From the top of the Laurel Mountain Connector
, Pilot starts rolling fast immediately. For the first half-mile, the trail follows the ridge and drops through more Laurel thickets and straight-lines through much of it, dropping 200 feet in the process. Soon after that, the trail begins to get rockier and rockier and very tight switchbacks start appearing. This is what Pilot Rock is known for.
This trail comes with consequences. The rocks in the middle of the trail are often thick, and the out-slope of the trail (especially at the switchbacks) is near the edge of steep dropoffs. There are amazing views along this stretch, so taking it slow can be a great thing!
There is a beast of a rock garden that appears after you get below Pilot Rock itself. This is rideable for experts, but a very rugged section. Beyond that, the trail starts to straighten out and flat out rips again. Near the bottom there is one creek crossing before FS 1206.