After a straightforward hike to the lookout on North Chalone, I left my buddy behind and went to bag Middle and South Peaks. After using the turn off towards South, I stayed along the fence to grab Middle Peak. After, I followed the fence down to where I could continue directly to the South Peak along this fence or follow the more gradual trail going around the backside. I chose the trail, and once behind the peak picked a bad spot to b-line for the peak. After making it through some pretty bad brush and potential PO (turns out it wasn't) I found the fence again and only had a bit more of a bushwhack to top. At the top I found a weird cache of fresh looking gear and thought someone was actually in a bivy on the summit, turned out to just be a bag full of I don't know what. Followed the fence down and would recommend this route over mine.
The views on the hike to South Chaolone and from its brushy summit are nothing special compared to those experienced from North Chalone. Views of the southern Salinas Valley can be found farther south along the trail than the sidetrip to the summit. There was a register for those determined enough to wander upslope from the trail through mild brush to the dull summit. The spring flowers were nice.
Hiked Mt. Defiance and Chalone Peaks in Pinnacles NP.
First trip to the Pinnacles and very much enjoyed the N/S Chalone duo. Followed the fence up S Chalone and suffered only minor bushwhacking over the remaining few feet to the summit cairn. Trip Report with Jerry Kohn HERE.
First trip to the Pinnacles and very much enjoyed the N/S Chalone duo. Followed the fence up S Chalone and suffered only minor bushwhacking over the remaining few feet to the summit cairn. Trip Report .
Very limited views on the summit - but a nice day of hiking.
Did it after North Chalone.
2x on South Chalone, still nothing redeeming about this peak
S Chalone was the only trail in the Gabilan Pinnacles that I hadn't done to date, so I set aside a day to tick it off during my latest trip south of the border.
The "unmaintained" trail is, in fact, perfectly fine and there's now even a trail marker at the point just past the second gate where it takes off. It took me about an hour from there to a rock outcropping right about where the trail begins to descend to the south that provided some views, including one to the north which showed I wasn't on the highest point. It was the best place for lunch, however.
Thereafter I walked back down the trail to a point from where I reckoned would be a good place to head up to the high point and, lo and behold, there was a cairn marking the spot. Thereafter it was just five minutes to the summit cairn in its "nest" of chaparral. No views from there but not bad 10 metres north through light bush.
Any hike in the Pinnacles is enjoyable and S Chalone was no exception.
Came up from Bear Gulch area. The unmaintained portion of the trail was in better shape than I thought it might be. This is the only portion of the Pinnacles I hadn't been to. I don't think I'll go back to this peak again.
A pleasant stroll, but it's true: this is for peakbaggers or those who require extra mileage. The main section of the Pinnacles is more scenic.
I agree with the other posts, South Chalone is for peakbaggers. The trail is well-cut through the brush, but the trail is not level. We did a lot of slight sidehilling. Lots of animal feces on the trail, watch your step! Definitely a good one to get away from people. I wonder where the trail continues on to??
I agree with fedak that this peak is only for peakbaggers (which I find myself becoming -help!). I was unable to find the trailhead for the South Chalone Peak trail (stupidity on my part) so I bushwacked down the southwest face of the north peak until I ran across it. Actually, for not being maintained this trail was in excellent shape. Probably because the heat keeps anything from growing! Once in the saddle I decided to follow the fence up to the summit. It seemed to be the most direct route and I was unsure about where the main trail would lead (TOPO showed that the main trail does not go to the summit). I followed the fence to the south side of the peak to enjoy the views and then back to find the true summit. Had to bushwack a bit, but ended up finding it. I'll post coordinates and a TOPO in a route that I'll add to the main page.
Not sure this one was worth the effort. There's almost no view from the summit unless you follow the fence all the way around to the south.
Starting from the West Entrance, had a nice jog/hike up to both Chalone Peaks. The views from South Chalone are mostly obstructed by chapparal, and it's mostly of interest to peakbaggers it would seem.
A nice (hot) exploration of the two high points of South Chalone...