One of the high points along South Carolina's Blue Ridge Escarpment. While not the highest point in SC, this mountain is the highest peak that actually is inside the state. The state high point on Sassafrass Mountain is not the peak of that mountain, which lies in NC. The highest point on Pinnacle Mountain,
however, does stand on the SC side of the border, making it the highest peak that lies within the state. Pinnacle Mountain is typical of the southern Appalachians. It's mainly an eroded moutain of gentler slopes with a summit completely cloaked, principally in poplar, oaks, and other hardwoods. There is some very steep
terrain on the eastern side of the peak, Bald Rock, where there are some impressive cliffs and imposing slopes.
Take I-85 to Highway 276 in Greenville, SC. Head north to Highway 11, also known as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. Follow the signs to Table Rock Mountain State Park.
As with Table Rock Mountain, hikers are encouraged to sign in at the trailhead. People requiring aid on the mountain who do not sign in will be fined.
There is a $2 fee per person over the age of 16 to enter the park. This fee is waived for SC residents. You can also enter the park free of charge by using the Foothills Trail.
When To Climb
All year. The climb up the Pinnacle Mountain Trail is very steep and strenuous. In some summer months it could be quite draining. Take plenty of water in warm weather (three or four liters per person). There is an easier route to the peak by hiking up the Table Rock Trail and crossing over to Pinnacle Mountain via The Ridge Trail. This is less steep and a lot easier.
The trailhead is at the park Nature Center along the park road. There's a large parking lot located at the Nature Center. The Pinnacle Mountain Trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 2332 feet.
There is camping at a developed campground in Table Rock Mountain State Park. $17 per site (bathhouses with hot showers), or $4 per site at a limited number of primitive sites (pit toilets, community water source). The only back country camping allowed near the park is along the Foothills Trail which connects the park with Sassafress Mountain.
Forested summit area.
Check weather conditions for Pickens, SC. Subtract five to ten degrees for the higher ridges.