Pinnacle Mountain Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pickens, SC that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Strenuous hike to summit of Pinnacle Mountain. Small waterfalls. Good overlook. The trailhead is just beyond the Nature Center at the edge of the parking lot. Be sure and fill out the self-service trail registration at the trailhead. The first 0.2 miles is a relatively flat, paved path that parallels a creek. Small cascades and pools are easily accessible from the trail. After the pavement ends, follow the trail signs for the Pinnacle Mtn. trail. The trail is in fair shape most of the way. There is significant erosion in a few places and parts of the trail can be quite muddy. At about the 2.5 mile mark is the Bald Rock Overlook where you can look back towards Table Rock Mtn. The summit is marked by a sign and a pile of rocks but you're in the middle of a forest with no view. Return the way you came or continue on the Ridge Trail that connects the Pinnacle Mountain and Table Rock trails.
Fantastic hike with a great view. I will probably do the loop from pinnacle to table rock on my next visit.
Tough, tough climb. It's a manageable/moderate trail until the last little climb to Bald Knob, which is a tough, technical climb. That part of the trail is highly eroded, so there are lots of roots and rocks in addition to a relatively steep ascent. The most difficult part, by far, is the ascent from Bald Knob to the summit. Like noted in another review, it's almost straight up, few switchbacks. Not all of that ascent is difficult, though - some of it is crazy easy. But the hard parts are very steep and technical. It didn't help that it was in the low to mid 90s when we hiked it! Not a lot of breeze up there! But the accomplishment of making it to the summit (which, btw, had lots of pretty wild flowers on the trail) and the views from Bald Knob, combined with the lack of crowds compared to the Table Rock trail, made it worthwhile. Bring plenty of water and be prepared for a workout! My Strava clocked it at 8 miles exactly, from the office to the summit and back. Took us about 6 hours, but that's with lengthy stops at Bald Knob for snacks and the view.
This trail is strenuous . Contrary to the 7.2 miles out and back in the trail description, the trail is actually 8.4 miles. The hike to Bald Knob (apprx. 3.6 m. [thus the 7.2 mi. hike]) is what makes the hike worthwhile, the views are spectacular. The trail to Pinnacle Mountain summit is about .8 mi. and practically straight steep uphill, very few switchbacks to lessen the grade, scaled it because it was there, but there are no views at the top.
Very good hike. Terrain varies throughout the trail. There are smooth trail sections and other sections are rocky. It is about 3.5 miles up to Brass Knob Overlook. The ranger told us Brass Knob is a better place to stop because the hike continuing to the pinnacle is quite steep and rocky and there isn't a view. There is a beautiful view from this lookout.
On the descent, you could retrace your steps down on the same path to complete the 7/7.2 mile hike OR you can descend about half a mile, turn left at the Mill Creek Pass trail and follow it for about half a mile. That will connect you to the Ridge Trail, which is a smoother, less rocky descent than the Pinnacle trail but is a bit longer. The Ridge trail connects to the Table Rock trail and you can follow it back to the parking lot.
So, you can hike the Pinnacle up and down for a 7.2 mile hike, or go up the Pinnacle, and then follow the Mill Creek-Ridge-Table Rock trails on the descent for a 9.3 mile hike. The longer hike took about five hours with a half hour stop at the overlook at Brass Knob.
The hike is mostly shaded and is a good workout heading up.
It was wonderful! Definitely want to do this again in the Fall!
This trail was rough for an overweight almost 50 male on a 95 degree day. My wife tried to quit before we were a 1/2 mile in but she came back and actually beat me up the mountain. We made it up to Bald Knob and had lunch then headed back down.
There seemed to be alot of 20ish people on the trail with a few of them running it.
We saw a few kids there too.
The view was amazing.
I took the Pinnacle trail up to the summit, stoping at Bald head knob for a rest and to take in the views. The last .4 mile to the summit was very steep and didn't seem to be travel on very often. I didn't see another person on the trail until almost reaching the summit and turning onto the Ridge Trail.
From the summit I took the Ridge Trail which was nice after the climb to Pinnacle. The Ridge trail connects to the Table Rock trail which has more hikers than most of the other trails in the park. I took a nice break once I reached Governors rock before heading to the Summit. With the temps in the low 90's I decided to head backdown the Table Rock trail for the day. In total I hiked a little over 12 miles and saw some great views. I liked the views from Pinnacle the most but it could have been because I was the only one on this side of the mountain. The only mistake I made was not taking enough to snack on throughout the day, by the time I got back to the car I was toast.
Awesome hike. This strenuous yellow-blazed climb from the Table Rock Nature Center will not disappoint. Not nearly as crowded as the Table Rock Trail, it gives you some really great views and several easy creek crossings amid hardwoods and rhododendron along the way. Joined with the white blazed Foothills Trail, you go by a small waterfall and a giant rock ledge. You come to a 0.4 mile spur trail that leads to Mill Creek Falls, which is not in very good shape. We either got off trail at this point or the trail was in much need of maintenance. Continue climbing towards Bald Knob Overlook and spectacular views of Table Rock – this is a great place for a rest and snacks. At 4 miles, the Foothills Trail takes a sharp left; continue straight up a steep hill and you’ll reach the top of Pinnacle Mountain. You can return the way you came – a very slippery trail going down, or take the easier Ridge Trail to the Table Rock Trail. We combined the three trails to make a great day of it.
First three miles were easy, gradually sloping upwards. Grade increased closer to Bald Knob. Bald Knob around 3.7mi, amazing views all around and of Table Rock(Governors Rock?). Ascent to summit was very steep, pace slowed down. Went down via Ridge Trail and Mill Creek Bypass trails returning to Pinnacle Trail. Very fun descent, could have easily jogged in it half the time.
8mile 2500 ft climb (3425’ elevation)
Pinnacle Mountain Summit Hike
Ascent: 2:45 Descent: 1:30.
To Bald Knob 2:00
Trail head from Table Rock Nature Center
Great hike. My first one in South Carolina. It did rain hard all day so the view from the knob was tough to see until it started clearing on my way back down the summit. Get ready for a climb on that last mile.
I really liked the trail.
I did this with light rain, finding Bald Knob to be pretty tenacious as it was pretty slippery.
Up until this point, the hike is relatively easy.
Summitting Pinnacle Mountain however is a challenging task. There is a lot of loose rocks and is a very steep ascent. I found it rewarding to make the climb.
Great hike. Amazing lookout up top. Changing terrain. Well worth the trip and effort.
Great moderately difficult trail. I would recommend just hiking to Bald Knob since there is really new view past that. Bald Knob is spectacular and a great place to sit and have lunch while enjoying the views. Your knees and butt will hurt a bit the next day- but that's kind of the point right? It is worth mentioning that I did this hike with people of various ages. Two of our older hikers did not make it all the way as the uphill climb became too much. Make sure you are in fairly decent shape or go slowly!