Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Linville Gorge Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
7 days ago

Leaving my first review of many....
Second trip back to the gorge for 3 Chicago guys and one mastiff. The first time we set out to do the loop and we were humbled by the gorge very fast and learned a lot from our mistakes. We immediately planned for our return and that’s what I’m going to tell you about right now.
Second trip - Leave Chicago 10/6 - 7am arrive Wolfpit road 10/6 - 8pm. We camped next to car for the night and headed out as early as we possibly could the next day. We started heading west towards the river with our plan to do the entire loop clock wise and end back at our car at wolf pit on Sunday morning. Our first campsite was supposed to be up near cathedral falls right before Spence bridge. We thought we could do 8-10 miles our first day and get near Spence bridge, leaving the rest of the loop for thur-Saturday, but it didn’t happen. We were each carrying 80lbs packs with steaks and booze, 3
Guys and one 150lbs mastiff carrying a 20lbs backpack, we like to eat good. Our pace was much slower than expected. The gorge is no joke, when they say every mile feels like 2 in the gorge they are 100% correct. Heading north along the river is insane with a lot of weight on your back, crazy boulders and trees to hop over every 50 feet. There is literally no flat terrain on this side. You’re going up or down the entire time. We literally aimed for 10 miles our first day and hiked 4. We made it past the first river crossing which was very deep, chest high, built a fire dried off and set up camp at the next campsite. This took all day. Thursday we left camp a bit late. Everybody was exhausted from long drive and the river crossing yesterday. Again we didn’t get as far as we thought we would. The river trail has some
nasty, nasty terrain. We are fit individuals in the gym 6 days a week, and this was a struggle let me tell you. Our packs might have been a bit too heavy but we asked for this. We made it about another 4 miles and set up camp once again near Conley cove. Weather was great the entire trip, but this night it rained, and the rain prevented us from leaving camp the next day (Friday) until about 3pm. Another late start. We got up to spence bridge by night fall and scoped it out, it didn’t look promising, the bridge looked bad ass when it was usable, but it is completely destroyed now. We camped by cathedral falls Friday night, with plans to cross the river first thing in the morning. We found the worst campsite ever. No room for a tent so we all slept under a tarp and got no sleep. We woke up packed up and headed to the river crossing. When we got there it was a problem and we ran into about 8 other people in the same boat on both sides. You have an option to rock jump, which is very, very dangerous. We saw a couple people succeed but not without being saved by their friends, we literally watched people risk their lives to get across. The water level was nasty. This place is absolutely no joke. We helped construct a zip line to send the backpacks across east to west, for 6 hikers, and then we sent a dog across the zip line....We threw our backpacks rock to rock, west to east. Then we swam across. I had to drag my dog by his neck because he was so exhausted and confused. He was dragging me down and It took me three tries to get him across, I was in the freezing water for dam near 10 minutes and I came close to death. Set up a fire, dried off, and didn’t have much energy left in the tank that night. We set up
camp Saturday night 3 miles from table rock with only Sunday left to get back to the car. One day left to hike 12 miles, about as much as we have done in the past 4 days....it was not promising. We acquired a solo hiker Saturday at the crossing who stuck with us Saturday night. His car was parked at table rock and he offered to give us a ride back to wolf pit if we wanted to take the easy way out. Sunday morning we got up and started hiking. We were going to make the decision when we got to his car. We really pushed hard all day, we got to his car about 2pm. We all had very heavy packs and are extremely exhausted at this point. We
made the decision not to get in his car and keep on going and we are glad we did. We figured our trip would be extended one more night because we just didn’t think we could make it all the way to wolf pit. We were out of food and now with limited water stops hiking along the east side south, we were a bit nervous. A couple very generous people in the parking lot gave us an MRE. We said we would hike as far as possible with the sunlight we have left, camp up and finish the rest Monday morning and hit the road....we pushed as hard as possible and started searching for water. Water is limited near the chimneys, and on the east side. There are a couple of hard to reach spots on the map we tried to look for but didn’t need to. Along came another solo hiker who really boosted our confidence. He said he was parked at wolf pit also and he was going back to his car tonight. Afte

hiking
12 days ago

First trail after knee surgery and a heart attack. I made it up to the Chimney Point.

