Pinnacle Mountain: Are you looking for the best places to go hiking in Arkansas? As an Arkansas native, I’ve decided to do a little side series over the next few summer months! I’ve gone on numerous hiking trips over the years, so it’s definitely time to share them!
First up on the list,
PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
It seems only fitting to start in the heart of Arkansas with Pinnacle Mountain State Park. It’s located just west of Little Rock and is hard to miss due to the beauty of the 1,011 foot mountain. I’ve visited twice so far, but I plan on coming back quite often in the future! (It’s also my boyfriend’s stomping grounds so I’ve got an expert handy if you have any questions!)
Here’s some quick tips to help you get the most out of your hiking adventure!
Be Careful About Using Your iPhone GPS
On our second visit, my friend decided that she wanted to search for Pinnacle Mountain on her iPhone’s GPS in order to track our progress and navigate through Little Rock. I noticed that it was taking us a different way than what I was used to, but we decided to trust it because there are probably multiple ways to get there, right? Uh, not exactly.
Our GPS did take us to the mountain, but it took us to the East Summit trail which was definitely the wrong side for us. We thought about doing this “harder” trail, but then decided to just go back and try again. We loved our “easier” trail and wanted to stick with our plan! Here’s the address of the Pinnacle Mountain State Park – 11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd, Roland, AR 72135. This will take you to all of the nice facilities (see point number 3) as well as multiple trailheads for you to choose from!
Take the West Summit Trail
So why do I recommend this one? Well from personal experience, it is truly a great hike. It’s a bit strenuous up closer to the top, but it is beautiful on the climb and breathtaking at the peak. It’s really popular among us college students, but I’ve seen a diverse population enjoy it as well. I’ve seen people in their late 60s as well as children as young as 4 (they were on their dads’ backs though). If you have any concerns on your ability to climb it, then please know that there are a lot of rocks and a steep incline the closer you get to the top. Every time that I’ve gone, there have been people complaining about how difficult it is. But there has also been people who literally run down it. Take your time, rest as often as you need to, and be careful to watch your step!
Distance: 1.5 miles
Enjoy Newly Built Restrooms and a Playground for the Kids
On my most recent visit, my friend and I were so impressed by the nice bathroom facilities! They were extremely clean and obviously new. Many parks do not have such a luxury so definitely take advantage of it.
If you have children, there is also super fun playground equipment for them to enjoy. There always seems to be a lot of kids on it whenever I visit. If you want to eat lunch before or after your hike, then there are also plenty of tables and grills to use! My friend and I had a little picnic on one near the trailhead!
Wander Over to the East Summit’s Viewpoint
If you take the West Summit trail, then you will likely reach the peak and veer to the left. It is more obvious and usually more populated. It has gorgeous views of Lake Maumelle and the Arkansas River. It is definitely a must-see. However, the first time we visited we missed the additional viewpoint that is on the right. My friend was about to head back down the mountain but I could hear voices and see people taking pictures over there.
Let me tell you, it is so worth it to check out the other spot! We explored that entire side of the mountain and I ended up getting my favorite pictures from it! Head down a bit on the rocks and then walk as far right as you can. You’ll end up being parallel with the hikers climbing down the West Summit trail. We hopped on over some rocks and just continued down the mountain whenever we got tired of soaking up the magnificent view! (Well we just got thirsty; let’s be real, you can’t get tired of such a view!)
Above all, it is so important that you keep yourself hydrated! Bring a water bottle or use the water fountains near the trailhead and bathrooms. Either way, make sure you drink some H2O before and after your hike! (Also, wear sunscreen! 🙂 It’s important!)
Don’t feel like you know enough? Click here for more official information about the park!
Have you ever visited Pinnacle Mountain State Park? What did you think? I’d love to hear your stories and let me know what other Arkansas hiking trails you’d like to read about!