Last updated July 24, 2023
There’s not a lot of flat on the Pinnacle loop. It’s pretty much up or down. For many cyclists in Orange, the Pinn is the default ride and for good reason – it’s around an hour long, has a good amount of climbing (550m) and passes through stunning scenery. An added bonus is it’s normally quiet with (mostly) considerate drivers travelling below 80kph.
The classic loop is anti-clockwise. From Woodward Street, turn right on to Racecourse Road before a right again on to Canobolas Road. A flat section takes you past the racecourse, before the climbing starts on the way up to Canobolas Public School. From there it’s a series of short steep climbs and descents before reaching the main climb (the Stairs Road segment averages 9% for 1.5km) up to the Pinnacle picnic area.
Once you’ve reached the top, it’s a fast downhill run back to town only briefly interrupted by some small hills. Take it easy on the descent past Wallace Lane, the road surface is particularly rough and choosing a good line is difficult.
Food & Water
No food or water on route. Omar by Academy Coffee is an excellent cafe just 300m up the road from the start at Elephant Park. There is also a cafe at Lake Canobolas (turn right at Lake Canobolas Road) run by the Anything Grows crew.
Vineyards en Route
- Ross Hill
- Colmar Estate
- Philip Shaw (turn down Shiralee Rd)
- Word of Mouth
- Borrodell (if you turn off toward the Lake)
Watch out for
Road Condition: sealed two way without any shoulder. Road condition is generally fair with some patched sections. The descent near Wallace Lane is especially poor. Watch for potholes, especially after rain.
Traffic: Generally light, particularly as you get further out of town. Canobolas Public School is about 5.5km, so on school days avoid going in that direction between 8.30am & 9.15am and likewise in the afternoon avoid the loop clockwise if you are due to pass the school between 3pm & 3.45pm.
Variations / Extensions
Ride the loop clockwise: breaks the climbing in to 3 main sections and takes you up to the top a bit sooner. It includes the Stairs Road climb as a winding descent and views over Orange once you are closer to town.
Mt Canobolas / The Lookout: Turn right on Mount Canobolas Road for a solid 5.7km climb averaging 6.9%, including some 13% sections. The views are stunning as you wind your way up through the forest amidst the trees and birdsong. The vegetation changes notably from the tall Peppermints and Stringy Barks near the base to the smaller Snow Gums at the top. The lookout is part way up, offers views over Orange and is a good option if you don’t fancy going to the Summit.
Mt Canobolas (gravel): Turn off at the Pinnacle carpark for a gravel ride through the pines and eucalypts up to the summit the back way. Suitable for MTB and gravel bikes, the road does get very rough in places, but the views to the south of Mt Canobolas are worth it.