Hike to Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park

Hike to Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park

Bear Gulch Parking Lot

Distance

1.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

275 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Yoga, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Pinnacles National Park is home to caves, rock spires, and a small relaxing reservoir. Hike a small distance to Bear Gulch Reservoir and in the process enjoy hiking through Bear Gulch Cave!

Start the hike from the Bear Gulch Trail Parking lot.  While pulling in, the trail head is on the left.  The Trail is marked Reservoir, Caves, and High Peaks.  Continue down the trail until faced with a junction.  Make sure to admire rock formations while hiking!

At the junction take the Bear Gulch Cave Trail.  Make sure to have a flashlight or headlamp.  Bear Gulch Cave can be pretty dark in places.  If you are a rock climber there are multiple spots for climbing access throughout the trail outside the cave.  Once out of the cave the trail descends quickly to the reservoir.

Bear Gulch Reservoir can get pretty crowded during the day.  Take the time to relax and wait for the sunset.  Most people tend to start hiking back out before it starts to get dark.  Adventure around the reservoir...let the beauteous rock formations that carve out the landscape incentivize the inner artist. 

Swimming is not allowed in Bear Gulch Reservoir.  Once the crowds have died down...make sure to pause and listen for a minute, take in nature's peace.  It is possible to see The California Red Legged Frog and the Pacific Tree Frog.  Pinnacles National Park is also well known for its California Condors. Pinnacles is a release sight for these magnificent creatures!  

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

From $110/night

Enney Ranch

San Miguel, California

From $100/night

Walkabout

Santa Cruz, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Rewarding Short Hike

For how short this hike is, it's pretty rewarding. Hiking through the cave is a neat, unique aspect to this hike. Make sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight! The reservoir has some great rock climbing and beautiful views. Tip: go just before sunset to beat the crowds and watch the golden hour light dance on the rocks.

Perfect For Beginners

This trail is not long at all. It's beautiful and you go through caves depending on the season and bats. It's easy enough to take your family or for a quick hike fix.

Distance

1.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

275 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Yoga, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike the Bear Gulch-High Peaks Loop in Pinnacles National Park

Adventure

Explore Pinnacles National Park

Adventure

Hike the Old Pinnacle Trail in Pinnacles National Park

Adventure

Hike the Juniper Canyon, High Peaks, Tunnel Trail Loop in Pinnacles NP

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

backpacking

Marmot 4-season Thor 3p Tent Review

Marmot recently gave me the opportunity to test out their 4-season tent during my latest travel t...

backpacking

Winter Camping Recipe: Fire Charred Eggplant Sabich

A throw-together Mediterranean platter style meal

how-to

The National Parks Are Open, But Please Take Your Adventure Elsewhere

Some national parks are open during the government shutdown, but as visitor abuses pile up, the b...

More Stories