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Pinnacles National Park is Free Through the End of 2020

Caves, Condors and wild rock formations formed from an ancient volcanic eruption await you just 80 miles south of San Jose
By - posted 10/14/2020 No Comment

Pinnacles National Park, known for its rare talus caves, beautiful wildflowers and the chance to spot the critically endangered California Condors, is opening its gates and offering free admission through the end of 2020.

The park is located 2 hours south of San Francisco and is very popular for rock climbing.

Normally, the admission fees, valid for 7 days, are:

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee – $30.00
  • Motorcycle Entrance Fee – $25.00
  • Walk-in or Bicycle Entrance Fee – $15.00

On the NPS site, it states, “Due to the current pandemic, the National Park Service has temporarily suspended the collection of all entrance fees.” On 10/9/20, we spotted a sign at the East Entrance that said admittance was free until the end of 2020.

Pinnacles National Park Tips

  • Please note, currently, the shuttle is not running in the park and parking is extremely limited. Weekend visitors are encouraged to arrive before 10:30 am to get a parking spot, or you could try arriving late in the afternoon.
  • If you’re entering at the East Entrance, another option is you could bring your bike and park at the overflow lot which is located at the Pinnacles Visitor Center. You can then bike to the trailhead at Bear Gulch, or hike 2.3 miles one way which takes approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  • Have your mask at the ready on the trails. There are narrow passages on the trails. Read more about the park’s temporary operational guidelines including what facilities are open and which trails may be closed.
  • Be aware that there are no roads that connect through the park; the east and west entrances are not connected.
  • As of 10/14/20, two cave trails remain closed (Balconies and Bear Gulch Caves). The caves are open seasonally, regardless, to protect the bat colonies. Always check the current conditions on the NPS website to see what trails are open.
  • However, we highly recommend the Moses Spring to Rim Trail Loop which is 2.2 miles round trip and takes approximately 1 to 1 and ½ hours. This loop is a good choice for its rock formations, scenic lookouts, and ends at a beautiful reservoir. Although the Bear Gulch Cave is currently closed, the trail still passes through a cool, albeit short, cave.


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