Balconies Cave Loop
ElevationAscent: 400' 122 m
Descent: -399' -122 m
High: 1,462' 446 m
Low: 1,199' 365 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
Popular runs nearby
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5.1 mi 8.2 km • Out and Back • 1,444 ft Ascent 440.22 m Ascent
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“A short, scenic run to explore Balconies Cave.”— Kristen Arendt
At the third small bridge crossing, however, the trail enters the Balconies area and gets close to the rock formations. The trail passes formations called the Shepherd, Hummingbird Spire, the Gameshow, and the obviously looming large, Machete Ridge. The trail ends at a junction with the Balconies Cliffs Trails and the Balconies Cave Trail after a small bridge crossing.
Take a right onto the Balconies Cave Trail. The trail begins by climbing over a large rock formation next to Machete Ridge, which sits to the east, and beneath another rock formation called Chockstone Dome. Continue through a metal gate and pass beneath a series of smaller chockstones inside of a gravel-filled cleft.
From here, continue climbing and scrambling through the cave, using your flashlight or headlamp to reveal the path. Eventually, the cave opens up near another metal gate. Pass through the metal gate and follow the small stream by scrambling over some more rocks until the trail opens up a bit before coming to a junction with Old Pinnacles Trail and the Balconies Cliffs Trails.
Take a left onto Balconies Cliffs Trails. For much of this trail, the Balconies' water streaked face looms over the trail. Other rock formations along this route include Osiris, Smiling Simian, and Toogs. Eventually, the trail will connect back to the Balconies Trail which you'll follow back to the parking lot to finish out the run.
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Land Manager: NPS - Pinnacles National Park