Cold Mountain via Art Loeb Trail

HARD 75 reviews

Cold Mountain via Art Loeb Trail is a 9.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.6 miles
2,814 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly






over grown

2 months ago

I did this one on June 2, 2018. There was plenty of water (I filtered), including a spring close to the summit, but it has been quite rainy this Spring so your mileage may vary.

It's tougher on the way down than it is up. I made it up in three hours, including longish stops to drink and filter water. Coming down, the ligaments in my knees hurt bleddy awful.

I got on the trail about 8 a.m. and there was no one there. By the time I got back around 2 p.m., cars were lining the road.

I'm going back to do it again when the leaves are off the trees.

4 months ago

This is a great hike! The leaves aren't on the tress yet so you get some awesome views that won't be there in the Summer. Definitely a heart pumper and several rock gardens along the way. The views from the top are incredible and well worth the hike.

5 months ago

Kevin, email me

5 months ago

This is more of an inquiry as myself and a few friends would like to plan this hike in June, but reading reviews causes some concern. We are in pretty good shape and have hiking experience, but don't wish to get lost for hours. Anyways, I think that we would be willing to hire someone who has made this trek and could guide us to the summit. If anyone can offer some insights and suggestion, I would be most appreciative.
I have a vacation home in Asheville and used to live there, and actually tested the hike for a half mile or so out of Canton, so have some insight. Looking at second weekend in June. Thanks, Kevin

8 months ago

12/15/17 it’s still heavy covered in snow. There were tracks in the snow up until the split, then it was guessing my way in the snow for the remaining 1.4 miles to the top. I’d recommend wearing gaiters or snowshoes. Much of the trail had 6-12”. +12” near the top made it a difficult hike. Tough hike in general. 3 hrs up and about 2 1/2 on the way down. Great hike, especially doing it in the snow!

9 months ago

Loved this hike! Did it yesterday 11/3 and the colors were beautiful. It took us about 7 hours to carefully navigate which included a 30 stay at the summit where the views were absolutely stunning. Not an easy hike but well worth the effort.

9 months ago

Great hike, but not for the beginner! Difficult hike, not marked well. Many obstacles to navigate (downed trees, streams, boulders, etc.). Give yourself at least 6 hours. Wonderful views at the summit. Several streams for water, and a spring near the top.

10 months ago

Just stumbled on this site and wanted to relate a story I've had online for some years about a dog who helped me home along this very strenuous, very rewarding trail. 15 years ago we didn't have Internet resources so I picked this particular weekend's adventure not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into. It was quite the adventure and definitely one for the books.

11 months ago

I love this hike! It's not easy at all. I just went yesterday 9/13/17 and if you go soon there are a lot of downed trees and debris from recent storms and the trail was very hard to read in some areas. I don't think this trail is well blazed compared to other trails and this is the first trail I ever got lost on but that didn't happen yesterday thank goodness! The view at the top is so worth the climb but this is not a trail for people who don't hike, who barely hike, or who are remotely out of shape. Oh and it's not 9.9 miles, it's 10.6. Like it matters that close but when the weather changes on you and you are cold, wet, and tired...even an extra tenth of a mile seems like a lifetime!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Great trail. The forest isn't thick and the scenery is beautiful! I was amazed at how big the trees were when you get up in elevation. We got lost and the trip turned into a 16 mile trek, but we were having fun and I don't think many people go down one of the other trails by accident.
We created a new campsite along the trail to make up for the 4 mile gap between camping areas.
I hike a lot and have good stability, but I fell twice on the wet mossy rocks, sucked, but still a great hike!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fun and very technical trail! Ran it on parts that were runnable and prayed not to fall on the parts that were technical. Lots of beautiful scenery and a lot of wildflowers and berries closer to the summit. Completed in about 5:05

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pretty nice 180-degree scene once you finally reach the end. But if views are your goal, there are nicer views around this region for much less effort. This is a strenuous workout, especially with all the rocks and roots. Some people report completing the out-and-back in 5 hours, but that seems optimistic. Nice patches of flowers throughout. Limited water sources. Lots of bugs at the campsites where the trail to Cold Mtn. splits from Art Loeb.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Just did this a couple weeks ago. Started at the boy scout lodge and took the Art Loeb up to the Cold Mountain Spur Trail. There are a lot of rocks, roots and loose gravel along the trail, so you need to pay attention, it's easy to roll an ankle. There are a couple water sources on the way up, but they look like they'll dry up easy in any kind of drought.
The climb up the spur trail is pretty rugged, with a couple false peaks to get your hopes up, but it's so worth the effort. We recorded it as 10.1 miles out and back, total trail time 5.25 hours plus 30 mins at the summit. Amazing views, and a challenging hike.

Monday, June 12, 2017

love the green vegetation on the trail , backpack this weekend to the top spend the night and headed back . It was a tough climb But worth the views

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Good trail, lots of rocks. Several opportunities for a dog to cool off along the way in the crossing creeks.
The view at the top is beautiful but definitely has to be earned first.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

One of my favorite hikes on the entire East coast. Coming from the Adirondacks I am use to dense rough forests and jagged trails. Hiking from a forest at this elevation to peaking on top of balds made it especially special. Can't wait to return this summer and make a weekend out of this place.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great trail, very tough with all the leaves down, makes it very slippery.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Steep, narrow, rocky but worth it

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm one that loves to hike strenuous hikes and this hike lived up to my expectations.

