Not every trip is about roughing it.

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Old 03-06-2014, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Pinnacles National Park

At Pinnacles you have a good chance of seeing condors in the wild. Laguna Seca, not so much.
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