- Mandatory Machete Climbing Closure
(posted: Feb 03, 2018)
The southern portion of the Machete Ridge rock formation and access trails are closed to all climbing and off-trail hiking.
Chalone Creek Area Construction
posted: November 15, 2002
The Chalone Creek Picnic Area is currently closed due to construction. There are no facilities or parking in that area. Visitors to the East Side of the park can go to the Bear Gulch Visitor Center area for parking, water, restrooms, and access to trailheads. Services are also available at the Chaparral Ranger Station area on the West Side of the park.
If you'd like to visit the Balconies Cave, you will probably want to enter through the west side of the monument. It is a two-mile round trip loop to the cave from the Chaparral parking area. Stop at the ranger station for trail information and cave conditions.
It is still possible to visit the Balconies Cave from the east side of the park, but the hike is much longer. The Old Pinnacles Trail is open, and can be reached from either the Bear Gulch or Bench Trails. It is an 8.1 mile round-trip loop from the Bear Gulch Visitor Center parking area on the east side.
If you plan to stay at the campground on the east side, you can hike to the Balconies Cave from your campsite. From the east walk-in entrance, it is an 8.7 mile round-trip loop.
As always, please bring a flashlight and plenty of drinking water if you plan to visit the cave, and keep in mind that there may be seasonal closures due to high water. For additional information, call the Bear Gulch Visitor Center at (831) 389-4485 ext. 0.
For updated information about trailheads and hikes in the park, visit the Park's Trail Information Page.