The directions to the trail were spot on. The entry to the trail is easy to fine and get started. Be aware that the last mile of the hike is not well maintained and not marked.

The views from the top are worth the time it takes to get to the top.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cold Mountain is a beast, but worth every tired step. Great views, interesting terrain and rock formations, and a 6K'+ summit. Allow ample time going up. Ramps cover the sides of the hollers in the springtime.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

My husband and I did this hike in about 5 hours (including a 30-minute lunch break at the summit). Given the full leaf cover, there were not many views until we got near the top -- but they were certainly worth the effort and the wait! It's a beautiful, peaceful, quintessentially southern Appalachian hike, with plenty of climbing, rocks and roots to keep things interesting. We will definitely do this again in the fall when the leaves are changing.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Amazing views. Continue up to fine the geographical marker.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Overall great trail. It lives up to its 'difficult' rating with steep terrain and obstacles but has some flat parts to recover with. Some new views at the top but the trail is mostly wooded

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beautiful views, and pretty strenuous. We completed this hike, along with an out and back hike to Sam's knob. This was an overnight trip for us, the way there taking a full day, and the way back taking 4 hours or so (few breaks). If I were to do this again I would do a two night trip, probably staying at Flower Knob (in tent-bald with high winds). We camped about .3 miles from the Cold Mountain summit. We planned on staying in Deep Gap, but all of the sites were taken.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

this trail is strenuous, no doubt about it, but the views at the top are 110% worth it. I would recommend trekking poles for the way back down, especially if you have cruddy joints like I do. again, 10/10 would hike again.

Monday, April 11, 2016

It was a 2.5 hour climb and my legs were tired, but it is definitely beautiful at the top. I went with my 9 year old dog in mid-April. There were plenty of drinking spots for her along the way. We made it up and back in a little less than 5 hours, but we did run some of the way and we didn't stop much due to time constraints.

There are some beautiful grassy camping spots close to the top. I was tempted to take a nap there.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Challenging trail. We parked at the boy scout camp and made our way up the mountain. It was very challenging from the start. You start climbing from the start and it is pretty consistent. The hike gets worse about mile out from the top. The path is marked, easy to follow and can be precarious at times. The view up top is nice but covered in trees so the views can be obscured in the spring. We didn't have that problem. We made it out and back in a little under 7 hours. That includes an hour we spent having lunch and recharging at the top which I highly recommend. All in all, it was a great workout and a rewarding hike.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A very tough, but scenic route. No real views until Deep Gap, but the babbling streams and mossy boulders make up for it during the first 2/3 miles. I believe this is easily within the top five most difficult trails in NC; 3000 feet of elevation gain over 5 miles.

Monday, October 26, 2015

we parked at black balsam Friday mid afternoon and planned to return Sunday afternoon.

we are not by standard experienced hikers, but this trail was very rugged at points.

we hiked from black balsam to shining rock gap Friday. started at about 3, got there just after 6. this section was very easy, flat and easy to navigate. we camped at the bottom of shining rock next to the intersection.

we set of the next morning to cold mountain via the narrows. The narrows was was rough at times with step climes, scrambles and some nervous descents. we reached deep gap in 2.5 hours. we dropped our packs put on our fanny packs and headed up to the summit. it took us an 1:15 to summit. there are outcroppings close to the summit that have absolutely amazing views. it took us 45 minutes to hike back down to deep gap where we camped. we didn't have any bears, but we did have little mammals scurrying around our tent.

we packed up and and were off by 9 back through the narrows, which was still quite rugged. however, once you break through the narrows, it's easy sailing. we took ivestor gap trail back to the edge of shining rock wilderness and beat the couple that had taken art loeb trail by about 15 minutes. we then took the old logging road all the way back to black balsam.

on this path there were only 2 water points. at the entrance of the trail at black balsam and 45 minutes up cold mountain. make sure you bring plenty of water. we carried about 7 liters and was getting close, using the water for two people, cooking and a dog. the water at these points didn't require filtering or boiling. it's been two days and no sign of any illness from drinking ample amounts of the water. it was all in all a phenomenal hike, but quite rigorous for the inexperienced hiker.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Excellent hike with STUNNING views. Took the Investor Gap to Shining Rock to Cold Mountain and then hiked back out on the Art Loeb a couple days later. During August there are blueberry bushes for DAYS. Also blackberries! A very tasty treat for the long haul. :)

My hubs and I parked at Black Balsam and set out to Cold Mountain thinking there would be a campsite at the summit. Not so much. Instead we were rewarded with incredible outlooks. Can't complain there. Descended back down a bit and spent the night in Deep Gap. And yes, you need bear canisters! Make sure you are responsible if camping out! Bear canisters are a pain but they are required. (If the weight deters you, get the Ursack bear bag- only 7.8 ounces and indestructible!) Woke up in the middle of the night to a bear standing 20ft from our tent. Found claw marks by the tree we propped our bag up in. Had ALL of our food in odor-proof bags. Thankfully nothing was harmed or damaged.

Also, I don't recall very many run-offs/water sources past Shining Rock.. (I believe there was 1 decent run-off). However, they are scarce and I'd suggest filling up any bottles/bladders at the Shining Rock/Art Loeb intersection/junction before proceeding. Plan for worst if you don't want to afford turning back for water.

Anyway, 11/10 would hike again and again. One of my favorite places in existence. Makes a great backpacking trip.

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