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The Pinnacle is a rarely climbed peak but is well worth a visit if you're in the area. Despite its modest height (under 1000 metres), The Pinnacle has impressive views in all directions.
This hike commences at the Jerusalem Creek Day Visitor Area where the trail head marker can be located about 50 meters along Jerusalem Creek track (to the South-West), on the left hand side. From the roadside, the walking track is well defined and makes use of orange metal triangle markers to aid in navigating the route.
The trail leads South-East over an open grassy rise before following the river flat of Barnewall Creek for a short way until the vegetation closes in. This section of the track can be a little muddy and slippery if there has been wet weather. The trail crosses the creek via a small wooden bridge, shortly after the first sign-post for Pinnacle Track is reached (1.4km from start).
From here you will begin a gradual climb out of the gully, strictly following the ridgeline and markers. The ascent is gradual to start with but becomes quite steep, especially as the trail gets closer to the summit of The Pinnacle. A second set of signposts are reached close to 4km in and this is the beginning of Rocky Spur where an arrow points to Taylors Creek Rd to the North (your left), another points back to Jerusalem Creek Ford (start of the trail) and the third (to the right) is for Pinnacle track which continues southward towards the summit.
The trail levels out slightly from this point, but only for a moment until the final few steep ascents to The Pinnacle summit. Just before the summit there are views out to the East where Mount Torbreck can be seen. Views from the top of The Pinnacle are a bit obscured by trees but glimpses of the landscape beyond can be achieved, out to the North-West Mount Howitt can be seen on a clear day. The summit of The Pinnacle is unmarked but has been reached once the track begins to slope away to a seasonal road closure gate where Pinnacle Walking Track intersects and ends at Pinnacle Track (4x4).
Return to Jerusalem Creek Ford (where the hike began and car is parked) via the same route back down. Like the route up it is also marked with orange triangle markers.
Jerusalem Creek Camp Area
There are a half-dozen designated camping areas at Jerusalem Creek, each with about 10 sites. These need to be pre-booked using the Parks Victoria website. Seasonal closure is in place for Jerusalem Creek Camping Areas from the Thursday following Queens Birthday weekend to the Thursday before Cup weekend. The closure is for regeneration and maintenance purposes. Areas 1, 2 and 8 remain open for camping during this time.
About the region
Lake Eildon National Park is in the northern foothills of Victoria's Central Highlands, 150 km north-east of Melbourne. Situated on the shores of Lake Eildon, the park protects 27,750 ha of rugged hills with open woodlands through to dense forest. It is very scenic and offers the opportunity to experience an array of wildlife, natural and historic features and a wide range of recreational activities. Lake Eildon National Park offers a variety of settings to explore; from open bush in the north, to dense vegetation in the south and east. Enjoy bushwalking, cycling, boating and fishing or try the more adventurous pursuit of waterskiing. Relax in a scenic environment and experience native wildlife.
The trail head is 155km from Melbourne's CBD on Jerusalem Inlet, 10 km south of the township of Eildon and reached by following Jerusalem Creek Rd. Once past all Jerusalem campsites a small vehicle ford (concrete base) must be crossed before parking at the Jerusalem Creek Day Visitor Area (space for about 4 cars), on the left.
- Pet lovers, note: this is the only camping spot in the national park in which dogs are permitted.
Contributed by Andrew Hunter-Graham
Max elevation: 915 m
Min elevation: 305 m
Total climbing: 656 m
Total descent: -656 m