Places to Visit After Pinnacles National Park

Located along California’s Central Coast, Pinnacles National Park protects a gorgeous rugged landscape encompassing a number of mountains and caves. Once you’ve had your fill of Pinnacles National Park, continue your trip with a visit to one of the following nearby destinations. 

Soledad – Just 10 miles west of Pinnacles National Park, the city of Soledad is home to one of California’s historic Spanish missions, Mission Soledad. There are several wineries to visit in the area and this scenic town offers stunning views of the surrounding Santa Lucia Highlands and Salinas Valley. 

San Jose – Just an hour outside of Pinnacles National Park lies San Jose, a bustling city in Silicon Valley, a major center for technology in California. Visit San Jose’s charming historic district for colonial Spanish architecture and don’t miss the Tech Museum of Innovation. 

San Francisco – Just over 2 hours from the park, San Francisco has endless things to offer. Take in views of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz Island, dine in trendy restaurants, and so much more.

Yosemite National Park – Yosemite is 3.5 hours from Pinnacles National Park, making it the perfect next stop along your journey if you’re looking for more miraculous natural landscapes. One of the most popular national parks in the United States, Yosemite is home to giant sequoia trees and granite cliffs. 

Sequoia National Park – Just over 3 hours outside of Pinnacles National Park, Sequoia National Park makes for another unique stop along your trip. Renowned for its ancient giant sequoia trees, this park has much to offer by way of nature.

Staying Safe at Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is a breathtaking park situated in central California. Home to mountainous landscapes and rugged terrain, there is much to explore in this unique national park! Visitors to Pinnacles National Park should take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a smooth trip. 


Temperatures in Pinnacles National Park can climb above 100º F during the summer, so bring plenty of water and sun protection, including sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Make sure to bring sturdy shoes as trails and caves are slippery when wet.


Poison oak is common along the majority of trails in Pinnacles National Park, so know how to recognize it and make sure to avoid it at all costs. There are a variety of snakes found in Pinnacles National Park, and rattlesnakes pose a significant safety threat. Stay on the trails and watch where you step and reach. Always remember to keep a safe distance from all wild animals and never feed or approach the wildlife. 

Other Concerns

The caves in Pinnacles National Park are dark and the remoteness of the park means that emergency services are not easily available. Make sure to bring a flashlight with you and any emergency supplies you may need. Know your limitations for hiking and rock climbing and don’t push yourself to do more than your body can handle.

Caves are dark, slippery, and have low-hanging ceilings, so it’s imperative to bring a flashlight or headlamp, wear sturdy shoes, and watch where you step.

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Points of Interest at Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is a rugged park situated along California’s Central Coast, just south of San Jose. The park protects the remains of an extinct volcano and an extensive remote mountainous region. Visitors to the park will want to be sure to visit Pinnacles’ main points of interest! 

Condor Gulch Overlook 

Hike the Condor Gulch Trail one-way to get to the breathtaking Condor Gulch Overlook. The trail can get hot, especially during the day, so be sure to bring plenty of water and proper sun protection. 

Bear Gulch Reservoir 

Take the Moses Springs Trail to the scenic Bear Gulch Reservoir, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the unique surroundings. Once you’ve had your fill of the reservoir, use the Bear Gulch Trail to complete the loop. 

Balconies Cave Trail 

One of Pinnacles National Park’s most popular trails, Balconies Cave Trail leads visitors through a long, narrow cave. You may have to wade through water or work your way through difficult rock formations, so be sure to bring a flashlight! 

Bear Gulch Cave Trail  

This trail climbs through a talus cave and is accessed by the east entrance to the park. Make sure to bring your own flashlight for this trail as well. Bear Gulch Cave is open seasonally, so if you’re visiting the park when it’s open you definitely won’t want to miss it! 

High Peaks Trail 

Among the more popular of the park’s trails, High Peaks Trail is a one-way hike that can be combined with various other trails to create a loop. The hike offers spectacular views over the gorgeous landscape of Pinnacles National Park. 

Staying Safe at Gates of the Arctic National Park

A vast and rugged national park situated in northern Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park lies entirely north of the Arctic Circle. An utterly remote destination, the park attracts visitors who are willing to explore its untouched wilderness. It’s important to take the necessary safety precautions when visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park. 


The vast Alaskan wilderness can be unforgiving, so it’s essential to be prepared. Bring plenty of layers to keep you warm in harsh temperatures. Weather conditions in the park can be extreme and there are no official lodgings, so you’ll need to make sure your camp is able to withstand whatever inclement weather you’re met with, including snow storms at any time of year.


You’re likely to experience your share of wildlife when visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park, in particular, bears. Know what to do if you encounter a bear and be sure to keep your food, trash, and scented items stored properly in a bear-proof container. Always keep a safe distance from wild animals and never feed or approach wildlife. 

Other Concerns

Gates of the Arctic is truly remote and completely untouched. It’s important for visitors to the park to recognize that they are genuinely on their own and be prepared to self-rescue in case of emergency. It’s essential to bring sufficient food, water, and supplies, including extra just in case. There is no cell phone service, no amenities, and no infrastructure in the park, meaning that travelers take a significant risk when visiting the park and must be completely self-reliant. 

If you plan to fly in and out of the park, make sure to bring a few days’ worth of extra food and supplies, as weather conditions often inhibit pilots’ ability to fly in the area. Consider renting a satellite phone for your journey. Make sure to file a plan with the park service before you go so that someone knows where you are and where you’re supposed to be. 

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Points of Interest at Gates of the Arctic National Park

Situated in northern Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park is defined by vast, rugged wilderness that seems to stretch on and on. The entire park is located above the Arctic Circle, so conditions can be harsh and unforgiving. Visitors to Gates of the Arctic National Park will want to explore the main points of interest. 

Arrigetch Peaks

The Arrigetch Peaks are a grouping of rugged granite peaks in the Endicott Mountains. These scenic peaks can be seen around the head of the Kobuk River and the tributaries of the Alatna River.  

Alatna National Wild and Scenic River

This gorgeous winding river is popular for float trips due to its calm nature and breathtaking landscapes. Said to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the country, the Alatna River is a can’t miss on any trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park. 

Walker Lake 

This glassy lake feeds the powerful Kobuk River. Walker Lake holds both cultural and historic relevance and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. 

Frigid Crags 

A striking mountain in the Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Frigid Crags provides a dramatic frame for the area’s spectacular landscape. The mountain was so named by explorer Robert Marshall in 1929.