Explore the best trails near Banner Elk with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
This is a great hike. It is a tough hike uphill. I would disagree with a previous post about it being treacherous. The hike is definitely worth the views at the top. Don't worry about the ladders they are made of 4x4's with only three rungs and are easy to climb. We packed a lunch and ate at the top. The winds are a bit strong but you can duck into the hardwoods and escape them quickly if they are making you cold. We did see a few trail runners that were making great time. It took us about 3:45 of moving time excluding our lunch and water breaks.
This is a very challenging trail NOT for the inexperienced hiker or for the faint of heart. It is moderately difficult until you get to the Shanty springs and then it is pretty much straight up and, as the write up says, "rocky" which, loosely translated means, BOULDERS. Plan on 2 + hours from Hwy 105 to the peak and, depending on your physical state at the top, an equal or greater amount of time on the way back down. And, no, it is not easier coming down. The same terrain and ascents that required superior leg strength and mobility are there on the way down with the added feature of gravity pulling you face first towards the rocks that you are trying to navigate. It is very well marked in both directions and a great experience if you are up for a full day of strenuous hiking.
Bill B. on Profile Trail
Easy at first then it starts getting steep