Pinnacle Trail

HARD 369 reviews

Pinnacle Trail is a 3.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kings Mountain, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
767 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

This one will make you feel the burn! This is the one of two peaks located in Crowders Mountain State Park.The trail offers many mountain laurels, birds and other wildlife. The last 1/3 of the hike is a steep climb with many rocks on the trail and requires climbing a short rock wall to get the best views of the countryside. Be sure and fill your water bottles at the Park Office and grab a map!

rock climbing
6 days ago

Beautiful hike. Somewhat easy until you get near the top then it gets a bit strenuous. Great payoff.

hiking
14 days ago

Challenging and rewarding

trail running
14 days ago

Love this trail and extended it to ranger station so was almost 15 miles for out and back

15 days ago

nice easy/mod hike. when you get to the sign that says 'stop' make a left and keep going. Circle around to some amazing views, minor rock hopping and just keep going up to more views.

hiking
27 days ago

It’s challenging with a great reward

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome views and easy maintained trails.

hiking
1 month ago

great trail but decently strenuous towards the top. Beautiful view at the top! Well worth the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

this trail will give you a workout

trail running
1 month ago

I blend trail running and trekking on the various Crowders trails. This one is a bit more “rooty” and rocky than say Tower or Backside. When running Pinnacle I typically hit Ridgeline to get away from the crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

I was excited but nervous about taking on this trail. I am pretty out of shape (aerobically speaking) and have patellas (kneecaps) that are prone to subluxation/dislocation, so reading about the steepness and rocky nature of the trail concerned me.
I started out from the Visitor Center around 9:30 on a weekday, there were others coming and going but sparse enough to have my own time and space on the trail. I was very slow and deliberate on the way up for the reasons mentioned above. The entire trail goes through woods, which helps with the sun. The trail is a steady but very gradual incline at the beginning. About halfway up the trail goes through a few areas of large rocks and boulders, requiring a little scrambling but nothing too bad. Towards the last half mile the trail starts a steep ascent which is quite demanding. Being out of shape I stopped to take several breaks, but was able to make it up without too much trouble. There’s only one bench up in this area but there are several large rocks that make for natural resting places. The trail technically ends before the Pinnacle summit, at a rock wall and a sign that warns that others have been seriously injured and killed beyond this point. The rock wall is not too difficult to navigate, just take your time and look for proper footing.
At the top of the rock wall (a short stretch, not large at all) is the first main viewing area. This is a rather large space with lots of rock facings that overlook the landscape to the west of the park (towards the foothills). As I was snacking, half a dozen hawks were circling the area which was pretty neat. Many people seemed content with reaching this area and turned around here, however a trail continues past this viewing area, meandering around rocks and various outcroppings which provide dozens of little areas to snap photos and get views of other side of the mountain. The Charlotte skyline was barely visible with the naked eye on a partly cloudy day, and my phone’s camera was not able to capture it. Continuing along this trail for another tenth of a mile will get you to the actual summit of the Pinnacle area, designated by a pole. There are lots of areas to explore near the top and I really enjoyed this part, though it required a lot of scrambling around boulders. The wind is pretty significant near the top as well but I didn’t find it to be dangerous with proper stance and footing.
After I had my fill of the top, I returned down the summit on the original trail. I did opt to take the Turnback Trail halfway down just for exploration and a change of scenery, and was glad I did because I was starting to feel the effects of the climb and the downhill muscle use and this trail avoided crossing rock beds and was fairly easy. This trail returns to the Visitor Center.
I hiked the area on a warm March day, which I think is a superb time to do so as the weather is nice but the trees have not filled out yet, so views are much better.
I am really glad I ended up attempting the hike, I found that with patience and careful attention to my footing my knees fared pretty well. Well worth it in my opinion!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a good trail, but I wouldn't call it "lightly trafficked." Not on a weekend, anyway.

2 months ago

Great views at the top!

hiking
2 months ago

The bride and I made this hike, it was her first hike. she enjoyed it. weather was great and the view was awesome. will be back for another round for sure.

2 months ago

Great hike with a better view! You can even see Charlotte from the top.

3 months ago

Good hike, a little challenging towards the end but well worth it. Great views!

3 months ago

Nice trail.....easy to moderate. Nice views.The last 1/4 mile gets a bit harder, but worth the effort to push forward to the top. Met some very nice people along the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Have hiked this trail many times alone and with my grandchildren. Last section is fairly steep and rough terrain. Just have to watch your step. Great areas at the top to do some basic bouldering. Trails leading off the back side take you to Kings Mtn which is a really good hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. I took the Turnback Trail from the parking lot which intersects with the Pinnacle Trail. The last .2 miles of the Pinnacle Trail is pretty steep but the rest is straightforward. The views are great. Rolling woodland to the South and East and a nice view of South Mountains State Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the North and West. Also, the Ridge Line Trail intersects Pinnacle near the top. It's a bit easier and makes for a nice walk through the woods.

hiking
3 months ago

Just over four miles. Isn’t a bad climb, a nice relaxing hike to some great views. Highly recommend if your looking for a few hours to hike and relax.

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

Somewhat strenuous but worth the view at the top

hiking
4 months ago

I’m a rather experienced hiker with a few 14’ers under my belt, despite living in IN, not CO. I am in decent, but FAR from excellent condition currently, and this wasn’t a great challenge. The last .2 miles is rather steep, and you need to keep your eyes on the ground to avoid stepping on roots and rocks.

Based on the reviews here, I figured it would be a bit more demanding, but it’s a really nice 4-mile training hike that is accessible to even beginning hikers. For someone more deconditioned, the last section is still achievable - it just may require a rest break or two along the way (and there’s ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with that). The rock wall at the end isn’t bad at all either. Do make sure to get up that for the view though. I’m not at all talented when it comes to bouldering, so if I can do it comfortably, so can many others.

4 months ago

It's awesome for getting some off road miles in.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. one of the only tough hikes pretty close to Charlotte. other hikes in this park are as good or better.

hiking
5 months ago

Last half mile is a bit tough, but worth the view at the top

hiking
5 months ago

Went in July with my extended family. We are all pretty active and didn’t struggle much on this trail. The last half mile seems to be vertical and vey rough on the body however the views at the top are worth every strenuous step up the last bit. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of people out there. Crowders is very well known and because of that most weekends is very busy.

5 months ago

Great, fun......perfect hike.

hiking
6 months ago

This is probably the most strenuous trail in the park, but still not too difficult. View at the top is the nicest within the entire park. 360 views. Good view of the Appalachians in the distance on a clear day. Sweet view south at the smaller peaks of the Crowders ridgeline descending into Kings Mtn State Park.

6 months ago

Harder than anticipated but amazing!!!!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this trail on a Saturday in mid-November. The place was packed. Trail started off wide enough to walk side by side, but soon became rocky (large rocks in the trail that you had to step on,over,between.Passed a little guy (maybe 4 years old)that had tripped over one of the rocks and got scraped up. The upper third of the trail becomes steep and strenuous as you approach the pinnacle. But the view from the top is fantastic. On the way back down, we detoured onto the Turnback Trail, which as fewer rocks and makes for a very enjoyable return trip to the parking lot.

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