Four Points Bulletin

Travels north, east, south, and west of our Oceanside home base.

Juniper Canyon trail head is located at the west entrance of Pinnacles National Park, beginning at the same parking lot as Balconies Cliffs trail head (which we hiked yesterday). The trail is rated as difficult due to the seemingly everlasting switchbacks and the 1,200 foot elevation gain. There is a loop at the top but it is not passable with a child carrier (there are steep stairs and scrambling through small openings). Instead we did the left side of the loop, walked through the tunnel, and found a perfect place to do some snacking, rehydrating and bird watching. At our elevation, we were able to watch condors and turkey vultures from below and from above. At one point, a condor soared about ten feet from us, at eye level. It was as if it was in slow motion. We could see all of the detail in its distinct face. I think we were so enamored and shocked to have a condor so close, we didn’t think to take a picture fast enough. Either way, it was a Father’s Day miracle. It was incredible to be amongst the pinnacles instead of admiring them from afar. We hiked just under three miles, and by the time we returned to the car three and a half hours later, it was over one hundred degrees again. We later learned that the ranger was surprised there are any condors to observe in this heat wave. He said they usually fly to the beach to enjoy some cooler weather. Condors are smart. And gracefully mobile.

6 thoughts on “Juniper Canyon Trail, Pinnacles National Park

  1. Denise says:

    Breathtaking photos. Fabulous Father’s Day miracle. Fun little family… you have it all my friend! Thank you for sharing with me. I’m so along for your amazing ride.

    1. Thank you!

  2. temeculan says:

    This is such a wonderful and amazing trip for the three of you and the rest of us vicariously. I so love your photos and commentary.
    They are very interesting and educational as well.

    1. Thank you! It’s been a great start to a long trip!

  3. Bob Shetland says:

    As always, great shots! And what a beautiful family!

    1. Why thank you!

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