Bacon Road Trail
ElevationAscent: 114' 35 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 1,191' 363 m
Low: 1,076' 328 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)
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“An easy trail that passes the old Bacon Ranch and Butterfield Farm and ends at the park boundary along Highway 25.”— David Hitchcock
In the springtime, Pinnacles can be very busy, especially on the weekends. Get there early to get a parking spot and beat the crowds.
Park in the day-use parking area behind the visitor center and run along the dirt and gravel road past some solar panels. The road turns to the right and crosses a wooden bridge that spans a dry creek bed. The Bacon Ranch comes into view at this point. There is an old ranch house, barn, and blacksmith shop along with interpretive signs that provide you insight on the Bacon family that lived here from 1865 until 1941. If you have had enough, or your kids are over the run, feel free to return to the visitor center. For those wanting to continue exploring the bottomlands, turn to the right and continue to follow the road. The road follows the dry creek for a little ways before the road emerges into the open fields of the bottomlands. At 0.75 miles, a spur road leads off to the right and provides a unique view of the High Peaks and Bear Gulch area before coming to private property.
Continuing straight ahead, the road comes to an old barn at 1.25 miles where the National Park Service boards a couple of horses and mules that they use in the park. This is the old Butterfield Homestead, where all that seems to remain is the old barn. After visiting with the horses and mules, the road continues past an old windmill and makes its way toward Highway 25 and the park boundary. The road crosses a cattle grate and ends at the road. From here, you could run down Highway 25 to the East Entrance and follow that back for a loop, although most people opt to turn around and return via the path that they traveled.
This trail provides a very different perspective on the area compared to the other trails in the park. This trail is the only trail in the park that is open to dogs, although they must be leashed. Bicycles are also allowed on this trail as it follows the old road. Due to its lack of use, you also have a better opportunity of seeing wildlife compared to the more heavily traveled trails. While it doesn't have the sweeping views found in other areas of the park, the Bacon Road Trail provides you a glimpse of what it was like to live in this area in the early 20th century.
Flowers can be seen in the spring blooming along the trail, and Valley Oaks can be seen growing in the fields.
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Land Manager: NPS - Pinnacles National Park