Hiking, caving and climbing can be a lot of fun at Pinnacles; however, you are a long way from medical assistance, so please plan ahead. Wear sturdy shoes; carry water and a flashlight. Remember the sun and heat...snakes and poison oak...know your rock climbing and hiking limitations...and have a safe, good time. Safety first, last, and always!!!
Hiking in Hot Weather
Poison oak can be a shrub, vine, or even a small tree. Its leaves can be red, green, or any color in between. The leaves sometimes have a waxy coating, but this is not always apparent.
The best way to identify poison oak is by the way its leaves are arranged in groups of three. Remember: leaves of three, let it be!
Touching the plant will cause a burning sensation with all leaf hairs sticking to the skin. Fortunately, the stinging sensation will disappear within an hour or two, unlike poison oak, which lasts for days or even weeks.
If you see a rattlesnake while hiking, treat it as you would any other wild animal. Give it plenty of room and make sure that it has a way to move safely away from you.
Rattlesnake bites are extremely uncommon at Pinnacles. If you do get bitten, seek medical attention from park staff immediately. Please remember that rattlesnakes are protected in the Park.
For information about safety, check with a ranger at the Pinnacles Visitor Center or Bear Gulch Nature Center on the east side of the Park or at the Chaparral Ranger Station on the west side. Additional information may be obtained by calling (831) 389-4485.
Last updated: January 4, 2023