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Very nice trail, fairly easy climb. Not to much traffic when we went and trail is well maintained.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike with awesome payoff at the end. My one quibble is the difficulty rating for the hike. This is definitely not a "moderate" hike though a physically fit person shouldn't have too much trouble completing it.

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

Great Hike! A bit tough, but well worth it!

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

Great trail - really well marked and maintained. The views were absolutely beautiful and I loved hiking with the sound of the creek and waterfalls nearly the whole way up. I had to wait about an hour to get into the park, but it was well worth it. If you're going on the weekend, I would advise getting there before 9.

Views were amazing. Challenging trail but worth it.

This is a really nice 1/2 day hike. The payoff at the end with the view is really beautiful, especially in the fall. Definitely would suggest making that your lunch spot. I would rate this moderate not hard, at least when comparing it to some other hikes in the region such as table rock. That being said however, it is overall an upwards gradient just about the whole time, but the switchbacks in the first half are generally pretty smooth and gradual which is why I rate it more moderate (I saw young children making it to the top...albeit it took them extra time). Lots of dogs in the trail. It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get up with one short water break, stayed at the view for about an hour, and then took 1 hour 10 minutes to come back down. Trail was pretty busy, but did go on a Saturday.

Hiked this with my 7 year old; took about 3 hours. We both loved it! Got a little nervous go be up so high at the summit with just the kiddo, dog and me; but a good opportunity to teach safety. It was beautiful, especially during leaf season. I would not rate this trail as hard; more moderate than anything. My son and I even trail ran the last mile.

Amazing view as everyone said. Took me 2hr 50 min out and back. I'll take it considering I'm a bit out of shape. lots of dogs and can be very muddy after rain.

We had a great time making this a two day trip and camping. Only negative experience was since a recent rain a lot of the trail was swampy.. but that is my only complaint! had a great time.. even in 36 degree wet weather! thanks! I would have a map for a couple areas, we hit a couple different trails to see things.

Beautiful hike and well worth it to see the waterfall.

Oct 20 18: leaves at the summit view were 10-20% turned to their fall colors.

hiking
27 days ago

The hike is SO worth the view, especially in the fall with all the changing colors. I went on a Wednesday in October and the parking was full, but the trail wasn’t nearly as full of people as I thought it would be. The trees kept me shaded almost the entire way and it took me about 2-2.5 hours to do the entire thing. Highly recommended hike!

hiking
28 days ago

The beginning is a little rough with walking through large creek bed like rocks and tree roots. After crossing the creek/river 3 times,The hike gets easier after the first 1.5 miles. The water falls are beautiful. The opening for the over look Down into town was really neat. I’m sure it was due to the rain, parts of it were really muddy.But all in all it’s a good hike in God’s nature.

One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE hikes in the Asheville area! There is so much diversity in the terrain, elevation, and difficulty that it never gets boring! And the view from the rock is magical! Yesterday we had the entire trail and rock to ourselves - and it’s OCTOBER! Not as busy as I assumed it would be. Start the trail behind the visitor center - that is by far the BEST route. The trail markings get a little confusing in some areas - when you reach the line forest, make an immediate left. When you next cross the stream, make an immediate right. If you want detailed directions, check out “Romantic Asheville” write up in this hike - it’s awesome!

hiking
1 month ago

Wow! What a freaking smoker! Very difficult terrain but worth the views! We went North to South which looks to be much easier that going South to North. A lot of fantastic views once you get to the balds. The balds will be crowded also since there is a parking lot at the base. Definitely have to check this one off your list. And yes, when it says it is one of the more difficult trails, they are not exaggerating!

