Pinnacle Mountain Trail

HARD 75 reviews
#2 of 7 trails in

Pinnacle Mountain Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pickens, South Carolina 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.

7.2 miles 2693 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

waterfall

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.

14 days ago

Hiked up Pinnacle yesterday with a group of friends and then went over to the Table Rock trail back to the trail head. Loved the hike up Pinnacle. Really beautiful and quiet, lots of neat rock formations and views. The portion from Bald Rock to the top of Pinnacle was tough, but the rest of it was fairly easy going considering you're climbing up a mountain. Definitely worth it and made for a fun 8 mile hike. It took us just under 5 hours with a stop for lunch and some rest breaks along the way. (FYI if you're trying to estimate for your own hike, we didn't go to the top of Table Rock. It would have added about 3 miles and we were running short on time.)

hiking
1 month ago

Very uphill but not a bad hike. Amazing view from bald knob, but there isn't much of a view from the pinnacle

hiking
1 month ago

Long moderate to strenuous hike... nothing bad, just all uphill, but less steps than Table Rock.

hiking
2 months ago

We completed this trail yesterday. It isn't difficult at all. The views at Bald Knob are absolutely beautiful. We thought the views were better than at the top of Table Rock. The views at the top are definitely worth the climb up there!

2 months ago

Took about an hour and a half to hike to the 4 mile point which has a great view of the forest. Not very strenuous in my opinion. Didn't see any waterfalls just a few areas where water was trickling. (Mid February). Beautiful views and perfect weather. Saw maybe 2-3 hiking groups over a 4 hour period, lightly trafficked.

hiking
3 months ago

I absolutely love this trail! Tough hike but absolutely worth it.

4 months ago

This difficulty rating is highly overrated! This is a great trail for beginners, short and rewarding. The view at the top is amazing and the path is excellent the entire way. Great place for people who want to give their hiking/camping gear a test drive. Running water and bathroom stalls at the camp site. Camp is only a mile away from your car, so you can pack heavy for comfort. We go about 3 times a year.

4 months ago

4 months ago

Ive did table rock trail before and pinnacle is just as wonderful. Def a workout and incline. you get to the top and your glad you did it!!! good sweat. bring plenty of water. Greatttt views

hiking
5 months ago

The first couple miles are moderate, along a creek with some small waterfalls and large rock outcrops further up. Bald Knob is where the views are, and the rest of the way up to the Pinnacle is pretty tough. There are no views at the top, but it's the highest point fully within South Carolina, so why not go for it? I did the Table Rock hike first, then crossed over to Pinnacle Mountain via the Ridge trail, and I didn't see a soul after leaving the fairly crowded Table Rock trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Last mile is quite steep and hard
Great hike

6 months ago

pretty decent hike

6 months ago

Fantastic hike with a great view. I will probably do the loop from pinnacle to table rock on my next visit.

hiking
6 months ago

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.

backpacking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago