Illustrated Ranger Talks. On some weekend evenings, rangers give free presentations at the east entrance's campground amphitheater. The topics depend on the ranger's particular interests but always relate to the park's main stories and its geology, plants, or wildlife. Times vary, so check the Pinnacles website or the Activity Boards at the east or west entrances or the Bear Gulch Nature Center. 5000 Hwy. 146, Pinnacles National Park, California, 95043. 831/389–4486; www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/programs.htm.
Junior Ranger Program. Kids can pick up a free Junior Ranger booklet at the Bear Gulch Nature Center, Pinnacles Visitor Center, or the West Pinnacles Visitor Contact Station. Once they explore the park and complete the activities in the booklet, they'll earn a Junior Ranger Badge. 5000 Hwy. 146, Pinnacles National Park, California, 95043. 831/389–4486; www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/events.htm.
Night Hikes. Rangers occasionally lead night hikes, including ones under the full moon or to view stars or explore caves. Check the park's website to see if any hikes, which are from easy to moderate in difficulty and take between one and two hours, will coincide with your visit. Groups are limited to 20 people. To reserve a spot, drop by the Pinnacles Visitor Center or call no more than one week ahead of the hike. 5000 Hwy. 146, Paicines, California, 95043. 831/389–4486; 831/537–7220; www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/programs.htm.
Ranger-Guided Hikes and Activities. From President's Day weekend through the end of May, park rangers conduct free guided hikes, usually on the weekends. On the east side of the park, the hikes are typically to Bear Gulch Cave; on the west side, they're to the Balconies Cliffs and Caves. When you get to the park, ask a ranger about the day's opportunities or consult one of the Ranger Activity Boards outside the Pinnacles Visitor Center, the Bear Gulch Nature Center, or the West Pinnacles Visitor Contact Station. 5000 Hwy. 146, Pinnacles National Park, California, 95043. 831/389–4486; www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/programs.htm.