Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachian Trail)
Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle are supposed to two of the best views on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. They didn’t disappoint. Both points offered an endless view of the Leigh alley and surrounding areas.
Even though it was 25 degrees when we started, the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop parking lot was busy. When we started at 8 am on a cold day, we got one of the last spots. By the time we were done around 1 pm, the parking lot was filled and people were waiting. While we didn’t see an overwhelming amount of people on the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop, there were people out. To avoid the crowds for a day trip, hike the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop early. I didn’t realize it was a big tourist attraction too!
The Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop is about 9.1 miles and has 1300 feet in elevation gain.
After you park at the Hamburg Reservoir parking lot you’ll follow the gravel road (blue-blazed) uphill where the hike starts. While you can hike to either Pulpit Rock or on the Pinnacle Loop, for the full hiking experience, hike the 8.7 mile circuit together.
Then make your way onto the white trail (Appalachian Trail). The first two miles are the hardest when you climb to Pulpit Rock and the first ista. The next mile requires climbing over rocks and also low-grade scrambling.
You’ll need a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or trail shoes. (I prefer the Hoka Speedgoat Midi).
It’s rocky terrain with a rocky slope to get to Pulpit Rock.
Once you reach the top of Pulpit Rock, you’ll see views of Lehigh valley, surrounding ridges, and Pennsylvania farmland. After taking in the iew at Pulpit Rock, follow the trail to the left. That will take you along the Pinnacle Loop.
To continue on the Pinnacle Loop, you’ll take the blue trail. You’ll follow the ridge and pretty much have a beautiful view until you get to the Pinnacle. After the Pinnacle, you’ll pretty much be on fire roads the rest of the way back. The last 4 miles are easy hiking and an easy downgrade to the bottom. You won’t have to worry as much about rocks and terrains and can easily take your time.
In all, the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop was one of my favorite hikes to date.
You can see more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Hiked the Appalachian Trail? Hae you hiked Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop?
What is one of your favorite hikes?