Amazing view and less traffic than Hawksbill. Many portions of this trail are extremely challenging, even as an experienced hiker. It lacks switch backs and essentially goes straight up the mountain for the second mile and is not for the faint of heart. View is more than worth it but be prepared to suck some wind!

Not as great as we were expecting. The trail is more of a short walk than a true hike. Very crowded and heavily trafficked.

This trail gets very difficult shortly after you turn towards Table Rock from Spence Ridge. Long steep climb before leveling off at a beautiful cliff area that we thought was a better view of the gorge than Table Rock itself (and much less crowded). Great trail if you're active and looking to work up an appetite!

Fantastic trail. lots of great views and good campsites. Pretty tough though, and the trail isn't always the most well kept. A challenge, but a welcome one.

A favorite! A natural slip and slide. Pack a lunch and extra clothes for splashing around in the summer and stay a while.

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful views, but lots of tourists. Easy walk to each site.

Amazing view of the falls, but the trail is a bit strenuous for people that are new to hiking or out of shape. Make sure you're ready for it!

This trail is a must to get up close and personal with the falls! Trail is steep with roots and rocks but people (and dogs) of all ages were making the hikes. Starts to the left of the visitors center, off of the blue ridge parkway.

This trail is a burner. I took Spence Ridge down to the gorge and decided to “just knock out” the table rock trail after I got back to the trailhead. This trail is almost vertical in some areas and I quickly realized this wouldn’t be the stroll that I had foolishly imagined it would be. It is a hard trail but very rewarding.

walking
25 days ago

Short and sweet but very beautiful.

Not difficult, but still a great workout and spectacular views

Wonderful hike, would recommend! There is no bridge and it’s not a good place to cross!

We started at Pine Gap and hiked as far as we could south. The first night we camped right before Spence’s Ridge would meet up with the Linville Gorge Trail. Hiked about 10 miles including some spurts to Babel Tower and the end of Pine Gap. The second day we hiked as far south as we could but there were two major landslides and we couldn’t find the trail after the 2nd one. We were probably a mile from where it ends. We turned around and hiked past where we spent the night before, probably 1.5 miles south of Babel. Hiked out from there the next day. There are plenty of campsites on the south end, especially around the Conley Cove access. Plenty of water stations! It is a beautiful hike and wasn’t as bad as we were expecting. It is very rocky and there are lots of down trees! Probably could cross the river at the south end but would not rely on crossing near Devils Hole or Spence’s Ridge unless you are prepared to swim against a raging river and get entirely wet!!

Awesome view of the gorge.

One of the most interesting trails in the gorge area. Fantastic views and not nearly as crowded as table rock and hawksbill

Loved it!! Took about an hour round trip including a lot of time spent at the four different overlooks. Amazing views of Linville Falls, Linville Gorge, and the chimneys. The trail is very easy and clear, would definitely do again!!! It’s actually 0.9 miles one way, so almost 2 miles total.

Amazing views

1 month ago

steep going down and coming up but it's pretty short. Beautiful!!! camping spots everywhere along the river. Great hike. stayed 3 days.

walking
1 month ago

It’s worth it remember to see both sides of the falls! Then head to the North Carolina rock museum place up st Kings overland !!!! Learn about the geology of Linville!

The hike gives you lots of amazing views! Will definitely do this hike again when the fall colors are at peak

Rated hard, but very easy and a great view!

Love this Trail. It’s not strenuous or long but requires your focus for footing as you will trek over many rocks.

the gravel road to get to the trail head is really long. the trail itself is well defined though I didn't see many blazes the first half. passed several campsites early on after that its pretty strenuous and mostly uphill. second half is nearly all downhill. bring water! several places to take in veiws and they are worth it! went on a Wednesday morning and there was very light traffic. several trails connect to this one and I could hear people on those but never saw them.

great hike for me and a 12 and 10 year old. hit the chimneys and down to the river.

Went early on a Sunday morning, enjoyed the peace and quiet of the fairly short hike to the upper falls where I watched the sunrise. Hell of a way to start the day!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, bring plenty of water. The real challenge is getting back up! The plants are starting to overgrow onto the path so be prepared for some cuts

Pretty tough trail, but definitely worth it! Lots of gorgeous overlooks on the way up if you need to stop and catch your breath.

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