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Friday, August 24, 2012

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

This is the sunset view from Pinnacle Mountain near Little Rock, Arkansas looking west to the Ouachita Mountains and Lake Maumelle.  next

 this is another angle showing Lake Maumelle.  next
 This sunset was taken after a winter storm had coated the mountain in a few inches of snow and ice.  next

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a beautiful park close to Little Rock, Arkansas.  It boasts a surprising amount of nature in a relatively small amount of real estate; particularly in view of the fact that that park is basically surrounded by suburbia! I guess my favorite spot is on the summit of Pinnacle Mountain, where the westerly view to the Ouachita Mountains will make you forget how close to Little Rock you actually are; there is also a swamp, an abandoned quarry and beautiful quarry pond, a nice overlook of the Arkansas River at the Visitor Center, and the Kingfisher Trail/Arboretum Trail, both of which are close to the Little Maumelle River.
    I always use the West Summit Trail to get to the top of Pinnacle Mountain; expect the climb to take at least 30-40 minutes, and it is a pretty good workout. Remember, if you linger to take sunset photos, you have 30 minutes to get back down and out of the park before the rangers lock the gates. Also, you will be climbing down in decreasing light, which makes it easier to fall; particularly at the top, so please watch your step.   park directions   Arboretum Trail
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is located close to Little Rock, Arkansas. From I-430, take the  exit for Hwy 10 (exit 9) heading west for five  or six   miles or so, turn right at Pinnacle Valley Road and follow the signs to the park; the road twists and turns quite a bit on the way in to the park; OR; even easier, instead of turning onto Pinnacle Valley Road from Hwy 10, drive a bit further west until turning right onto Hwy 300; follow this a few miles until crossing over the Little Maumelle River; a nice dayuse area will be on the right along with the West Summit trailhead. (If you continue on Hwy 300 a bit further instead of turning into the West Summit/dayuse parking lot, you can turn right onto Pinnacle Valley Road to loop back into the park; this takes you past the East Summit trailhead, the Arkansas Arboretum Trail and the Visitor Center as well as other scenic spots)