Easy to moderate in my opinion. Hiked a 10 miler (round trip) along the east rim of the Gorge. Went an extra 2 miles after I reached the Shortoff Summit. Probably got close to 1,400 feet in elevation gain, so I was at about 3,100 feet. So many vistas along the way. A lot of views south of Lake James on the way up. The views to the west and to the north were the gifts that kept on giving once the trail flattened out. Sick views of Table Rock Mtn and below into the Gorge. Grandfather Mtn was in the back behind Table Rock and Hawksbill Mtn, and Mt Mitchell was in the distance behind the west rim of the Gorge. Would have gone all the way to Table Rock for a 14 mile round trip if not for the heat. Very rewarding hike.