Babel Tower Trail

HARD 89 reviews
#5 of 27 trails in

Babel Tower Trail is a 2.4 mile out and back trail located near Marion, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.4 miles
843 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




Scenic Views, Wildflowers, Rugged Beauty Ok this is one for the tough, and this is probably one of the easiest trails in the Gorge. The climb from the river back to your car is intense, and you will think you have hiked 10 miles before you get there. In the spring Wild flowers grow at trailside, and the views of the river at the tower are breath taking, you are standing on a ledge with about 400 Ft. of air between you and the river. Don't miss continuing down the trail to the river you might see a Brown Trout of better than 36 inches there, to say nothing of its rugged beauty. Crossing the river is not recommended here. When you get back to your car, go the extra mile down SR-1238 to Wisemans View, The views of the Gorge, Hawksbill Rock, and Table Rock are outstanding there. Its only a short easy walk down to the viewing platforms.

1 day ago

Awesome hike, great views and extremely interesting flora. A few campsites along the way, a couple boulders with overhang acting as shelters also. Views of the river, table rock, hawksbill, and shortoff mountain. If you go past the all trails marker for the end you can wrap around and climb the tower. Make sure you have adequate supplies and that you have good weather.

1 month ago

Enjoyed the hike a lot. Highlight was realizing there are fabulous campsites near the Tower (next time) and a magazine quality one on top. What a view to crawl out of a tent to in the morning. Amazing.

1 month ago

When you get to the tower stay to the right trail will take you down to the river and you can hike it all the way back! Hike back up is fun! Beautiful views and water. my favorite place I’ve been to!

2 months ago

Grate hike awesome views all the way down beautiful a wonderland

3 months ago

Fun trail. I didn’t realize the Tower was the end - I continued down to the river (veered left in front of the tower). There was a path going right that I didn’t take. Going down to the river makes this a even tougher climb back up but it’s well worth it. Some climbing over fallen trees / big rocks and stumps is required. I went in March and it was empty. Saw only 1 other hiker. The falls were great. Really enjoyed the hike. .

4 months ago

This trail was a lot tougher than I expected. With that being said, this was an absolutely gorgeous hike. The payoff was completely worth the effort. At the end of the trek there is an awesome overhang with a beautiful view which is perfect for camping or simply having lunch.

7 months ago

Hiked this Friday and I was surprised that no one commented on “the 3 mile road” to trail head that is basically a dirt bike track! I have a Subaru and made it through fine, but saw many cars turning around because couldn’t make it over the bumps..but yes trail was all down than all up..not impossible but a good work out..the water Fall was a better time than Babel Tower

7 months ago

Unbelievable 360 views from the top of the tower!! Spend time up on the tower and soak it in.

7 months ago

Awesome trail, not for the faint of heart. I thought I was in decent shape until hiking this trail! And we only went about halfway down to the river. Now I wish we’d gone all the way. Guess I’ll just have to go back.

8 months ago

Good hike. The combination of a wet trail with slick leaves and rocks made it a little more difficult going down but it was worth it. Took a little searching to find the trail to the top of the Tower. The trail is comparable to the Spence Ridge Trail on the other side of the Gorge but not that difficult.

9 months ago

This trail is a good one, once we got to tower, it was obvious there were plenty of places to camp. It goes down to the babel tower, so the hike out is back up. We were determined to climb up the tower and eventually found our way up the side. make sure to find the trail that leads to the river for some great swimming and beautiful views of the gorge. We hiked this in June and it was an all around great outdoor experience. We hiked, saw great views, scrambled/climbed up the rock formation, and swam in the river. And the hike is not even a long one!

10 months ago

This is an awesome trail and it's exactly what I'm looking for if I don't have my daughter with me. The view is gorgeous and going down to the river is a must! The hike out is difficult, water is a must. You will be climbing waist high rocks for part of it. It's steep and between the rocks and the roots in the path good footing is important. I hiked this trail after walking up and down a river fly fishing for 8 hours so it was definitely a workout climbing out when we were already exhausted. It's beautiful.

11 months ago

"Oh dear Lord, thank you for helping me get back up this trail , as I haven't hiked for 30 years and this probably wasn't the best one start with".

Ok, the trail is everything mentioned above and below....except easy. However, the view from the Babel tower rock formation is worth your effort. Hike beyond the formations southern face and the hike....climb....crawl trail is off to your right.

Trail down to Linville is narrow and steep... not for the weak of heart (literally ) . However, the swim awaiting was worth every curse, turned ankle, and slapped fly! Then, I wanted to call a cab, but my husband assured me it would be a long... Long wait! Lol

Watch you step, and know that the trip back up will kick butt if you are a cupcake like me!

11 months ago

11 months ago

This is an excellent hike. It is easy to go up to the top of the tower, but finding the trail is tricky, because you need to go up on a boulder first to find that trail (see my recording). The trail is somewhat rocky especially if you also want to go down to the river, but it is worth to do so. You have a great waterfall and a nice river at the end.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Absolutely beautiful. Very treacherous climb back out especially if you take the side trail to the falls. Bring plenty of water. Be very careful coming back out, very easy to take the wrong trail and get lost. I did. But all trails will get you back to the road evidently. Take a map with you. I ran into a lot more hikers than expected which turned out to be a good thing, they helped me find my way out.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Super fun and pretty quick. Straight down descent and ascent, so it might be hard on your knees but the rock tower and views from inside the gorge are worth it!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tough hike for any beginners.
Big payoff if you climb up to the top of the tower.
Take plenty of water. You will need it for the hike back uphill to Old Hwy 105.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Wonderful hike with great swimming and climbing spots everywhere with pretty flowers in the spring. Hike down is easy, but back up can be hard. Beautiful spot with a little view as well early on. Saw a couple of snakes, bees, birds, squirrels, crawfish, fish, and chipmunks.

Monday, October 24, 2016

great trail. The view at the end is well worth it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This trail can be deceiving because going in is very easy. Getting it is all elevation gain. The view from the tower is nice and there is a great view half way down the trail.

Monday, August 15, 2016

One of my favorite hikes in NC, we did it in about 2 hours. If you try to climb up on the babel tower itself, it is very difficult and requires a bit of climbing.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Tough hike but worth the views! The hike back up is strenuous so make sure you have plenty of water.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The trail to the top is obvious though NO blazes.
If you try to go to the bottom to see the falls good luck bc we couldn't find it...there is a very primitive trail which is extremely strenuous but fun.. We were on all fours climbing out...the views from top were amazing. Took 1.5 hours to top less than hour back out but kept a very brisk pace
To us it was easier coming out bc you didn't have to worry as much about your footing.
I only regret not seeing falls.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Beautiful scenery and a great workout!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great hike. Took my teenage daughter and two friends we all loved it. At 1.3 miles you hit Babel Tower. Hike around the back side then climb to the top for incredible views of the gorge. It is a tough hike out from the bottom, but worth it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Beautiful overlooks, steep climb out of the gorge back up the mountain.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

An awesome exhilarating hike down to the gorge and out will provide a perfect sunny day workout.

Monday, April 11, 2016

This is a tough trail coming back up but it is more than worth the views.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

This was a great hike! This trek out of the Gorge was challenging but exactly what we were looking for. There was very little traffic on the trail, we passed a group or two and some campers but that was about it. Take a snack to enjoy down by the water, you'll need the energy when hiking back out.

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