Hike to The Pinnacle in Shenandoah NP

2.2 Miles Round Trip - 400 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Pinnacles Picnic Area - Search Nearby - Added by Sarah Giek

This outcrop on the Appalachian Trail provides expansive views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.

The Pinnacle is a little-known outcrop on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park.  You will not find it marked on the park map, but that doesn’t make it any less-worthy of your time. The Pinnacle can be reached by a quick, easy hike with the family (and dog!), or you can combine it with nearby Mary’s Rock for one of the best hikes in Shenandoah.

Because The Pinnacle is on the Appalachian Trail, you can start your hike from a number of places. This write-up details the hike from Pinnacles Picnic Area, located at mile marker 36.7 on Skyline Drive.  On the right side of the parking lot, look for a wooden sign marking the trail.  You will be heading northeast towards Jewell Hollow Overlook.  Keep an eye out for white trailblazes throughout the hike.  

The trail will quickly reach an intersection. Though it will appear that you should turn right, doing so will take you off the trail and over to Jewell Hollow Overlook.  There are some good views there, so consider stopping by after you finish your hike.  But to get to the best views, continue on the Appalachian Trail by taking a left at the intersection.  The trail will switchback and descend, taking you below the rocky outcrops at Jewell Hollow.  Continue on, slowly regaining the elevation you previously lost and then some.  As you reach the crest of the mountain, the outcrop will be easy to spot just before the trail turns and begins to descend.

If you’re combining this hike with Mary’s Rock, continue on the Appalachian Trail for another 2+ miles until reaching the intersection with the Mary’s Rock Lookout Trail.  Otherwise, retrace your steps back to the picnic area.

Keep in mind that although Shenandoah National Park is open year-round, Skyline Drive may be closed in the winter due to weather conditions. Always check for closures before you head out!

Tags

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

Details

2.2 Miles
400 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Luray, Virginia

Luray KOA

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville KOA

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg / Washington DC South KOA

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great view!

We didn't see a soul until we made our way down. Love the little meadow before you enter the forest. The views were nice, but there were a lot of flies. Big ones too.

Unique View

This hike is not as secluded as the write-up would suggest. I saw about 15 people while hiking to this spot (on a Saturday afternoon) and there is very limited room to spread out at the view so I had to wait a bit to enjoy the view. Regardless, it is a nice and gentle climb to this spot-not too strenuous- and the view is one of the best I've seen in the park. I would hike it again any day.