Pinnacles National Park is a hiker’s paradise in the daytime, but it’s equally intriguing at night. The region’s dark skies, far from city lights, ensure great stargazing, which can be enjoyed just by throwing down a blanket anywhere there’s a clear view of the night sky. On most Saturday nights, you can join a park ranger for a one-hour, 1-mile/1.6-km hike under the stars. The walk starts at the Peaks View parking lot on the park’s east side and heads to the South Wilderness trailhead and back. A similar trip is offered on full moon nights throughout the year. From spring through fall, rangers also host nighttime cave explorations—what the heck, the caves are dark anyway—as well as excursions to look for resident Townsend’s big-eared bats. Check the park’s website for a list of monthly offerings, and be sure to reserve a spot at the Pinnacles Visitor Center (events are free but limited to 25 people).
Pinnacles night programs