John Rock Trail Loop

MODERATE 102 reviews
#18 of 147 trails in

John Rock Trail Loop is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ducktown, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,082 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

7 days ago

I thought this hike was pretty hard. Lots of steep incline but wow so beautiful!!!! You really are IN the mountains with this view. Pretty surreal. Great workout’

11 days ago

D

hiking
23 days ago

Yeah, per my wife’s Apple Watch, it was far more than 4.9 miles, but we also did a complete loop of the mountain. Just under an hour up and about 90 minutes down. Beautiful views to rest and refuel atop the face. My only complaint is my meteorological skills need to be refined, as before we left the face I stated we had several hours before storms moved in...well, about 60 minutes of the hike down were in pouring rain. But we had a blast and a great hike and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

1 month ago

Awesome hike loved it

hiking
1 month ago

First, let’s not kid ourselves the hike was 7 miles. Garmin agreed. Beautiful hike. Views at the bald are amazing. Worth the price of admission. The elevation is much more gradual going counterclockwise. The western side of the trail loop is much more technical and is subject to being washed out. Overall, this was a very enjoyable hike for myself, wife, and dog.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail but it can be pretty crowded. Watch out for snakes all over the rock face.

2 months ago

Best overlook is off a sidetrail shortly before you get to the peak if you are going counterclockwise! Will look like a small granite rock face but it's a huge area to sit and enjoy the view.

hiking
2 months ago

A moderate hike with lots of people and great views. Be sure to take the side trail towards the end to check out the waterfall !

hiking
2 months ago

Great view Looking over at Looking Glass Rock.

hiking
3 months ago

MODERATE - not sure this should be rated as easy. The hill climb is good - not the worst - but a good workout. The view at the top is totally worth it. I started at the far end of the lot and went in that way - up the first John Rock summit trail and down the second and instead of heading back the same way took the Cat Gap Bypass trail which was awesome past some great waterfalls etc. this adds to the hike - about 1.6 additional miles if you have time do it.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s an uphill battle most of the way through relatively heavily wooded area, but the end result is worth the wait. Some of the best views of the Blue Ridge in the Hendersonville area. Highly recommend.

4 months ago

Great trail! But yes, whomever rated it ‘easy’ must have been smokin dope. lol Definitely Moderate.

hiking
4 months ago

Camped in cat gap trail and connected to John rock during the day trip, it was gorgeous! mostly uphill the whole last two miles so I'd rate it moderate, but so worth it!

4 months ago

Loved this trail. We did cat gap to johns rock. We wandered off a little bit to see the waterfalls we heard and it was beautiful. There were creeks to cross over and great view at the end. This is one of my favorites. I do think this should be labeled as moderate instead of east.

4 months ago

Took the Cat Gap Trail to the top then the John Rock Trail from there back down. The trails are definitely moderate in difficulty and the view of Looking Glass Rock was awesome as well as a few other views if you take some of the short side paths. I will be doing this one again for sure.

hiking
4 months ago

More on the moderate side of difficulty. The trail could use more signage. You just can't walk up to the trail. You have to use the Cat Gap Loop to access it. There is one section that could be labeled difficult but it is only a short distance. The view is really great from the rock.

5 months ago

Hiked this a few days after it snowed. The rock was covered in some places with ice and snow. There were places to climb down safely to get a better view. Great views of Looking glass rock and the parkway.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail but the signage is terrible and John Rock trail loop actually starts as the Cat Gap loop trail. Also, I would rate it moderate instead of easy. Great views!

6 months ago

Awesome scenic trail, would definitely rate it as moderate, the incline doesn’t last too long, but it’s pretty steep. Also, pleaseeeee be careful of ice on the mountain when you go to see the view! A lot of little creeks to cross over so be prepared to get a little wet.

hiking
7 months ago

This is one of my favorite ‘everyday’ hikes. I wouldn’t necessarily rate it as “Easy” - with over 1000’ elevation in a relatively short period of time, this hike has some steep climbs over tree roots and rocks. While it easy to navigate, I would say this hike is more moderate (to easy). It starts gentle as it meanders through forest floor, and then it starts a slow climb. As it levels out, it crosses streams on bridges and rocks and then it starts to climb again - this time steady and steep. The last climb right near the top takes you over rocks and roots until you begin the ‘descent’ before the big “reveal” - or the view!
There are two small openings to the view point - take the second one as it is easier to navigate! The rest of the loop winds gently down hill back to the parking lot.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail offers camping at the base and near the top. If you follow the John Rock Trail blaze, there are some intensely steep climbs that elevate you several hundred feet in a matter of a half mile. Once an the top, you will get a nice view of Looking Glass Rock.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike. Lots of roots and a pretty good climb. May be a little bit beyond easy for those not used to a climb. Once you get to the top it's all worth it.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Starting at Cat Gap Loop trailhead at the Fish Hatchery (eastern side) hike to John Rock Loop, up to John Rock for great views (977 foot elevation change) back to Cat Gap bypass then the western side of Cat Gap Loop to parking area. One of our favorite hikes. Challenging, but rewarding.

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

View at the top is amazing. The walk up and back is moderate, doable for most. Trail intersections can be a little confusing.

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Perfect for what I was looking for, today. Stream crossings, well maintained trail, good distance, and great views at the summit.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

We chose the moderate way up verses the steep. The way we went was definitely moderate if you just getting into hiking like I am. If you are looking for a challenging day trip this is for you, otherwise choose another trail. Beautiful views at the top!

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

I'm not sure why this is listed as "easy" but I feel it is strongly "moderate". I'm a 35 yr old female in decent shape and have done plenty of hiking in the mountains. This trail has lots of exposed roots and rocks and has extended sections of uphill.... some crossing small streams with no bridge, some mud, narrow path. And it's not super well marked in some areas, really appreciated the app showing the way! That being said, my husband and i loved it. Great view near the top and plenty of small waterfalls along the way.

hiking
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fantastic trail, but it was definitely more moderate than easy with some steep uphill and the roots that covered the majority of the trail. There were also some quite muddy sections, considering the drought that is happening. Overall a fantastic day hike with a beautiful view at the top.

hiking
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

More moderate than easy I would say. The hike up the mountain is kind of rough but it's definitely worth the view when you reach the top.

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