Spelunking on the San Andreas Fault

If you are like me you have never heard of Pinnacles National Park. It is located 80 miles southeast of San Jose, California right on top of the San Andreas fault and it was created by an extinct volcano. There is a nice campsite there with a lot of hikes. It is probably most famous for it’s rock climbing.

Marisa was in Long Beach for business meetings the day we went which meant we weren’t as prepared as one might expect. Although I know there were caves I forgot to bring a flashlight. Luckily Madelyn brought one along with a first aid kit and binoculars. I constantly felt like someone was watching me and when I turned around she was watching me. Queue spooky music.

We hiked the Bear Gulch Trail and it was a great hike for our young one. Madelyn insisted on wearing flip flops and she did the full 2 miles on her own. The hike was great because of the diversity of landscapes. We started in the forest.

Next we moved on to some Talus caves. For those of you that aren’t speleologists, Talus caves are made up of a series of boulders that have fallen on top of each other to form caves.

Madelyn is doing an impression of what I looked like while I worried about spelunking caves that sit right on top of the San Andreas fault. Maybe there is a reason I haven’t heard of Pinnacles. No one lives to tell the tale.

There were a lot of waterfalls inside the caves. We wouldn’t have made it through without a flashlight.

After the caves we climbed some stairs and reached a higher elevation that looks a lot more like a desert environment than the earlier forest.

There was a nice reservoir.

I couldn’t get any great shots of the pinnacles as there was a lot of shadows in the late afternoon.

Madelyn got her Junior Ranger certificate and we actually survived without any cave-ins. What a great day.


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