Craggy Pinnacle Trail is a 0.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Barnardsville, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Craggy Pinnacle Trail is one of the most beautiful trails to hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway when the Rhododendrons are blooming forming a canopy of magenta and purple color against the greenery and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Your trail hike starts in the parking lot. Then continue to the upper parking lot where you will see the parkway sign "Craggy Dome" the trail head is just on the other side indicated by a sign. The first part of the trail is covered by color as the plants create a canopy in which you walk under on the trail. The first part of the journey is a gradual climb; then you reach a bend and a nice elevated rock with a view. The trail then leans more upward until it reaches a fork to the right where there is a plateau and many scenic overlooks. As you loop back around the trail with a sign states left to the upper lookout and right to the lower lookout. The lower lookout just allows you to see the visitor center and the mountains in the distance about a 180 degree view. If you want to feel like you are on top of the world take the upper lookout trail until you reach the rock wall with stairs. As you emerge from the stairs you will see a 360 degree lookout with a beautiful scenic landscape of the Blue Ridge mountains, the Asheville watershed lake, and more. What goes up must come down as the walk down the mountain trail is a lot more easier than going up.
Super crowded. But good family hike with great photos at top
A short hike to a wonderful 360 degree lookout of the surrounding peaks (including Mt. Mitchell) from approximately 250 feet above the Blue Ridge Parkway. Don't miss the second lookout just below the summit. If you don't mind braving the crowds, early to mid-June is the time to see the trail in its full rhododendron splendor. We were lucky to see it on a glorious and unusually chilly and frosty May morning...the same morning as Bill Watson per his review and our identical tracks! I'm sorry we missed you! After finishing, drive over to the visitor center where you can add the Craggy Gardens hike that starts on the far side of the parking area.
Great views at the top - easy hike with dog
Narrow trail with good incline. Trail is popular so lots of shifting to accommodate different paces. Beautiful views at the top!
Beautiful drive up! Amazing views once the storm passed. If the couple that got engaged on Fri. July 15 @ the top could send a text to me(hoping you still have my #) I have one more picture and its pretty cool. I caught you asking and her expression.
Watched the sunrise !!!! Breathtaking :)
Beautiful hike! The trail was pretty easy and well marked, but the view was definitely worth the short out and back. Go at sunset, or when the flowers are blooming (June/July) for the best views.
Great views!!!! - short hike... Wish it was a little longer but a great stop to make!
With a wind chill below freezing on a crystal clear mid-May morning, a quick jaunt up the steady gently upward slope to Craggy Pinnacle was just what I needed to stay warm. This short mile-high hike offers huge rewards with some of the best mountain views anywhere. Only 1.4-miles roundtrip to the top of the 5,892-foot summit at Craggy Gardens, this was a special day, as the rhododendron leaves were covered in a white frosting from the cold weather the night before. At the top the 360 degree view was spectacular and I stopped at both the upper and lower overlooks. Located on the BRP at Milepost 364.4, it's a great spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. Hopefully the Catawba rhododendron wasn't harmed by the frost.
At the summit you can see Mount Mitchell to the north and look over the Craggy Gardens parking lot and the Burnett Reservoir formed by the Swannanoa North Fork River to the south. Don't miss this easy hike to fantastic views.
Easy and enjoyable hike! Great views.
Sky high views!!!
Great views and beautiful gnarly trees, interesting rock formations, and lovely varied plant life.
I really liked this hike. It had a awesome view. We skipped the lower view and went to the top which I am glad because a couple hikers said they encountered a bear on the lower view. I talked to a park ranger later that day and she said this is a highly popularity area for bears. Thankful I didn't know this before because I may have missed some beautiful scenery. The hike was moderate but if I was in shape I would say easy. We only saw 3 people on the way up to top. It has some beautiful trees trail is very well maintained. It has a place you can sit and rest or eat lunch at the top. For nice trail!
A lovely trail for walking. Short and easy. Amazing view at the top!
As a local, this is a year-round favorite. In June, there are explosions of pink catawba rhododendrons and fall color kisses the mountains at this elevation sooner than lower elevations closer to Asheville. In summer, it feels like you are walking through gnarled archways of lovely rhododendrons and in fall through vibrant colors of leaves. This is a beautiful place for a midnight, full moon hike. I suggest grabbing your camera and a picnic and enjoying the views. The only draw back is its popularity. Try mid-week for more seclusion.