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Stone Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 58 reviews

Stone Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Roaring Gap, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.7 miles 1049 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

Hike around the granite dome at Stone Mountain State Park south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A granite bulge forms the centerpiece of Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain Loop takes you to the top of the bulge, past a scenic waterfall and through the restored homestead of a family that lived in the shadow of Stone Mountain for four generations. The park also provides an excellent side trip for travelers along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. Two trailheads at Stone Mountain State Park lead to the loop. While the Lower Trailhead in the park's northeast corner gets you to the base of the mountain more quickly, the far better hiking route is from the Upper Trailhead on the west side of the park. From there, you hike a short spur to reach the loop trail, hang a left, walk down past Stone Mountain Falls and then continue till the massive wall of granite starts to fill the background behind the thinning tree.. Slack-jawed wonder is a perfectly natural response to seeing Stone Mountain for the first time. Once you get your wits about you again, you can explore the Hutchinson family's homestead, occupied for a century from 1855 to 1955. Then it's a steep slog to the summit - a vast, sloping field of granite striped black by one rainstorm after another. Finally, it's all downhill to get back where you came from.

5 days ago

Love it!

hiking
21 days ago

The majority of this trail is a gradual incline on a wide, well kept path. It takes you to a waterfall and the summit.

hiking
23 days ago

Love this trail. Hiked it counter-clockwise for more uphill time. Views are amazing. Popular place so lots of people. There were also very many stink bugs buzzing around like black flies when I went in the fall. I haven't encountered that anywhere.

hiking
1 month ago

Overall, this is a great moderate hike. I went early morning on Saturday, started at the lower lot and had the trail pretty much to myself. By the time I was completing the loop the trail was very busy and loud.

Great hike with good views but recommend getting an early start if you want to enjoy quiet time at the top and at the falls.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best trails anywhere! Went on a clear autumn day with blue skies and saw breath taking scenery that melted my heart! Can't wait to go back again! Trail surface is well taken care of, wide and well designed. I went on the loop trail counter-clockwise from the Upper lot! SP says 4.5 miles but my GPS logged in 5.8 . You'll do some extra walking at the Summit and the Homestead especially if you have a camera. The Summit offers the wonderful scenery you dream about and it goes forever! The distance and the sculpture is fantastic! Trail is somewhat steeper near the switchback at the top! Rest often if you need to! The Summit is an amazing rock formation - it requires some common sense. It is a giant ball cap! If you walk out to far you are a goner! It is not tricky - just don't push it! Stay REAL safe! Counsel the young ones and the non believers! Keep them close! Do not attempt to walk out far enough to look over and see the ground - it can't be done without falling off! The rock surface is amazing and great to observe and/or Photograph! Photo opts at this place are inexhaustible - bring tripod!, extra batteries and sd chips! Come early and spend the day! Pack food and 3 waters in a day pack! We started @ 11:00AM finished at 5:30PM enjoyed the whole day! Went down 500 steps to the bottom near the Lower lot and proceed thru a gorgeous trail with bridges to the Homestead. Loop trail takes you to the Homestead avoid the road. Drinking fountain was available here when I went! Amazing view of Stone mountain here - this is what you came for! Just breath taking! A wide open field exposes Stone Mountains face and all of its glory! Wide angle lens or Panorama shots! Afterwards a pretty creek leads you up some steps to the base of a 200 foot water fall! Now up the steps, 300 of them. Take your time here, let your heart settle and then do some more - it is a journey, not a contest. When you get to the top - get out your common sense again and don't go out on the top of the water fall at all - take your pictures where there is something to hold on too! You are tired now - remember that! Take a good break here. Finish the trail - when you see the chimney, you are close to the end. Water and restroom are right there! Drink water, lots of it! So glad I went - thank you North Carolina this place is a treasure of beauty! Photographers Dream!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with a great variety of views. I started at the upper parking lot, and went counter clockwise.

The hike to the top of Stone Mountain is nice. The path is well maintained, with few obstacles. The route up is not too steep either.

The views from the top are excellent panoramic / horizon views. I also recommend checking out the view from the back of stone mountain, there are several spurs off the main trail, The view is also very nice.

Going down the mountain (counter clockwise) requires going down hundreds of stairs, which is glad I did not hike up this direction. The trail stays relatively flat until you reach the Stone Mountain Falls.

The Stone Mountain Falls are nice, I do wish there had been a little more water flowing the day I was there. Be prepared to go up a good number of steps back to the upper parking lot after the falls, although not nearly as many as the backside of Stone Mountain.

