This was by far the best hike we did while we visited Arkansas. Pinnacle Mountain is strenuous, rocky, and steep!!!! So in other words….PERFECT!
Originally, we had planned to climb up the East Summit Trail and down the West Summit Trail, since the park ranger told us the east is much harder than the west. This was all prior to the unforeseen medical issues I went through before leaving for this vacation. Obviously, this plan changed after discussing what I was capable of doing with my doctors before leaving 6 weeks post op. My husband and I had decided we would take look and decide if we would even attempt to try and summit this mountain when we arrived at the park. In all honesty, telling me I could not try would be devastating to me since I love to hike elevation. Although, in my heart I knew the chances of me making it up to the top were slim, I still wanted to try.
So we opted for up the easy side,which is the West Summit, and back down the easy side.
Arkansas does a wonderful job a clearly marking the trails in the parks so you will have no issues knowing where the trail leads.
You will clearly see trail markers along the way and about 1/2 way up you will find this sign.
It states that at trail marker 7 you can go left for a less rockier climb or right for more boulders to climb over. Don’t let this fool you, both are boulder scrambling routes, one is just less than the other.
We went left and I did make it to trail marker 9 and decided that in this stage of my recovery I was not going to chance any mishaps so this is where my summit attempt ended.
However, my husband did complete the hike and made it all the way to the top of Pinnacle Mountain. It was a rocky, feet and hands climb up some massive boulders but so worth it. Here are a few pictures he took of the top.
Gorgeous isn’t it?
Now, I have hiked many, many places and this was one place that I was somewhat left speechless. The park itself was great. Clean bathrooms, ample parking and overflow parking, clean, and well cared for in general. That being said, I can not tell you how many other people we saw on this trail with sandals or tennis shoes trying to climb this mountain. We witnessed so many individuals slipping down boulders on the way down that its a miracle there are not more rescues here on a daily basis. So many others stopped us and said, “that is what I need, some good hiking boots.” (While pointing at our boots) Plus, this trail is HIGHLY populated with everything from people training for something special, to families with small children, to teenagers out enjoying the day on a mountain. We witnessed slips, falls, exhaustion, and just plain tired out parents from them having to carry their children from the first or second mile marker on up.
Please, before you attempt something like this, do some research. Read what others have said, what they recommend, purchase some simple gear like a water bottle, some hiking boots/shoes and maybe a simple first aid kit. You don’t need much but the little things will make a hike like this much more enjoyable and safe. Search and rescue personnel work very hard and are highly trained to help people that love the outdoors but sustain mishaps. However, I would bet, at times, they could just scream at the amount of uneducated people that are out there taking risks they should not take. Think before you do…..it could save your life