Craggy Pinnacle (6-17-14)
Craggy Pinnacle (5,892'), located in the Craggy Gardens area of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Mount Mitchell provides a nice, quick, tourist-friendly hike allowing the visitor some amazing views from its summit and a pleasant walk through thick stands of rhododendron which come to life with pink blooms each May and June. As such this peak sees quite a bit of foot traffic and, as the hike only clocks in at around a mile round-trip I hadn't bothered to make the two-hour drive over to it as yet.
This day, however, I was in the area already bagging yet another summit on my South Beyond 6000 list...Craggy Dome. After completing the 7-mile hike of the dome I still had plenty of energy and the day remained pleasantly clear so I figured I'd throw in the quick jaunt up the Pinnacle as a wind-down bonus peak. The hike was a nice one, the well-trodden trail being a nice alternative to the rugged Mountains-to-Sea Trail I had walked earlier in the day. From the top the view encompassed pretty much all of the central mountains of North Carolina though the haze of this warm day was a bit of a limiting factor. Nonetheless, it was a perfect bonus peak for the day...one that, despite the likely crowds, you shouldn't skip out on if you find yourself visiting this stretch of the Parkway...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.704209, -82.373492
Route Type: Out-and-back Difficulty: EASY
Hike Length: 1.4 miles Hike Duration: 1:00
Trailhead Temp: 75'F Trail Traffic: 25-50 people
Min. Elevation: 5,640' Max. Elevation: 5,892'
Total Vertical Gain: 252' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 336'
Trails Used (blaze color): Craggy Pinnacle Trail (unblazed)