It's a State of Mind

The Perfect Weekend: Camping in Pinnacles National Park

Interns Jack and Katya continue their California adventures camping in Pinnacles National Park, Central California

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Our next stop was Pinnacles National Park, America’s newest national park (designated in 2013). Driving from Hollister, it took us about 40 minutes to arrive at the park and find our campsite. We reserved a site at the main campground for $18 and was immediately surprised to see that there was a swimming pool, store, and showers very close to our site. We chose our campsite randomly and we ended up getting a perfect site that was under a huge tree and next to a dried up stream. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and food locker, which is great since there is a LOT of wildlife here.

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Within five minutes of arriving, we saw rabbits and several deer surrounding our site. There is also a population of the endangered California condor flying over the entire national park. With that being said, this campground is perfect for anyone looking to go out into nature without leaving behind too much of their comforts at home.

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After sleeping under a star-filled sky, we awoke and drove to the Bear Gulch hiking trail, which was about a 5 minute drive from our site. The trail is an easy hour and a half round-trip hike to see the Bear Gulch caves and the reservoir. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the park because of how short and accessible it is to families and day hikers alike.

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We were amazed at how cool the caves were (don’t forget a flashlight!!!) and how deserted the beautiful reservoir was. Heads up, don’t plan on going swimming in the reservoir, it is infested with swimming snakes. Pretty creepy!

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If you enjoy rock climbing, Pinnacles National Park is a prime location as they have designated climbing spots throughout the park.

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Travel Time-
About 3 hours from Sacramento
Under 3 hours from San Francisco
About 5 hours from Los Angeles

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