Pinnacle Mountain Falls is off the Palmetto Trail behind the conference building in Table Rock State Park, near the campgrounds. There’s ample parking in the asphalt lot. You can’t miss the trailhead behind the conference center. Cell signal and GPS are spotty, so don’t be surprised if your battery drains while the radio continually tries and fails to connect.
This waterfall isn’t on the approved trail, but it’s oft-hiked and there’s very little bushwhacking involved. It’s 1.46 miles to the falls. It’s a pretty easy hike until the abandoned dirt road near the ridge. From there, it gets a little more challenging as you make your way down the hill and parallel to an old church camp. A little while later, you cross a little creek on what looks like an old stone cross-vane. After fording the creek—and I use that term loosely—the turn-off for the falls is maybe about a hundred yards ahead on the right. It’s demarcated by a tree with a yellow blaze on the trunk. A fallen tree blocks the unofficial trail to the falls (or used to), but it’s a well-worn path.
The .4 mile trail up to the falls is tough. The first two hundred yards or so are not so bad, but then you hit a boulder field that goes all the way up the mountain. It’s like climbing the stairs of a thirty-story building. As soon as your legs turn to jelly and you think it’s time give up and turn around, you’ll be about to see the falls. Climb a little higher and you can rest for a while in the waterfall’s cool mist.
If you have trouble with elevation, I highly recommend investing in some trekking poles. I learned about this unconventional hike from Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina.
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