Hike the Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock

Pennsylvania The Pinnacles Trailhead (Hamburg Reservoir)

Added by Ian Carey

The Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock offer some of the best views in Pennsylvania, only a short drive from Harrisburg and Allentown. There are two different vista views of the rolling Lehigh Valley Farmland.

Park in the lot near the Hamburg Reservoir and hike around the barrier and up the gravel road. Shortly on your right the Appalachian Trail branches off the road. Follow the white blazes of the AT for around 2 miles to the Pulpit Rocks, just before the trail passes the Lehigh Valley Astronomical Society road.

From the Pulpit Rocks you will get a glimpse of the sweeping grandeur the Pinnacles will have to offer only a few miles later. Note the Pinnacle itself, sticking out like an anthill just off the main ridge.

Continue along the AT for around 3 more miles until you come to the pinnacles, marked by a massive pile of rocks along the trail. Hike out on to the rock face of the Pinnacles to see the quilted farms before you. Also climb down the rocks to explore a series of small caves and crevices below.

After thoroughly exploring the pinnacles, follow the AT west through relatively flat terrain on what turns into an old fire road. You will pass two trails branching to your left. Take either of these to return to the parking lot for a 7 mile or 9 mile round trip respectively. If you wish to turn this trip into an overnight, perhaps to take it slow and really enjoy the area, continue on the AT shortly past the second left-bearing trail. You will encounter signs for State Gamelands. After passing these signs and the barrier, you can look for a spot to camp. There are a number of areas which appear to have regular use.

Water for purification can be located a half a mile back up the trail from a spring. However this source may be seasonal and is usually at a trickle so total reliance on it should be avoided.

The next morning, retrace your steps back to the closer branching trail you passed yesterday and follow it past Hamburg Reservoir to the parking lot.

Pack List

For a day hike:

- Small bag - Lunch - Water - Flashlights for cave/crevice exploring - First aid kit

For an overnight:

- Backpack - Sleeping bag - Matches - Stove - Water (plenty in case the spring is dry) - Food - Bear bag - Rope - Flashlight - First aid kit

Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1200 Feet



Easy Parking

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago


What a beautiful hike! trail was nicely marked, only issue we ran into was after the pinnacle we were looking for the two trails and never found them but we did follow the AT until we came to sign for the reservoir which led us back to our car, round trip was 10.2 miles. Also the bugs were kind of bad (Nats, mosquitos, and flies) to avoid constant swatting and bugs in your eyes I recommend bringing a mosquito net face cover.

3 months ago

5 months ago

Longer, Rewarding Hike

To start, you gain elevation quickly but it evens out after that. Definitely would recommend hiking shoes, as there's not too much scrambling but the trail is practically all rock. Watch your step and enjoy the beautiful views! Some of the best in PA

5 months ago

9 months ago

Beautiful View, Lots Of People

We hiked it as a section point to point on the AT, the View is outstanding but arrive at trail head parking early as it fills up fast and expect to share your day with lots of people.

9 months ago

9 months ago


A fun hike to do if you have 3 hours! Great look out at the top!

9 months ago

9 months ago


More challenging if you hike as a loop. Plan on stopping for a bit at the top. The view is fantastic!

9 months ago

Added by Ian Carey

Student, Varsity Swimmer at Colorado College. Amateur Triathlete, and outdoor enthusiast. Allentown, PA is home.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Bake Oven Knob

Pennsylvania / Bake Oven Knob Trailhead (Appalachian Trail)

The trail is VERY rocky and stepping up the rocks requires proper footwear. From the beginning of the trail, hike until you reach an opening filled with rocks and boulders.

Jake McKinney
22 Saves

Stroll along the Rapid Run Nature Trail

Pennsylvania / Rapid Run Nature Walk

There are multiple ways to access and start the trail, there is a small parking area near the intersection of McCall Dam Road and Route 192 or you can access from the other end near the beach at Half.

Shawn Grenninger
10 Saves

Hike Quaker Race's Lakeside Trail

Pennsylvania / Quaker Race Day Use Area

This trail is best accessed from the Quaker Race Day Use Area or from the Cabin Colony for cabin occupants. This trail has a dirt or rocky surface, uneven terrain and one steep but short hill.

Kendra Reeder
11 Saves