Hike to and Climb Pickens Nose

North Carolina Pickens Nose Parking Area

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A short hike to rock outcroppings offering beautiful views of the Appalachian Mountains, climbing, and plenty of places to relax.

From the parking area (fits about 6 cars) follow the trail on the same side of the road up the ridge through dense rhododendron. Several spur trails branch off of the main trail and lead to rock outcroppings with excellent views.

Getting to the parking area is slow. The narrow gravel road winds up the mountain and maybe a little washed out with deep ruts that could make traveling with a car difficult. You may want to bring an SUV, or Truck to prevent bottoming out.

There are numerous photo opportunities especially in Autumn. Pickens Nose is at 4,880 ft and has views in multiple directions.

The climbing areas are towards the end of trail. There are several granite walls to climb ranging from 5.7 - 5.11+ trad, sport, and top rope. It's a surprisingly fun place to climb with plenty of shade and clean routes.

Pack List

  • Day Pack 
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Camera
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

about 10 hours ago

Short Hike, Killer Views

The hike to Pickens Nose is short and sweet. Once you get to the top of the mountain, you wont see any signs for the multiple rocky overlooks, but you will see tunnel-shaped paths through the Rhododendron that branch out to multiple lookout points, all of which are pretty cool. At some of the lookouts you will see anchors in the rock for rock climbing and I do not know much about climbing but some of the rock faces looked like they would be pretty challenging. One thing to note about getting to the trailhead is to search for 'Pickens Nose Trailhead' in Maps, not 'Pickens Nose'. Also, the 5ish miles of dirt road get pretty sketchy in the last mile, so having a car with good clearance is a definite plus. The hike leading up to the top was nothing special, but the views made up for it.

about 10 hours ago

10 months ago

Stunning!

Stopped here for a late afternoon hike looking for a place to watch sunset, unbelievable views and photo opportunities. Need a truck to get to trailhead. The dirt road up the side of the mountain is too steep and rutted for cars!

10 months ago

Added by Dwayne Parton

Travel. Outdoors. Lifestyle. 
 I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. I loved the lifestyle it afforded. Now I live in a van with my dog Bobby traveling across the country. Life's a journey, so let's participate.

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