The second Saturday of the month, Santa Cruz Hikers will be hiking the spectacular area that is Pinnacles National Park in San Benito County.
You can expect to see wide open vistas, plenty of wildflowers, a cave, and if we are lucky, a condor or two. And don't ignore the hiking and camaraderie!
If you like, meet up for carpooling at 9:15AM, in the parking lot at Soquel Drive and 41st Ave (in Soquel). This is between Starbucks and Beverly's Fabric and Crafts. Yes, there will be a caffeine fix for those that need it! We'll be leaving promptly at 9:30Am, so don't be late!
If you prefer, you can drive directly to the Pinnacles on the west portion of Hwy 146, to the Chaparral Trailhead Parking area (at about 36.491972, -121.209669) for those of you who are tech savvy, and not the area described in the MeetUp.com description).
This is NOT the portion of 146 that intersects Highway 25 on the east end of the park. The driving portion takes around an hour and a half. We will meet up at 11:45AM in the Chaparral Trailhead Parking area.
Bring your lunch and PLENTY of water. The hike can be rather hot, depending on the weather, so stay hydrated. Lunch will be somewhere around 1:45 to 2pm, depending on consensus. So have a snack in the car if you need it.
We plan on hiking for about 5 hours, following the Balconies and High Peaks trail. This includes lunch. (These estimates are from the Pinnacles website, so I'm not sure if they are accurate).
If you'd like a shorter hike, we aren't going to ditch you on the trail...you can just hike to the Balconies Trail and return the same route, a round trip that takes roughly 2-3 hours. You avoid steep sections heading back up to the peak.
You can decide on which option you prefer, on the trail. :-)
Both options go by Balconies Cave, so bring a flashlight. Better yet, bring a headlamp so your hands are free for climbing. Please RSVP so we know who is coming. Any questions? Contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-910-2084