Pinnacles National Park Near SF Bay Area

By Rachel Puryear

Live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or visit sometimes? Want to get away to a place that feels away from everything, even when you don’t have a lot of time to travel?

Check out the Pinnacles! Situated near Hollister, California, it’s just about an hour and a half from San Jose – making it the closest National Park to the Bay Area.

Pinnacles National Park, mountain vista. By Ben Guernsey.

There’s plenty of scenic hiking, a serene lake, and it’s a great place for bird watching – including the mighty condors!

If you get there early in the morning, especially during the cooler months, you might catch it shrouded in mist. This is an especially beautiful and peaceful time to see the park – well worth getting up early for. Plus, there’s much less traffic and fewer people.

Pinnacles National Park, rock formations covered in green trees, and covered in mist. By Prasad Joshi.

Although the park makes for a great day or camping trip year round, many people find it most comfortable to visit there during the Fall or Spring – due to high daytime temperatures there during the Summer. So now’s a great time to start planning a Fall trip!

If you do camp there, it’s an excellent place for night sky watching (on a clear night), too!

Pinnacles National Park, night sky view. By Caleb Woods.

See more about visiting the park here.


Did you know what items people forget most often when they’re going camping? Here’s a quick reminder, with links in case you need to pick these up before you go:


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to awesome National Parks.

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