The plan for today was to drive down to Pinnacles and hike an 8.5 mile trail. We knew it would be tough, and we were prepared for a difficult ascent with a great payoff and easy return. Unfortunately when we got there, the main parking lots were already all full so our only options were to take a shuttle to a place that was not our trailhead, or add an extra 1.5 miles each way to get to the trailhead. We opted to walk, but the idea of an 11.5 mile hike was daunting.
It was incredibly hot and exposed the entire time which made the hike seem even harder than it was. By the time we reached the top of the difficult ascent, we were wondering if we would even be able to complete the original hike we had planned. We ended up bailing and taking a shorter route back to the shuttle drop off that we had opted out of earlier. Overall we still hiked about 7 miles, but it took us 5 hours which is unusually long for that distance. We had not accounted for how slow moving we would be with all the uphill. And as impossible as it seems, 4 out of the 5 hours were nasty uphills with only the very last hour giving us some downhill time.
We came home exhausted, but it was still a fun day.