Cycling Pinaccles National Park West
Ride 7.2 miles gaining 1,890’ at 4.5% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM contributor Dan Razum, Campbell, CA.
We begin at the intersection of highway 146 and Metz Road. Highway 146 is a short highway which starts in the nearby small town of Soledad and ends at Pinnacles National Park.
The road is in good condition and quite smooth. It starts out as 2 lanes but then narrows down to basically one lane after a couple of miles.
Narrow road with no shoulder - but this is a safe climb.
Since the road dead ends at Pinnacles National Park, there is minimal traffic so the climb felt safe. There are many traffic signs along the road indicating turns and sharp curves, it looks as if they want to make sure motorists don't drive too fast along the narrow road.
The climb starts with a gentle grade and after about 3 miles there is a steep section that lasts for a mile. At the top of this steep section we see the first view of the Pinnacle rocks in the distance.
First sighting of Pinnacles.
We then have some short downhill sections and some more moderate climbing before arriving at the entrance gate to the park. During the Covid-19 pandemic there are no fees collected for any vehicles but normally there is a $15 fee for bicycles. The peak of the climb is a short distance past the entrance gate.
Unfortunately, the Pinnacle rocks are not at the top of the climb so if you want to hike in the rocks you will need to ride a couple of miles further to the parking area. It isn't too far but it is 600 feet lower so there will be some climbing on the way back (with a couple of steep sections). The parking area has water and restrooms.
High Peaks Trail, Pinnacles National Park
This is a strenuous but wonderful climb.