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The Pinnacle Trail is a 7.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sylva, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.4 mi Elevation gain 2,477 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Great backwoods hike. Very steep and great views. Quite rocky so a great workout.

Easy to find.

North Carolina Div. Of Travel and Tourism, 301 N. Wilmington Street , Raleigh, NC, 27601, Phone: 919-733-4171

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (417)
Photos (547)
Recordings (301)
Completed (705)
Andrew Cole
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Hiking

Excellent. Plenty of water sources. Matthew & Claire, thank you for the trail magic!! Glad ya made it back.

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Marcel Silveira
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HikingGreat!Rocky

After finishing this hike I came on here and read some of the reviews. They’re amusing to say the least. No, it isn’t a nicely paved and well kept trail. Yes, it is quite rocky, making footing difficult. Yes, it’s straight up almost the whole time making it tough. Yes, there were a few gnats buzzing around. Suck it up and keep pushing to the top! The fantastic view that awaits you will make the effort with it. I definitely recommend this trail if you’re an avid hiker and like a good challenging hike. Enjoy!

Lia M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Took the west side loop up- relatively unforgiving as it is almost exclusively uphill for the first 2 miles. The pinnacle trail tapered off a little bit, and the peak was great but could easily be missed as the trail to the outreach was hard to spot. Fantastic views at the top made the difficult trek worth it. Ended up taking west side back again due to torrential downpour. Bug spray and extra water recommended, but worth it overall!

Jason Haskins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

didn't make it all the way up, straight up on the East trail

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Casey McClintick-Sink
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Not for the faint of heart!!! It was so steep, we had to take many breaks. The view was worth it!

Lauren White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingRocky
Emily Ayers
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Hated this trail. But it wasn’t even a trail, it is an old rocky road that is horrible! I only went .6 miles before I decided it was awful! Was not fun, do not recommend.

View Emily's Recording
Emma Coltoff
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HikingBugsRocky

The secluded, beautiful view is definitely a worthwhile payoff for a rocky, steep ascent and descent. Gnats will follow you everywhere. Would not recommend on a hot and humid day (today is July 4th lol.) Also, just before the view the trail disappears in between some trees. Make sure to find the opening...you’ll know when you reach the view.

View Emma's Recording
Geoffrey Hudik
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

Maybe that 7.4 miles is only for Pinnacle via West Fork. I took the steep East Fork hike up, came down the Pinnacle extension, and West Fork back down and Apple Watch clocked it at 9.14 miles from the parking lot and back and that took me 6 hours. East Fork up is a single track that’s quite steep and overgrown and slippery in places but it’s beautiful and a heck of a workout. West Fork was more rocky, wider, more water and flowers. The view at Pinnacle was nice but maybe a bit less impressive in person than I imagined from photos. I honestly really enjoyed all the hiking to / from as much and probably more. Bugs are bad in areas. Recommend long sleeves and pants (but light) as there’s plenty of poison ivy and brush and helps with bugs. Also trekking poles were helpful to me.

Jeff G.
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HikingRocky
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Josh McKean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 29, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Like everyone has said it is basically all uphill and then downhill. It’s not too hard but treking poles help. We went up and back on the west trail in four hours. There are bugs but mainly knats, not a big deal. The view at the top is second to none in western Carolina.

Kathryn Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
HikingBugsMuddy

Bugs bugs everywhere. All uphill. Steep downhill. East fork might be better to go up if you are going to do all of it. You get a majority of the elevation done. If you just want the view take the west fork up and back. It’s 2 mi to the left for the pinnacle trail then 1.4 from there to the view. 6.8 over all. I clocked it at 7.7 for both trails. Well marked. Trail was underwhelming. The views nice.

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Kathy Owens
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Rocky

The flowers in June, the baby waterfalls, and the view from the top make this very rocky and steep hike worth it! I consider it a moderate/strenuous hike. I'm a fit 59 and went with my 18 year old granddaughter.

Mary Chason
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky
View Mary's Recording
Ann Cho-Berardi
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HikingBugsRocky
View Ann's Recording
Taylor French
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HikingBugsRocky

Great trail with beautiful views! Very rocky in the beginning and most of the time it’s all up hill. Some small water areas along the way up if you have dogs. View at the end is worth it!

View Taylor's Recording
Brigitte Cormier-Puhl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 8, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely beautiful trail and the view at the end is just amazing!!!! All worth it! We started on the West side (recommended) and then went to the Pinnacle. We did the East side on the way down. The first part of the trail is very Rocky but not hard. It is a constant climb right up to the Pinnacle. The West side is a big wide trail whereas the East side is very overgrown at points (probably 1 mile of the descent). You can still easily see the trail and follow it but, it was a little tricky coming down at some parts. It took us a total of 4 hours + a lunch break at the Pinnacle. We wouldn't rate this trail as hard but mostly moderate. Definitely recommend!!!

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