Overall great hike, will most likely do it again. I would like to check out wolf rock and cedar trail next time too, I hear the views from them are great.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice Hike. I started at the upper parking lot and went down to the falls first. LOTS of steps. the climb back up the mountain is tougher with uneven steps and no railing. Nice views, although I think the panoramic views from the Cedar Rock path are nicer. I hike several times a week and this was a challenge. however, I was carrying my 26# toddler on my back!!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We left from upper parking lot and started counter clockwise on the loop (to the right) on advice of another reviewer. Good choice. The trail is a gradual incline, getting steeper near the summit. We stayed on the rock face for a while enjoying the view, the breeze and a snack. Beautiful view looking across valley to Cedar Rock, I think, and mountains beyond. We continued on the trail down hundreds of stair steps built into the trail to the lower parking lot. Thank goodness we did not have to summit from that direction! When we got near the lower parking lot, we veered off to the right onto the Wolf Rock trail (about 2 mi.), then left at the Cedar Rock trail (about 0.5 mi.), then left at the Black Jack trail (0.3 mi.) to rejoin the Loop. That added about 2.5 miles and about an hour and a half to our hike. My husband regretted the detour due to Achilles issues and questioning my navigation skills, but, fortunately, we ended up just where I said we would. Those were much less travelled trails, and Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock had equally spectacular views. If you are in relatively good shape and are not in a big hurry, I recommend these side hikes. The return loop is a beautiful level hike with meadow on your left and a creek on on your right. Lots of rhododendron and hardwood color this time of year. Waterfall near the end of the hike is pretty if not spectacular. Now, the bad news: from the falls to the final trail to the spur to the parking lot there are 330 stair steps. Brutal at the end of about 8 miles. Oh well, we survived, but I think this is the last time I am allowed to set our course. I really enjoyed the day, felt like I had accomplished something when we made it back to the car and felt zero guilt having ice cream afterwards ;)

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Most amazing hike! Took a left at the trail head and headed to the waterfall first. It's not much of a fall compared to others in the area, but not bad either. Nice and relaxing. After getting back on the trail we reached the homestead, which was so nice to see. It is at the foot of the mountain. We explored the mountain a bit at the climbing spot that is there. After that the trail became a bit more strenuous, but we were rewarded with the most beautiful views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Especially when we reached the summit. This is one we will do again for sure and I can definitely recommend it.

hiking
1 month ago

There are two main options to do the loop trail. You can start from the Upper trailhead or Lower trailhead. The AllTrails starting point is the Upper trailhead (on their map), which is where I started. I went counterclockwise. If you're starting from the Upper lot going counterclockwise gets you to the summit of Stone Mountain quicker. It's also the easiest way to the summit as the approach from the other side requires walking up some rather steep steps. The counterclockwise approach from the Upper lot is a gradual incline on mostly gravel.

Continuing counterclockwise from the summit, taking the Wolf Rock Trail will give you a longer loop and the best views of Stone Mountain from below. One word of note though. The AllTrails map has the Cedar Rock Trail branching off of the Wolf Rock Trail before you get to the Blackjack Ridge Trail. This is incorrect. The branch happens after Wolf Rock and is easily missed. Also if you take the Cedar Rock Trail it is quite a challenge as it is rather steep, and you'll be walking up mostly the rock face (so be careful). Conversely you can continue on the Blackjack Ridge Trail for a much easier hike which will connect you back with the Cedar Rock Trail and then ultimately back to the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. You will still enjoy the same views of Cedar Rock if you stay on the Blackjack Ridge Trail (and you will still enjoy the great view of Stone Mountain from below).

Overall this is a very nice trail with great views. Keep an eye out for snakes when you're on the rock faces. I ran in to an eastern milk snake. Harmless but it was definitely not happy to see me. But I thought it was pretty cool nonetheless!

hiking
1 month ago

The Stone Mountain loop trail has everything, a beautiful waterfall, a stream to follow, and an amazing dome of granite rock looking out over the Blue Ridge Mountains! I always go early and have a picnic lunch on top of Stone Mountain. It's incredibly beautiful and relaxing! And if you get a chance, hike over to Wolf Rock. Beautiful view and not as many people.

hiking
2 months ago

I took a right to have the waterfall as a reward. I had a great time and it has beautiful views.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is marked as difficult. Most of the trail is easy to hike though there are LOTS of steps. The loop takes you to a waterfall as well as walking directly on the Stone Mountain. What an amazing view! Will definitely do again and especially during the fall peak season. Aside from the steps, some areas of the mountain were challenging to walk on. Overall I would say this is a moderate trail with some areas I would rate as difficult. Worth the challenge!

3 months ago

Stone mountain was well worth the view. My recommendation to get the most out of this trail would be to park in the lower trailhead parking lot and take the stone mountain summit and make sure you do the wolf rock and cedar rock trails that connect with it. You'll get another amazing view as well as a great view of stone mountain. You'll get to walk to the homestead. You can loop right back to your car after that. Be aware that the stone mountain trail will require a lot of man-made steps, but it's less populated. It could be based on the time of year, but the lower falls seemed like a tiny trickle of water and the stone mountain falls are not with the 400+ steps to view. The trails were all well marked and well groomed.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Well..that was an experience! #1 I am directionally challenged and get lost easily lol..So after reading the reviews on here, I figured this to be an easy hike, Wrong! I went down by the falls and around to the base of mountain, not sure where to go from there, so I went straight to mountain where the sign was, figured I'd just start climbing! Half hour later, exhausted..no where to go, So went back to trail and thought the way up with the 3 other trails would take me around to top. No. 1 mile later, just turned back and went Allll the way back to the falls and up the million stairs and just took the opposite way to the summit, and I was determined to get to the top! Exhausted is an understatement! I'm in good shape and hike weekly, but by my mistakes I added work!..on the bright side, the views were amazing, waterfall was cool, but kind of dried up..it's a good hike for a work out

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

Great hike with such wonderful variety. Forest, open space, creek side, waterfalls, homestead side trip all topped with an breathtaking summit. Hard for sure but worth it. Take your time...and water and a snack!