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Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower via Fire Tower Road

Unicoi, Tennessee

based on 2 reviews



3.47 miles

Elevation Gain

663 ft

Route Type



Added by Merritt McKinney

Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower is the premiere hiking spot in Johnson City, Tennessee. Easily accessible from the interstate and near the good-eats of downtown, this hike is truly a can't-miss!

Pinnacle Mountain hosts one of the nicest fire towers on the East Coast of the United States. The fire tower is relatively new, sturdy, and has a large 360 degree viewing area at the top. The tower overlooks the Downtown Johnson City area, Elizabethton, Erwin, and the rest of the Buffalo Mountain Range.

Four-wheel drive is required in order to access the tower from this direction, although it is possible to hike or mountain bike there from a second entrance off Interstate 26 exit 32. When accessing the tower from Dry Creek Road, turn onto a dirt road called Fire Tower Road and continue for 5.5 miles until you reach a parking area surrounded by a wooden fence. There is a steep, half-mile service road to the left that leads to the fire tower. The main hiking trail winds 1.5 miles around the mountain and is located on the other side of the wooden fence designated by a trail marker.

I would recommend taking the main hiking trail on the way up to the fire tower and taking the service road down. Bring a hammock if possible as the viewing platform of the fire tower has multiple anchor points. The gate at the bottom of Dry Creek Road is sometimes closed during the winter due to inclement weather.   

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower via Fire Tower Road Reviews

As long as you have a 4x4 vehicle, this fire tower is accessible with little challenge. The drive along the gravel mountain road is not for the faint of heart. Once you get up to the parking area it is a short walk up a steeper hill to get to the fire tower. The views from the top of the tower are great. You can see rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in all directions. The view is one of the beat in the area as you are above everything.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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