Shortoff Mountain Trail

HARD 44 reviews

Shortoff Mountain Trail is a 14.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Morganton, NC that features a lake 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.

14.5 miles 3821 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

This is an unmarked section of wilderness hiking in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. From the base of Shortoff Mountain at the Wolfpit parking area, north to the base of the Chimney's is approximately five miles. Trekking in and out would be 10 miles total. Stunning views of the Gorge; plenty of spaces for camping (primitive / backcountry) and several water sources if you locate them ahead of time on a topo. Absolutely no blazes, but the trail is clear. If you can read a map, you are golden.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike with phenomenal views. Strenuous ascent takes about 45 minutes to an hour, them very easy cross-country hiking across the top of the ridge. I have only gone about three miles across so I can't speak for the entire 14 mile hike.

backpacking
17 days ago

This is my favorite trail in the gorge. It has absolutely the best views of the gorge and eastern side valley as you walk the ridge. There are numerous camp sites near the Chimneys and just south of Shortoff Mountain. THERE IS NO WATER ANYWHERE ON THIS TRAIL AS OF NOV 2016. The bog and water tree are dry, so plan accordingly. Take some time to linger around the Chimneys and explore. Many access this trail from Wolf Pit parking lot, but I find it easier to start at Table Rock.

25 days ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

Really beautiful up there ...

2 months ago

Not an easy hike but not too strenuous. The climb back up to table rock parking lot from shortoff is very steep. Great views of sunset and sunrise.

3 months ago

6 months ago

Beautiful views ~ not too challenging, but definitely not an easy hike, either.

7 months ago

amazing trail!!

camping
7 months ago

Great hike from Shortoff to Tablerock. Be warned though if you are coming from wolf pit parking area and plan to go to tablerock it is a 10.6 mile trip there. Also the only source of water is located in the first 2 miles of that journey so bring plenty. Overall a beautiful place.

8 months ago

8 months ago

It's real good , no sign to wolfpit road . After pass all the lake James entrance you'll go over a small bridge then the small dirt road /Slash driveway almost a mile on left has about 5-6 mailboxes at end of it with some letters on mail box saying wolfpit . That's only sign . Go straight up rocky road wouldn't do it in bad weather it's not a state maintained road and almost 3 miles long . Copperheads are out so be careful .

hiking
8 months ago

This was a great hike with excellent views. Only took the trail 4 miles before turning back. The first mile was a little steep but the rest was relatively flat. There was a fog in the Gorge that didn't come off until on the way back. Even after the fog lifted the Gorge and distant views of Lake James were a little hazy. This will be even better once the trees turn green.

camping
8 months ago

I love Shortoff. It has breathtaking views and a cute little pond up on the summit. I camped at the top for a night, the wind from the gorge was quite loud but we didn't feel any of it. Love love love ❤️

hiking
10 months ago

We had a nice hike. Wolf Pit Rd is crazy. Single lane gravel for several miles. We passed a few other vehicles but luckily we were at places to pass by. The trail is quite rocky but not the worst I've been on. We had kids along so the pace was easy. I'll be back for sure to explore some of the side trails and venture around. Views were beautiful. Don't let cold stop you it was 32 degrees when we started but we warmed up fast and were down to base layers only very quickly.

hiking
11 months ago

This isn't overly challenging but definitely a moderate trail. It is rocky and steep in spots, and it's almost completely uphill but it's so worth the effort. The views are fantastic! I didn't start recording until we had covered a decent portion of the trail, but in and out was 4 miles from where we parked. The parking is limited at the trail head. Great hike and I would go again and backpack in and camp a couple of days.

hiking
1 year ago

I completed this trail on October 8th. It is a difficult climb, however the rewards are worth it. The views are wonderful. When you come to the intersection with the MST to river trail turn around so your back is facing the sign. Then you will see two trails one on your left and the other on your right. If you want to see the awesome views take the trail on your left, this will take you close to the cliffs. The trail is a little longer than taking the one on the right, which is a more direct route. If you take the trail to your left you will come across some water coming out of the mountain, it’s roughly about 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The pond at the top was full of water as well, which i assumed would be with all of the rain lately. I highly recommend hiking this trail if you get the chance.

1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

Just about the most difficult climb I've done in years, probably bc we camped and I had a full pack plus gallons of water on my back and it was sunny and hot. There is no shade going up there bc of the fires back in '07. It's worth it once you get to the top though. However, Sept 2015, THERE IS NO WATER AT ALL UP THERE.