Pinnacle Pass Trail #20
ElevationAscent: 2,588' 789 m
Descent: -3,643' -1,110 m
High: 2,745' 837 m
Low: 1,338' 408 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 56% (29°)
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“Many parts of the trail are for the more experienced runners, sections can be done by the less with using other trails.”— Mark P...
Check in/drop box for runner information at Jones Gap Trail for safety.
Trail is rated "Very Strenuous" by the park guides with an estimated 8 hrs hike time.
Would recommend to check weather with rangers, as trail may be limited use or not recommended for safety during times of rain/ice that may cause additional slippery challenges with a long way.
This part starts off with a single path that is lightly used before joining/using old Oil Creek Road which is rather overgrown. The trail switchbacks down to Oil Camp Creek for the next three miles. Part of road may have trees to climb over and a few wash out sections, but otherwise pretty easy, passing wildflowers growing along the road. As you descend, you'll hear Oil Camp Creek below. When you cross an old bridge over Oil Camp Creek this is might be a nice spot to rest/snack by the water.
From here continue up Pinnacle Pass Trail #20 back towards Jones Gap Trail. This next half of trail will be a lot more difficult in sections, but also there are fewer sections of old road to run along. Starting from the bridge at Old Camp Creek, within a couple hundred feet on the left, the trail will start to climb pretty steeply up the next mountain side for about 2.5 miles. This is a singletrack trail and, despite the switchbacks, at times follows an incredibly steep grade. As you climb you'll pass the top of a waterfall which spills in Oil Camp Creek.
The trail is not well-maintained in places and despite the white blazes, it is possible to get turned around in sections. The trail can be overgrown and narrow, so watch your footing and stay alert as you push through the brush. However, near the top there is a short side trail out to an cleared rocky slab with a great view. Head back and cross a small cascading creek which runs off the slab. Crossing the creek you'll ascend an old overgrown road which is much easier to make headway on then the earlier track. The last 3.25 miles, is really steep in sections, in places follows steep edges, goes over large rocks and has some slippery areas before joining Rim of The Gap Trail #6 for 0.5 mile.
Animals in the area include black bears, white-tailed deer, reptiles, amphibians, wild turkey, wood peckers, warblers, eastern blue birds, and spring migratory songbirds to name a few. Brook, rainbow, and brown trout can be found in the rivers.
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Land Manager: SC State Parks - Jones Gap State Park