Great hike. Was challenging at points but nothing crazy, was able to hike the whole thing going up without stopping. Very narrow at points so you will have to move to the side if someone is coming. Parking gets tight but you can park on the street. The only place to go to the bathroom is at the visitors lodge fyi which is at the start of the park.

hiking
1 month ago

this Trail is listed as hard but I imagine it's because there's a gradual incline most of the hike. Periodically there are sharper climbs with quicker elevation and some Slippery Rock When Wet. this hike is it should be listed as heavy moderate. when you do reach the summit and you step out onto the looking rock it'll make every one of your steps worthwhile. The view is absolutely Majestic.

We did Ivestor Gap up to Shining Rock and then came back down the Art Loeb trail and made camp on the grassy meadow at the base of Grassy Cove Top. Spectacular views, but can get crowded on weekends. Important things to note when backpacking in shining rock: 1) bear canisters are now REQUIRED when camping, 2) speaking of bears, there has been a lot of bear activity at the camp sites near Shining Creek so be aware, 3) the weather up there is very unpredictable - we had perfect weather through out Saturday but after we made camp and went to bed a storm rolled in and the wind nearly ripped our tents apart and we woke up in a cold cloud of mist!
All in all it was an amazing adventure, just be prepared if you plan to camp and bring a map because as many have mentioned the trails are poorly marked with lots of side trails.

Gorgeous views from the top! Worth the climb.

Tough but manageable 3-mile upward climb with an awesome view at the top. We are 51 and 62 in average shape and had no difficulty, but it did wear us out! It took about two hours to get to the top, where we stayed about 30 minutes, then another 90 minutes or so to get back down. Take lots of water. Don’t wear sandals as there are lots of tree roots and rocks to trip over. Hiking poles were useful.

hiking
1 month ago

Exhausting, but so worth the hike! strenuous, flat, rocky, waterfalls and mist

Great trail! We did about 1.5 hours out and back (3 hours or so total), didn't hike the whole thing but will eventually- crossing creek 3 times at beginning of hike wasn't bad at all. lots of great spots to sit on rocks near the many waterfalls you see along the way, plus hearing the falls the majority of the start of the hike was really lovely.

Amazing!!! One of the best trails we done!

No one is kidding about the view, it's absolutely breath-taking. My fiancee and I chose this hike after seeing it across the valley from Black Balsam Knob. The hike itself starts out slow and gradually gets more difficult, after the gradual switchbacks it starts getting really rocky and the path becomes a tangle of roots, it's gets maybe a little more than a 30° incline at this point but right before you hit the top it suddenly has a downward slope. We went on a Saturday and it was pretty busy, there were lots of dogs including ours and dogs of various sizes. There were people of every age on the trail, it's not too difficult but can be a little hard on the knees. Watch out for the tree roots, they tripped me on the way down. Bring lots of water!

Just a heads up, someone had a Lost Dog notice posted on October 6, 2018. A Brittany Spaniel went missing, by the name of Jake. The number to call if you see him is 303.717.0291.

Just wanted to pass this on!

This was a great hike. Moderate to Hard as it says. It took us about 2 hours to get to the top, with a few stops to drink water and let our 7 yr dog have a break. It was about an hour and half back down. The hike up doesn’t have any views (maybe later in Fall or Winter), but the view at the top is spectacular. Would be an excellent place to bring some food for a picnic.

My only warning would be to watch what time you start this hike. The first time I did it, we started to late, and ended up hiking in pitch darkness. Watching people start the hike at 4pm in Autumn, made me think they would end up hiking in the dark as well. If you start late, just make sure to bring a flashlight or two.

backpacking
1 month ago

Wow is all I can say. The trail is amazing. The views are amazing. The signage is horrible. You can easily got lost EVEN with a map. We did 12 miles the first day from the Boy Scout camp. It was awesome with amazing views and it was work. The second day following the same blazes we ended up on the mst waaaaaay off course. So off course there was no way to backtrack and regroup we ended up taking to the road and hitchhiking. Luckily I found a couple at devils courthouse and offered them $50 to give me a ride to Davidson river trail head and they said yes. I would have paid $100 lol. Beware even with a map. We had 2. There are so many social trails and other trails that come off it and most are NOT marked.

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