Memorial Day Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $14.99
Get Started

The Pinnacle Trail

HARD 145 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

The Pinnacle Trail is a 7.4 mile moderately 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.

DISTANCE
7.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,477 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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

19 hours ago

Good hike well worth the view at the summit! Hiked with 2 kids and they did great! It does have steep climbs and can be heavy traffic at times!

hiking
19 days ago

West fork is rather utilitarian-rocky and pretty much straight up or straight down (depending on your direction). East fork is beautiful. Steep single track with lush forest

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Tough trail but we were able to do it in about 5 hours. We went up with our 12 year old and 8 year old and we all survived... the view was definitely worth it!

muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Came start of spring and the weather was amazing! I hiked with a group of 10 high schoolers with little to no experience in hiking (not recommended to bring so many people, but doable and fun). We took the east fork up, reached the pinnacle, then came down via the west fork. The east fork is longer and a more intense climb which really pushed our calves. Definitely be prepared to keep on going. The hike to the pinnacle at the junction between the pinnacle trail, east and west fork is relatively flat so it gets better. Since we had such a big group, all of us had our different paces and we took many breaks. I think anyone can do the trail, it just takes endurance and commitment. The first mile and a half of the hike is probably the most difficult because of the intense incline!! Also the descent down on the west fork is pretty tough on your feet and knees because of all the rocks. The view at the pinnacle is definitely worth it and you will be glad you kept strong all the way. Bring food to eat and take nice pictures at the pinnacle. I hope I can come back in the future with a group of 2/3 to hike the mountain. It’s definitely a great cardio workout.

hiking
2 months ago

Tough! This one takes endurance. From start to the Pinnacle/Blackrock marker is a 2.5 incline. The 1.4 mile trek is a breeze. The view is breathtaking and worth the climb. Coming down was the hardest part, an obstacle course of fallen trees, loose rock, washed out trail. Each step was painful. Glad I did it for the workout and Pinnacle view. Be sure to stretch before and after.

hiking
2 months ago

Super hard but the view is worth it. Hubby and I each had a 30 pound child on our back and a 6 year old and 9 year old walked most of it. At one point the Six year old was also on my Hubbys back

hiking
4 months ago

Strenuous hike with an excellent pay off!

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty winter hike. Trees and shrubs at higher elevations were dusted with ice crystals. As others have said, the trail is quite steep and rocky for a little over two miles. After the turn to the Pinnacle the trail gets much easier and your legs get a nice break. Great views at the Pinnacle - be sure to follow the small trail through the underbrush to reach the Pinnacle at the very end. I had a Raven circling right over my head at the top, calling. The steep downhill on the way back takes a toll on your legs. I’d recommend extending trekking poles on the way back. If you’re finishing in the dark, like I did, be sure and take a headlamp. The rocks on the trail look like they’d make great ankle-turners.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a tough trail due to the incline going up. Lots of nice openings where you catch a glimpse of small town Sylva. Once you get to the “top” where you break off and go toward the pinnacle (1.4miles I believe) it’s cake. Every drop of sweat was worth it when you walk out of the clearing for the view. It was amazing. Brought my jet boil and had some lunch and tea and made my way down. It was cold (35) but that was nice while hiking up. Definitely doing it again in the spring!

hiking
4 months ago

The trail map and this app says the trail one way up the west fork to the top is 3.5 miles. My gps logged that it is almost 5 miles to the top. We had a hard time ascending to the top partially due to half way up past the first camp site the whole trail was covered in snow and ice. Yea it is extremely steep climb but you have to realize you’re hiking up a mountain. The view from the top was great and the hike down wasn’t that bad except for sliding on the ice. Shoe spikes and trek poles are definitely a must have if the trail is covered in snow. Trek poles are useful on the descent with all of the loose rocks. All in all we had a wonderful time and it was a great painful hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great hike! I went back today and there was a sign that said it was closed due to fallen trees. Hopefully they clear the path soon! :)

5 months ago

Steep with a rewarding view. Make sure you follow the green arrows on the ground after you come to what you might think is the end. That's where the view is.

hiking
6 months ago

Straight up for just under 4 miles but was very worth it. Loved the view from the top!

8 months ago

not very scenic

8 months ago

the views at the top are amazing. can see sylva and th surrounding mountains. the "Pinnacle park" is fun you can walk down to about 3-4 different rock faces all with amazing views. the hike is tough!!! straight up no breaks! when you see the start of the trail behind the gate, it stays at that incline basically the whole way. I started at noon. got to the Pinnacle at 2. left at 2:30, back at trailhead at 4. beware tho, I saw a few people turn around and couldn't make it. it's a hard trail. it follow a forest service road. it has a fire campsites at the beginning next to the creek. also one at the top, but man, I personally wouldn't want to lug my gear up that incline ! lol there is a short "bridge" trail. take it to the right it looks like your going behind someone's house. it's a nice trail , not forest service road, that follows the creek and you pass over a few small bridges. it's a nice trail. nothing spectacular but the creeks are nice. good for dogs. the hike to the top was worth it though!! I was going to do a 7mile loop? but got confused and tired.

8 months ago

I gave it a 4 because of the view at the summit. The downhill on the lower east side is brutal. There are no bathrooms at the trail head. The waterfall was very small. The 1st 2 miles up is steep but when you make the turn to see the pinnacle ridge it is a nice stroll. I would recommend knee braces for the decent if you are not in top shape. My knees were shaking the whole way down, not to mention the obstacles. I enjoyed the work out.

8 months ago

Difficult trial and very rocky but nice scenery.

8 months ago

Great workout! Trails are mostly rocky. The trails feature views of streams a waterfall and beautiful wild flowers that line the trails! The view at the top is fantastic!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail! Rocky and steep in places especially in the first half of the west fork. Challenging, but worth it for the beautiful views from the top.

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail, pinnacle is an amazing view. Lots of wildflowers and therefor lots of honeybees. Had a great time.

9 months ago

This is a VERY rocky trail to the point of being not enjoyable.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked up in the rain. Rain and Clouds broke before the end of Pinnacle. 360° beautiful views. Well worth it. Great half day hike.

10 months ago

I completed this hike last year in June ....and it was simply gorgeous!! This year-July - still beautiful but way too muggy!! It’s uphill all the way-great cardio! But that means it’s downhill all the way back -and that’s murder on your knees!! The views at the top are so amazing though!!

10 months ago

Nice hike, gorgeous wildflowers the entire way, plus the creek! Wide trail, that narrows considerably as you get close to the pinnacle. I went early on a Sunday morning and really didn’t see them many people until I got most of the way down. I got to the top about 10:45 and the fog was clearing, so I had some views.

hiking
10 months ago

What a view! Such a great hike!

10 months ago

West Fork offers some nice waterfalls and an awesome hillside of wild flowers. Great views at the top. East Fork started out great but some downed trees and hairy in spots towards the bottom.

hiking
11 months ago

It was a great "workout" hike. Was hard but loved it and the view at the end was so worth it!!

11 months ago

We did the loop starting with the west fork. As soon as we got up to Pinnacle the fog started to roll in so we only got a quick view. Would do it again on a clear day to take in the view. The trail on the way back on the east fork had a difficult portion. Ok in good weather but would be dangerous in the rain.

hiking
Monday, May 21, 2018

Like those before have said, it's a constant, rocky, uphill chug. A bit under 2 hours to the top at conservative pace. 1 hour up top in the rain. And a bit under 90 minutes for the return. Total trip time around 4:45. Wet, lose rock made the descent a bit worse than the usual.

Load More

Featured Trails