To many it looks like a volcano. And though Pinnacle Mountain may be interesting geologically, there certainly is no lava involved.
"The minerals would be all the different ingredients," says Susan Staffeld, the instructor at a geology workshop held at Pinnacle Mountain.
She says Little Rock and Pinnacle Mountain are situated right in the middle of several of the state's geological regions.
Staffeld says, "Right here we have the Arkansas River behind us. We're standing on a Ouachita mountain. But also the delta is just a few miles away, the gulf coastal plains just to our south, and the Ozarks just on the other side of the Arkansas River."
The Ouachitas run east and west through much of the western part of the state. And yet they are very different from the Ozark Mountains. That's because the Ozarks aren't really mountains at all.
"The Ozarks are actually a plateau," says Staffeld. "They're also called the Boston Mountains. They weren't formed by the plates up lifting across each other. They all lifted up together and were cut down by erosion."
Pinnacle Mountain is at the end of the Ouachita range. But just outside the visitor center one can easily see an example of the forces that created Arkansas' only true mountains. The upward angle of the rock indicates a collision of tectonic plates.
And Pinnacle Mountain, just like the rest of the Ouachitas is a result of that upward pressure.
Staffeld displays a number of rocks that can be found in Arkansas. Some are colorful. Some sparkle in the light. The Ozarks are primarily limestone, and the Ouachitas -- mostly sandstone.
320 million years ago most of Arkansas was covered by an ocean. That deposited the sandstone that was eventually thrust up into the Ouachita Mountains -- the only mountain range in the country that runs east to west instead of north to south.
Visit Pinnacle Mountain, where a little lesson in geology just might leave you Amazed by Arkansas.