Pilot Mountain

Featured photo of Pilot Mountain

Pilot Mountain is the first mountain that greets many heading northwest towards the Appalachian range in NC (especially those travelling by car along US Highway 52 North). Although it is not a particularly big or tall mountain even by Appalachian standards, it is still quite an impressive peak worthy of welcoming and guiding thousands every day into the higher country. The Pilot is awkward in appearance with a large rocky pinnacle and a smaller outcropping interrupting what would otherwise be an ordinary and boring forested mound. The main pinnacle abruptly rises nearly 200 ft. straight up on all sides and then once again assumes a gentle vegetatated upwards slant before maxing out at the true summit. Because of this imposing cylinder shaped cropping as well as climbing restrictions, few reach the top these days (with exception to the beautiful birds of prey who nest on the "crown"). Once upon a time, there was a system of ladders, but perhaps due to the lack of safety, they've long since been removed. One can still enjoy the mountain with a 2.5 mile trail that loops around Big Pinnacle and Little Pinnacle. The views are grand. Climbing on the summit knob of Pilot Mountain is prohibited because it is an occasional nesting ground of the rare Northern Raven. Despite this, there are some fun rock climbing routes on crags near the summit knob, and the park authorities and the local climbing authorities are on good terms.

Obviously, for this state of affairs to continue, it is absolutely essential that climbers do not climb on the summit knob.

Elevation (feet): 2,490
Elevation (meters): 759
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Blue Ridge Mountains
State: North Carolina
Latitude: 35.3689
Longitude: -82.3464
Difficulty: Technical Climb
Nearest major airport: Greensboro
Convenient Center: Mount Airy

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 3 trip reports for Pilot Mountain.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #19379 - by Troy Wise on Mar 15, 2006
    A cloudless sky chilled by winds near the summit trails. There's a drive that takes you right to the trails around the summit area, so it qualifies more as a hike than a climb if you take that route,...
  • Log #13571 - by Mark cowan on Nov 18, 2003
    easiest 500 plus ever summitted
  • Log #13572 - by Matt Kirk on Feb 18, 2000
    I've hiked the loop trail several times, but still have not made a dash for the true summit. Someday I'll pull it off though, it looks like one short fairly easy pitch requiring the placement of only...