Thursday, January 18, 2007
5000 Highway 146, Paicines. 389-4485 or nps.gov/pinn.
The 30 miles of trails here range from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, and you can plan a short-loop or an all-day hike. Anticipate incredible rock formations, caves, a reservoir, and winged wildlife including California condors and Townsend big-eared bats. The park is open year round, and the east side entrance is open 24 hours a day. The west entrance can be accessed for night hikes as well, but you must arrive before the gates closes at 8pm (sensors allow cars to leave after the gates have been closed). Camping is only available at the campground near the east entrance. Access trail maps and more via the Web site.
Balconies and Bear Gulch caves are talus caves, caves formed by large boulders that fell thousands of years ago and now rest between canyon walls. The trails run under the boulders. Some are narrow and twisting and may require scrambling over rocks or wading through water. A flashlight is required in both caves. Contact the park or check the Web site for the status of the caves.
Pinnacles is home is to literally hundreds of climbing spots with varying degrees of difficulty and access to both sides of the park. Climbers must remember that the rocks are made of volcanic breccia, which is much less stable than granite. Also, all bolts are not maintained by the park service, and thus, all climbers need to individually assess their routes. Certain areas are currently closed for bird nesting. Check the Web site or call to find out which areas are being affected.
MORE LOCAL ROCK CLIMBING:
Adventure Connections at CSUMB | 100 Campus Center, Seaside. 582-3015, 582-4271 or sports.csumb.edu/adventures.
This group organizes various outdoor adventure trips to surrounding areas. Outdoor rock climbing trips are on hold, but indoor climbing at Sanctuary Rock Gym continue. Check site or call for updates on trip availability and scheduling. Adventure Connections works with the Presidio of Monterey outdoor recreation department, and is a great place for the general public to access outdoor trips and equipment.
Rental Equipment: $5/shoes per day; $7.50/shoes for weekend; $4/harness per day; $6/harness for weekend; $1/chalk bag per day; $1.50/chalk bag for weekend.
Upcoming event: Feb. 7, 6-9pm. Climbing at Sanctuary Rock Gym. $11/students; $12/general. All equipment is provided.
Presidio of Monterey | Lewis Hall, Bldg. 228, Presidio of Monterey. 242-5506, 242-6133 or pom-odr.com.
This is a good collaborative climbing resource, but its outdoor rope and harness-involved rock climbing trips are currently on hold. Bouldering trips are available.
Outdoor rock climbing tour rates: $50-$60/person for one day.
Rental Equipment: $5/shoes per day; $7.50/shoes for weekend; $4/harness per day; $6/harness for weekend.
Important note: All rates, facilities, trips, and equipment provided by POM are only available to military service members, retirees, reserves, DOD civilian employees, family members, and guests, MIIS students. The general public can access services through CSUMB’s Adventure Connection program.
Sanctuary Rock Gym | 1855A East Avenue, Sand City. 899-2595 or rockgym.com.
The area’s definitive indoor climbing hub.
$12/person per day; $10/students; $5/12 and under. Also, membership and multi-day passes available.
Rental Equipment: $5/shoes; $4/harness; $1/chalk bag.
Guided Tours to Pinnacles, Big Sur coast, Sierra Nevadas, etc.: $150/per person per day for non-members; $85/members (minimum 2 people, maximum 4).