What an outstanding trail in WNC!!!
The trail has very little elevation change considering the overall length.
I would guess 65% of the trail is shaded - which really helps on an August hike
We only passed a dozen hikers (and that accounts for the 4 legged trekkers too.)
Colors were great even in late summer - both plants and insects.
This is far from a moderate hike. Maybe I am a little biased because Pilot is part of the Art Loeb and we hit this portion as the later part of while hiking the AL... But this was you know what on my knees. I'm not a wuss, but this is definitely not moderate. I bring my 5 yo on moderate to difficult hikes all the time... I would not bring my 5 yo to this one
This was a nice hike. It was a bit mundane the first mile or so but afterwards the trail became a bit more interesting. Not many views while on the trail, but I imagine in a couple weeks or so when the leaves begin to change it will be beautiful. Especially in winter, I would love to see the waterfall in winter. It was trickling down,it hasn't rained in a while,but was still worth seeing. Trail was moderate,sometimes it had some inclines..but not too bad. We did take the trail clockwise ,but I don't think it matters if your just hiking. If your on a bike then it might make a difference, It's also a mountain bike trail. We went on a weekend and very light traffic. We saw 3 people hiking. This trail is marked really well,made it easy to follow. It has some swimming holes and the creek is pretty much right a long the hike on and off. There were many open spots to pitch a tent and camp out. I would do this hike again maybe in a few weeks.
I love this hike. Just keep on climbing. Amazing 360-degree views of PNF from the top, including Looking Glass Rock, Mt. Hardy, Mt. Pisgah, and the Balsams. Easy to pick up some speed going down he back from the summit to Deep Gap. Like another reviewer said, the forest service road back is a little boring, but it didn't take anything away from the whole.
This was a great hike! It was more of an incline than we thought it would be..its marked as moderate on this app,but it's actually marked as very difficult on the trail. A lot of roots and rocks ,but the trail is an interesting trail. Taking the bypass to John Rock is highly recommended if your up for a little more distance and incline,but the views are pretty amazing. It took us about 3 hrs-6 miles ,but we also hung out at Johns Rock for a little while. There were many people who were camping here and there,so if your up for pitching a tent,there are many flat areas. All around,we really enjoyed this hike ! Also, the store at the education center where you park has a map of the trail. I would stop in there and grab one before you go. It's open till 4:30pm.
This was a great hike. It was a nice workout,and gorgeous views. Granted, some days have a fair amount of traffic. (Weekdays are best for this hike) I wouldn't advise anyone who hike this trail, if they don't hike often,it can be a bit of a challenge at times,especially towards the top. We brought our dog the first time and didn't even trek but a mile..too many other dogs (that were not on leashes ) as well as switchbacks and just the roots and rocks on the trail made it too difficult (as he was on a leash as every dog should be) which made this hike even more difficult. We later came back and completed the hike ,without the dog- watched the sunset and it was beautiful and well worth it! We ended up trekking back down in the dark, but we were well prepared. You can pitch a tent as well just outside of the trail ,then hike up to the summit in the AM and watch the sunrise. It's a bit of a tourist attraction,but all around,beautiful views. We actually went 2 years ago ,I wanted to post my review:).