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Winter hiking getaway in Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles, CA, United States
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Our first camping trip of the year was to Pinnacles National Park in mid-February. It’s an easy drive from San Francisco—about two and a half hours (maybe three, if you hit traffic), and much of it through beautiful countryside. Pinnacles was only designated a national park in 2013, but was a National Monument and California state park for some time before that. There is one major campsite in the park, which is accessible from the park’s east entrance. It’s not the most scenic corner of the park, but our site (#17) was tucked away right next to a stream. We saw woodpeckers, raccoons, and a coyote from that spot. [Not sure why the photos were added so many times, but enjoy them anyway!]
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Pinnacles Campground
Pinnacles Campground
Site #17: One of the more private spots in the campground, just next to a stream. Saw raccoons, woodpeckers, and a coyote from here!

Points of interest

Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park
Bring snacks, sunscreen, a flashlight, and plenty of water for a beautiful hike to the Balconies formation and caves!


Progresso Tamale Parlor
A good, mid-drive place to stop for lunch in a cute town.

On The Map