Bear Gulch Cave

One of the most popular hikes in Pinnacles National Park

Hiking Moderate

Distance
2.3 km
Ascent
112 m
Descent
112 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
390 m
High Point
499 m
Gradient
Bear Gulch Cave Map

This easy hike to Bear Gulch Cave is one of the most popular hikes in Pinnacles National Park.

Description

The smooth, wide trail "ascends a beautiful boulder-filled gorge" to reach the talus cave, according to HikesPeak.com. Trees and vegetation along the stream bottom provide a cool, shaded hike, and the boulders are popular with climbers.

The highlight of this hike is undoubtedly the cave itself! The NPS sometimes closes the cave to protect the bats that live here, but when it's open, you'll find a series of railings and steps that will aid your descent into the cave. Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight—while "a few shafts of light slip through the boulder ceiling, other areas are pitch black," according to Hikes Peak. Bear Gulch Creek also runs through the cave, "tumbling over rocks and adding a rich sound to the dark passageway. Follow the trail up steps and across metal scaffolding to progress out of the talus cave and back into the daylight."

While you can choose to return to the car on the Bear Gulch Cave Trail, you can also turn this into a mellow lollipop loop by utilizing the Moses Spring Trail for the return trip.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area