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Old 11-12-2013, 12:14 AM   #43
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Maybe I missed it, but does anyone know what the difficulty level is of the 6-mile hike? Are dogs allowed on the trail?
On the lower part of the trail, there is apparently a loop that goes to a reservoir that's supposed to be a great family walk, moderate difficulty.

The High Peaks trail looks to be much steeper, having metal handrails and, in some places, steps cut into the rock. Google "high peaks trail pinnacles" for sites with pictures of the trail. The short loop is a couple of miles, the long loop over the high parts looks to be about 6 miles.

Dogs are not allowed on the trails.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:34 AM   #44
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I put a condor in the rally poster just cause they're sooooo awesome. Janet gave great advice about letter visibility that made the design actually work.

I'm bringing my long lens and hoping for the best. Now I have to get in shape so that I can do that steep hike with the long lens for the condors and the tripod for some long exposure bat pictures. Huff...puff...huff...puff...
Great rally poster, Barbie!!!

I think the NPS closes off the caves when the bats are present....to protect the bats. As far as the condors go, I will be happy just to SEE one, so I will have my spotting scope along. Mornings and evenings, they are sometimes visible from the campground....not when we were there in May, though.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #45
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Great rally poster, Barbie!!!

I think the NPS closes off the caves when the bats are present....to protect the bats.
It looks like half the cave is open most of the year. I'm hoping that I can spot a bat and take a flashless, long exposure picture. If there are no bats, I can take some interesting long exposure cave pictures without bats.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #46
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Were in! We reserved site 102. I was just there a couple weeks ago and it was beautiful, but very dry. Campfire restrictions were in effect, but shouldn't be a problem in February provided we get some rain by then! As far as water, there are threadless water bibs throughout the camp, but I can't recall seeing an RV fill. Bring your water thief if you have one! I filled my tank before I left home.

The Pinnacles Campground has a Facebook page with photos of the individual sites. These were taken a couple years ago so there have been a few changes since then, but it will give you an idea of what they look like. They also just paved many of the interior roads in the campground too, but the sites are still gravel and the back part of loop D along sites 84-106 is still unpaved. These back sites are also closer to the main road into the Park. Here is a link...
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1172623&type=1

I have a few photos from a couple weeks ago I will post too.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #47
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Here are some pics from a couple weeks ago. There are some of the D loop at the campground and some of the trails, caves and reservoir. If we get a lot of rain, they will close off the caves as they flood.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #48
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One of my sons was an avid rock climber in his younger years and has climbed at Pinnacles. I sent him a link to the Condor Gulch Loop of the High Peaks Trail:

High Peaks Trail | Pinnacles National Park | Hikespeak.com

and asked him if he thought his Mom and I could do it. He was kind, but he basically said not unless you start training now. We've walked a few miles a day for a few days and will start stretching it out. Fortunately we live in a great hiking area.

The elevation gain/loss is what makes it challenging.

Really looking forward to our first rally. It's at the beginning of a 4 month trek that will take us to 7 National Parks - with a lot of hiking!

Poppy
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by webspinner View Post

It looks like half the cave is open most of the year. I'm hoping that I can spot a bat and take a flashless, long exposure picture. If there are no bats, I can take some interesting long exposure cave pictures without bats.
Which cave? Balconies Cave? I have the Pinnacles "Checklist of Amphibians, Reptiles, and Mammals," and there are 16 species of bats known from (7) or suspected to occur in (9) Pinnacles! We should see if we can find out where we might watch bats emerge for their evening meal. Of course, this is also the time of day that the California Condors fly in to roost....not to mention that is also Either the cocktail hour or mealtime for us humans!
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #50
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Really looking forward to our first rally. It's at the beginning of a 4 month trek that will take us to 7 National Parks - with a lot of hiking!

Poppy
Now, THAT sounds like a fun vacation! Are all of the National Parks in California?

Cheers, Dee
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #51
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Dee...

Going to visit: Pinnacles, Sequoia, Death Valley, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon and a number of state parks. Stoked!

The hiking at Pinnacles should either kill us or get us in shape.

Poppy
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #52
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The list looks like 16 and growing
I've said this before, post your own rally and they will come!
We're all in for a great time
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #53
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Dee...

Going to visit: Pinnacles, Sequoia, Death Valley, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon and a number of state parks. Stoked!

The hiking at Pinnacles should either kill us or get us in shape.

Poppy
Looks like a fun trip! Several of those parks are on my list of places I would like to visit. The only advice I can give is that you DO NOT want to visit Death Valley during May, unless you enjoy temps well over 100 degrees. You would be rubbing elbows with Europeans who actually schedule their trips there for mid-summer in order to experience the extremes heat!

We will make sure you don't kill yourselves on the trails. There are several trails that are listed as "moderate" on the park brochure. Hiking at Pinnacles is very much like hiking in the desert during the same time of year, so it will be a gradual acclimation for you....hopefully!
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:07 PM   #54
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The list looks like 16 and growing
I've said this before, post your own rally and they will come!
We're all in for a great time
After reading this, I went and checked Recreation.gov.....and, D Loop has 24 sites reserved! My guess is that there will be a sea of silver there that week-end! From what I have seen, most people that camp there don't bother reserving a camp site, unless they have special needs (large RV or they want a specific site).
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #55
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Bobbie and I are in. I just reserved site # 90 arriving on the 21, leaving the 24th.

We were there two years ago in March and the new electric sites are pretty nice, relatively large, level, etc. Bring lots of propane, it was really cold when we were there. The old visitor center is really cool. Interesting geological note: the eastern half of the park is somewhere in southern California. I think thanks to the inexorable movement of our San Andreas fault ...

See you there!

Paul
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:04 PM   #56
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After reading this, I went and checked Recreation.gov.....and, D Loop has 24 sites reserved! My guess is that there will be a sea of silver there that week-end!
I was curious as to how much of D Loop we have filled. Six of the reserved spots are not accounted for in this thread. So if you've reserved a site for the rally but haven't listed in in the thread or on the rally calendar, post it one place or the other or both and I'll put up a graphic.
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