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The pinnacle at Pilot Mountain State Park
Current status of park facilities   

** FACILITIES AND PARKING ARE LIMITED. NO ROAD SHOULDER PARKING IS ALLOWED. **

WEEKEND/HOLIDAY SHUTTLE
The Pilot Mountain shuttle starts running from 10:00am to 6:00pm every Saturday, Sunday and state holidays until the day after Thanksgiving.
The summit (upper) parking area will be allowed to fill from 7:00am to 10:00am. At that point, the shuttle will take over for all uphill vehicle traffic.  The shuttle has a capacity of 22 people with one wheelchair lift. Passengers will be asked to wear masks and the vehicle will be disinfected after each trip.
All uphill traffic already in the park can leave freely, but no more incoming vehicle traffic will occur between 10:00am and 6:00pm past the new visitor center. This still leaves the road completely open to all car traffic 7:00am to 10:00am and 6:00pm to 9:00pm on weekends and holidays, and every weekday from 7:00am to 9:00pm.
If visitors want to order tickets in advance, they may do so at https://promo.parking.com/charlotte-pilot-mountain-shuttle/ or they can order on-site via credit card or the Parking.com app. No cash transactions. Ordering tickets in advance guarantees a ride, not a specific time. 
The shuttle leaves from the bus stop in front of the new visitor center. Turn left at the roundabout and park at the visitor center.  Under COVID phase 2.5 the visitor center gift shop and exhibit hall are open with a max capacity of 25 people. Bathrooms are open and available.
The fare is $5.00 for adults, kids 13 and under ride free. The fare for a one-way trip up or down is $2.50. Last trip down is 6:15 pm.
Visitors who arrive after the summit lot is full will have the option of either riding the shuttle from the new visitor center, or parking at the new visitor center and hiking the trails up, or visiting one of the other parking areas across the park at remote trailheads.

PARKING
Open parking areas have limited capacity. Parking on road shoulders is prohibited. If you arrive and a parking area is full, consider that area closed. When parking lots fill, there will be no waiting in line to get in.
Visitor Center parking – 200 cars – (Grindstone Trail, Grassy Ridge Trail, Mountain Trail)
Old Park Office parking  – 30 cars
Summit (upper) parking  –  90 cars – (Jomeokee Trail, overlooks, Ledge Springs Trail)
Use the following lots if you want to skip the crowds and get a longer hike, or visit the Yadkin River:
Pinnacle Hotel Road – 50 cars  134 Culler Road, Pinnacle NC – (Leads to the Mountain Trail and Corridor Trail, and Grassy Ridge Trail)
Pilot Creek Trailhead – 15 cars  382 Boyd Nelson Road, Pinnacle NC – (Leads to the Pilot Creek Trail)
Bean Shoals/Hauser Road – 40 cars  622 Hauser Road, Pinnacle NC – (Leads to the southern Corridor Trail, Horne Creek Trail, Canal Trail)
Ivy Bluffs Trailhead – 20 cars  4240 Shoals Road, East Bend, NC – (Leads to the Ivy Bluffs Trail)
Ivy Bluffs canoe launch – 10 cars  4454 Shoals Road, East Bend NC – (Leads to the Yadkin River paddle trail)

RESTROOMS, VISITOR CENTER: Under COVID phase 2.5 the new visitor center gift shop and exhibit hall are open with a max capacity of 25 people. Bathrooms are open and available.

CAMPGROUND: Campground is closed through at least October 15 due to lightning damage to the sewer system.

FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings are required to be worn when in public places, indoors or outdoors, where physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who aren’t in the same household or residence isn’t possible, unless an exception applies. Face coverings are required to utilize the shuttle, visit the gift shop or visitor center exhibit hall.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. As of September 11, we are following the new guidelines under phase 2.5.

 Last updated on: Friday, September 11, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Pilot Mountain State Park


Contact the park
 

336-444-5100

pilot.mountain@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Mountain section
and visitor center

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3412, -80.4629

 

Pinnacle Hotel Road/
Culler Road parking

134 Culler Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3280, -80.4631

 

Hauser Road parking

622 Hauser Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.2675, -80.4958

 

Pilot Creek access

382 Boyd Nelson Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3587, -80.4933

 

Bean Shoals access

103 Yadkin River Park Trail
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.2647, -80.4878

 

Ivy Bluff access

4240 Shoals Road
East Bend, NC 27018

GPS: 36.2537, -80.5087

 

Shoals fishing area

4454 Shoals Road
East Bend, NC 27018

GPS: 36.2574, -80.5171
 

Hours
 

► 

  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March 1 to March 14:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • March 15 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
     
  • Gates are locked promptly at closing. There is no gate entry before or after hours, 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.
     

► 

  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

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