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blue The Pinnacle

  4.1 ( 24 ) Favorite


4.3 mile 7.0 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 813' 248 m
Descent: -830' -253 m
High: 1,606' 489 m
Low: 847' 258 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by Nathan Sprinkle


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This is a great hike that's good for families or for keeping in shape for bigger hikes.

Nathan Sprinkle

Features Fall Colors · Views

Family Friendly It's challenging but not too difficult for sturdy little hikers, but let them rest often and keep them close to you near the top.


Crowders Mountain State Park is a popular hiking, running, and rock climbing area. Most people head straight for the highest peak, Crowders Mountain itself, but this hike goes to the top of The Pinnacle, a smaller, easier to reach peak with nice views. The last fifty yards to the top are steep, and the warning signs you'll see at the top are correct. People have died there, so be careful and keep children away from ledges. This track follows a way to the very top that shows a view to the south and avoids scrambling over rocks. On the return trip, it follow the Turnback Trail for a change of scenery.

Need to Know

Though relatively short and well-shaded, this is not a hike to forget water on. Summers are steamy hot here, and these hills aren't high enough to get a cooling effect. The steeper sections are off-camber, so watch your step.


Start from the visitors center at the Sparrow Springs Access area. There is plenty of parking, some nice displays at the visitors center, a small lake, and access to backpacking campsites. More information about Crowder Mountain State Park can be found at the park's official website.

Warming up with a level hike from the left side of the visitor's center. You soon come to a T intersection. Going right takes you on the preferred hike to the top of Crowders Mountain, a longer hike. This hike goes left and ascends gently to a rocky ridge. After going over several rocky sections, you come to a small saddle where the Turnback Trail connects. Continuing uphill, the trail steepens, takes a switchback to the left and steepens yet again. This is typically where you see trail runners huffing steadily past, and out-of-shape folks bending over trying to catch their breath.

But the trail steepens yet again! To the left you'll see the Ridgeline Trail that leads to Kings Mountain in South Carolina, but you'll turn right up the steepest part. Not to worry, as you soon reach the end of the official trail. Climb over the rocks to reach the peak, or go left and around for an easier trail up. There are always opportunities to demonstrate stewardship in this area, so its good to bring a plastic bag for trash.

On the way back down, turn right onto the Turnback Trail and descend easily. This passes the picnic area and meets the Fern Trail. Go left when you see a road ahead, and left again at the sign about ferns. You end up at a small meadow beside the visitors center.

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Jun 16, 2019
Lance Brown
Jun 15, 2019
Sarah Calugar
The parking can be very limited! If you are hiking Pinnacle only park at the Visitors Center (or overflow across the street). 4.3mi — 2h 00m
Jun 4, 2019
Jennifer Marquardt
beautiful day for a hike! 2.1mi
Mar 3, 2019
Mitchell No
Jan 26, 2019
Shane Turner
Jan 1, 2019
Missy Jaskolka
Nov 10, 2018
Christian Reese
Great hike for families, pets, and solo. Great views on all sides. Not to crowded either. 4.3mi
Sep 28, 2018
Selena Grl

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 24 votes


  4.1 from 24 votes
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