Over the weekend I found myself in a place of forgotten childhood memories. The Pinnacles National Monument. Originally a part of an ancient volcano near Lancaster California, the San Andres fault helped split the volcano apart more than 300 miles. Where the most impressive rock formations reside today. Apparently i’ve been here a few times as a small girl, but alas my horrible memory strikes again. Which is all the best, because I got to experience the park as a first time vistor. WHICH WAS GREAT!
The campground at the base of the park includes a store, pool, showers, +100 campgrounds, mandatory small creek running through the grounds during the spring. Each campground includes your standard picnic table, fire pit with water faucets scattered throughout the place. Even on one of the busiest camping weekends of the year (Memorial Day Weekend) we were able to drive up and get a spot. Reservations are definitely recommended to more of the secluded spots though.
The campground is unfortunately about 3 miles from most trailheads through the pinnacles, which can be a bit of a drag if you just enjoy walking from the comfort of your campground spot. On summer weekends there is a Free Campground Shuttle which will take you to the trailhead of your choice. But those stop at sunset, and it’s a long way back to the campground (we were able to hitch a ride back with some friendly car driving hikers). There are also parking lots at the trailheads, so you can also just drive yourself right on up there too.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Accessibility: 4/5
- Satisfying your nature & cave dwelling craving: 5/5
- Overall Rating: 4/5