Cold Mountain via Art Loeb and Cold Mountain Trail

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Shining Rock Wilderness Area

Cold Mountain via Art Loeb and Cold Mountain Trail is a 17.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 17.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,593 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Open hike over balds, with multiple 360 degree views for miles.... The portion of the Art Loeb Trail is most spectacular. Black Balsam and Tennant Mountains both exceed 6,000 feet in elevation. The balds provide fantastic 360* views all around, and everywhere else is just about 180* views. Fantastic! The trail I've outlined in the TPO is a figure-8 loop, keeping to the Art Loeb trail in portions, taking an old forest-service road in others.This way you get the combined beauty of the Art Loeb trail with a mixture of wooded-views from the service-road (avoiding redundant stuff that comes with out-and-back hikes). Be wary of spring/summer storms on those balds!!!!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
6 months ago

if you are actouly going to go the full length of this trail, it starts to get pretty tricky. the first part of the trail is nothing like the other comments say. the first 2 miles are extremely heavily trafficked. ton of people, we we're lucky to even find parking. after the first 2 miles you will come to a camp site in a open vally. after that we noticed that very few people actouly continued the trail. for about another 2 or 3 miles after the first site the trail is extremely washed out and ur pretty much walking through huge puddles of water tell you reach shining rock mountain area. witch has another big camping area and is where most will stop if they chose to even continue from the first campsite. if you continue from there is when it will get a bit tricky. we went the end of October and there was a tun of leaves just covering the ground witch made it difficult due to the fact there is so many rocks. some parts you are having to climb up rocks on hand and feet, and also sitting on the ground and somewhat sliding down so that you don't loose balence. it is extremely up and down at this point with no flat ground at all. can because very difficult if you have a large backpack on. I would try and lessen your load as much as possible if planing to go all the way to cold mountain.

backpacking
rocky
washed out
7 months ago

AMAZING VIEWS for the first several miles of the trail. It becomes increasingly difficult once you pass Shining Rock. There is limited water so pack extra. I had to hike down to camp Daniel Boon for water which was much more difficult than I expected. The history of the trail is very interesting so read up! This is bear country so make sure to pack a bear canister if you are camping. I’ll be back to do the first portion of the trail again!

hiking
over grown
8 months ago

Definitely pretty but the views and campsite at flower gap are better with a less strenuous hike.

hiking
over grown
11 months ago

Simply put. This is not that great of a trail.

Tue May 28 2019

u. s. but u. .keep ca. 6yi9 and. 9 b99!zi. r ru

hiking
blowdown
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
washed out
Wed Apr 17 2019

Very difficult trail but the views make it worth it. Tons of rocks and flooded trail, very overgrown in sections, still enjoy it a lot. There is absolutely no water from the base of stairs mountain until about .5 miles after deep gap. So be cautious of your water supply. I would not recommend this trail to anyone who is not a serious and somewhat experienced hiker. As many others have said nothing in shining rock wilderness area is marked. You will get lost on this trail especially the first time so bring a GPS or a map and compass whatever you prefer. USGS topo is not accurate as far as trail location but is useful nonetheless. I recommend the AllTrails map it did not serve me wrong. You can take investor gap trail back from shining rock but no joke almost 50% or the trail was standing water and it hadn’t rained for 3 days. If you chose to take this route without waterproof shoes be prepared to have wet socks. The best camp spots are probably near shining rock and deep gap a lot of camping locations are very exposed and would be windy. Also if you are conditioned you could easily make this a day hike. I did it in 6 hours with a lot of long breaks and lunch so there was plenty of time left to turn around and come back the same day if my legs could’ve handled it.

backpacking
Mon Nov 05 2018

I hiked from the trail head to shinning creek path, camped and then came back. This was an extremely strenuous trail but the views were incredible.

Sun Sep 30 2018

Awful trail. Very very rough, always rains, no camping views at cold mountain, trail is not kept up at all, would not recommend

hiking
Tue Sep 04 2018

so I have to give my daughter a shout out she is only 5years old and she hiked from Daniel Boone boys scout camp to the summit of Cold Mountain and back in one day. We hiked it as a family I carried our 2year old in a pack on my back and the wife carried all our food and water. We started at 9:15am and made it back to the truck at 7:25pm. it was tough and we had to take plenty of breaks but I don't know how many other 5year olds can say they have done it. Next time I believe we will camp though.

Wed Jul 18 2018

Can be difficult in spots

hiking
Thu Jun 07 2018

Hiked May 30-May 31 after and during intense rain. Trails here have the tendency to become gushing streams, and the Ivestor Gap trail and Art Loeb section between Flower gap and Cold mountain were both flooded for significant parts of the trail. We turned back after Flower Gap after conditions worsened. That being said, it was quite deserted and extremely scenic! Hope to be back in drier weather

Sun Jun 03 2018

Hiked Black Balsam Road to Shining Rock, then to Cold Mountain along the narrow ridge, after two weeks of rain. Many flowing water sources with streams down the trail and several ponds in the trail. I did my best to keep my feet dry. I gave up on the Ivestor Trail on the way back. Saw a clump of 12 Pink Ladies Slippers, a few trilliums, bristly locust and Chicken of the Woods mushroom past Shining Rock. As said in other reviews, beautiful views, especially at sunset. When I was at Cold Mountain, I wished I had a car at the Boy Scout Camp, for a 4 mile hike to the car, instead of almost 10 miles back to Black Balsom Road.

Wed May 23 2018

literally my favorite ever. there's absolutely nothing negative thoughts say about this one.

hiking
Tue Aug 15 2017

If you want a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a great hike....and you don't have to go too far or work too hard to get it! We only walked about a mile and we had spectacular views. I do think if you wanted to go farther, you should have a compass and a map as this is a wilderness area and signage is minimal. But it is lovely!

running
Thu Aug 10 2017

I train here. It's a bit tricky up top because the trails diverge a lot, you need to climb shining rock. It's in the forest clearing right before hitting old butt trail. You can take flower gap trail and that'll lead straight to shining rock and cold mountain. Yeah, seldom you see bears and rattlesnakes but they're there during Summer. In the Summer, flower gap can be really overgrown.

hiking
Fri Jul 21 2017

Only hiked part of this trail but what we did hike was beautiful. Just as stated a nice moderate hike, the beginning of the trail is little heavier traffic than I'd prefer but tapers off once you hit Bolsam. Stunning views once you hit 1/4 mile in and beyond.

hiking
Thu Jul 20 2017

I only completed a short section of this amazing 30.1 mile trail last month, but what a section it is...up and over Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain to Ivestor Gap! The terrain and the views are spectacular, and the blooming rhododendron were gorgeous. I hope to come back soon to make it out to Shining Rock...maybe even Cold Mountain if I am up for a real challenge!

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