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The pinnacle at Pilot Mountain State Park

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

336-325-2355
pilot.mountain@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 36.341276, -80.462930

 

  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     
  • November to February:
    8:30am to 5:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    8:30am to 7:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    8:30am to 8:00pm
     
  • October:
    8:30am to 7:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

*PLEASE NOTE: Gates are locked promptly at closing. There is no gate entry before or after hours, including campgrounds, except in the case of a medical or law enforcement emergency. No vehicles other than those registered to campers may be left in the park overnight.
 

  • 8:00am to 4:30pm – daily
     
  • Closed Christmas Day

     

CLIMBERS AND GRINDSTONE HIKERS! READ ME!   

As part of a erosion control effort and to reduce visitor use conflicts, the upper part of the Grindstone Trail below the summit parking lot has been rerouted, effective immediately. 

Hikers- The new Grindstone trail starts next to the picnic area, then leads downhill 1 mile to the Ledge Springs Trail.  The blazes remain blue and the total trail distance is still 3 miles one way endsing at the park office.  It remains a better hike to start the Grindstone Trail from the park office.  The Ledge Springs trail is now only the lower trail below the cliff line, it does not parallel the Grindstone at any point.

Climbers- The approach to the routes has changed. Temproary signage is in place while permanent signage has been ordered.

For top rope access to Chickenbone/Parking lot area: The access remains the same (the climber gate just below the registration kiosk). To access the bottom of the cliff, follow the Jomeokee trail (behind bathroom) to its first right hand turn to walk to the bottom of Chickenbone.

For all other routes and areas: Use the new grindstone trail adjacent to the new picnic area. Follow the blue blazed Grindstone Trail downhill to the new shortcut trail to 3 Bears Gully.  Access all routes uphill of 3 Bears - such as the Big Arete, Amphitheatre, Black Rain etc. by walking uphill from the midway point of 3 Bears Gully. 

A map of the new trail route is linked here: https://files.nc.gov/ncparks/maps-and-brochures/pilot-mountain-state-park-climbing-accesses-map.pdf

Also  linked from the front page of our website as the climbing map

 Last updated on: Thursday, December 5, 2019

***PHOTOGRAPHERS - AREA CLOSED*** Read...   

Due to disturbance caused by foot traffic from photography, photo shoots, and their clients; the grassy fields at the Summit Parking Area and around the Summit Area will be CLOSED to allow the area to regrow to prevent future erosion and protect rare, uncommon plant species. Please stay on marked paths and trails at the summit.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Things to do

Hiking

The park is a great place for a hike! See the Trails page for more information.

Paddling

Paddle the Yadkin River through the park on a segment of the Yadkin River Canoe Trail. The 165-mile trail follows the course of the river, passing through five reservoirs to the confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers.

There are 38 canoe access sites along the trail. Shoals Access Site is a half mile upstream from the Yadkin Islands. Parts of the river are also suitable for rafting at times. Contact the park office for more information. Canoe rentals not available.

The two-mile portion of the Yadkin River that flows through the park is one of the most scenic stretches along the river's course. Enormous river birches overhang the water and sycamores dot the river banks. Here, the river is broad and shallow with many ripples. Two small islands, 45 and 15 acres in size, lie in the river. The islands may be reached by wading on foot or by canoe.

The river flows past Bean Shoals Canal Wall, part of an ambitious project undertaken between 1820 and 1825 to build a three-mile canal around Bean Shoals. The project was abandoned before completion. View these historic walls along Canal Trail.

Get river flow information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Bicycling

The main park road is popular for hill climbing by bicycle. This should only be attempted by experienced cyclists wearing proper safety equipment. The road averages a 10% grade for 2.5 miles and has sections of 16% grades. It is recommended that cyclists plan their ride for the early morning hours when there is less vehicle traffic. Use caution on the descent and be advised that bicycles are subject to the same regulations pertaining to motor vehicles including exceeding safe speed and improper passing. There are no mountain bike trails in the park.

Fishing

Cast your line from the river banks and reel in dinner. Smallmouth bass, spotted bass and catfish are waiting to be caught! Anglers need a state fishing license and must obey the regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Climbing

IMPORTANT: read the FAQS and Rules about climbing in the park.

Rock climbing and rappelling are favorite activities at Pilot Mountain where rocky cliffs offer a challenge to experienced climbers. Climbing is permitted only in designated areas; climbing and rappelling are not permitted on the Big Pinnacle. Contact the park office for further information.

All climbers must register with the park by completing a climbing and rappelling registration and activity permit which is available at the kiosk in the far righthand side of the summit parking lot. There is no fee for this permit. Prior to activity, a copy of the permit must be deposited in the registration box or given to a park ranger. An additional copy is provided for participants and must be held in their possession while engaged in climbing or rappelling.

Organized and commercial climbing groups are required to apply for a Special Activity Permit prior to the day of the climb. You can download a Special Activity permit application or obtain one from the park office. Permit fee must be paid prior to approval. Climbing groups are limited to 14 people per permit.

Participants are responsible for their own personal safety, including securing proper training and equipment, and adhering to safe practices. Basic rock climbing safety equipment and techniques must be used at all time.

Climbing route closures: "Unnamed/P.Break" climbing route in the amphitheater has been permanently closed due to visitor use conflicts. The "Big Gully" is closed to all use (CLIMBING, HIKING, RAPPELLING, ETC.) for natural resource protection. This closure does not affect adjacent routes.

Climbers and Hikers are reminded that this area can become congested. Do not block the Ledge Springs trail with your gear, rope, dogs, or group. Pets must be attended (not tied off on a tree and left alone) and leashed while in the climbing area.

Get a Climbing Guide from the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

Picnicking

Picnic areas at Pilot Mountain offer a choice of shady dining spots. The picnic area in the Pilot Mountain section is located near the summit parking lot. Picnic tables and grills are surrounded by a pine and hardwood forest. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby.

The picnic ground at the Yadkin River section of the park is approximately a mile from the shore of the river in a meadow along Horne Creek. Tables, grills, and waterless toilets are provided.

A covered picnic shelter is available at the summit. This shelter is not available for reservation due to the wait in line to get a parking space at the summit on weekends. We cannot guarantee the availability of this shelter unless you arrive early. This shelter has grills and drinking water. There are also picnic tables in a shaded area adjacent to the shelter.

Weather

Check weather conditions before you visit the park:

Weather at Pilot Mountain State Park

Weather at Yadkin River section

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 10:00am
Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 10:00am
Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 9:00am