Shining Creek-Old Butt Knob Loop Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(197)
Pisgah National Forest

Shining Creek-Old Butt Knob Loop Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.3 miElevation gain2,890 ftRoute typeLoop
dog friendlyCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingrunningForestViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (3)
Contact
Getting There

This loop is not blazed because it is located in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. Some trail junctions are very difficult to recognize. Begin on Shining Creek trail (old roadbed) from the Big East Fork Trailhead. Ascend along the creek most of the way to the Art Loeb Trail at the top of the ridge (approximately 4.1 miles). Turn right. You'll see Shining Rock after about 0.5 miles. Stay to the right and ascend uphill near the rock. Just past the trail on the left that leads to the top of the rock for spectacular views look for a faint trail on the right. Turn here on Old Butt Knob Trail. This junction may be difficult to recognize. Continue down this trail to rock outcrops with great views. Continue descending until you intersect with Shining Creek Trail again. Turn left to return to the trailhead.

US Forest Service, Pisgah National Forest - 828-877-3350

From I-40 take Hwy 215 South through Canton. Turn right on Hwy 110 in town. At the intersection of Hwys 110/215/276, go South (left) on Hwy 276. Continue until you see the Big East Fork Trailhead parking area on the right. It will be prominately marked with a large brown and yellow USFS sign. You'll reach it approximately 35 minutes after you leave I-40.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (204)
Photos (723)
Recordings (169)
Completed (446)
View user's profile page
Tracy George
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2021
HikingIcyRockySnow

Love this loop! I went clockwise which made for a very tough descent. Trekking poles were 100% needed. I managed with trail runners even in the snow. I brought micro spikes but didn’t need them. The ascent along shining creek is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely download offline map before going as there is no blaze system.

View user's profile page
Brian Hett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Great trail! I did it counterclockwise. There are about 4-5 nice outlooks on Old Butt Knob trail. Shining Creek trail is rocky and with the snow and ice the footing made it slow going in places. The loop with the spur to the trailhead is closer to 9.3 than 8.3.

View Brian's Recording
View user's profile page
Habi Jili
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 16, 2021
HikingIcyRockySnow

Hard Hike. Snowy, rocky, slippery, icy... Wear the right shoes ( Waterproof a must) We did it counterclockwise as suggested per the app. From mile 1 to mile 2.2 going counterclockwise There is a 1800 elevation gain. A real work out .Challenging but doable!!! Beautiful views all the way up! We did not stay too long on the top as the weather was very Windy and snowy. On the way down, the trail was poorly marked, we relied on the app to stay on the trail. It was also challenging as it was icy... Time : 5H10min (20min break) 9.1Miles

View Habi's Recording
View user's profile page
Ward Price
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2021
Hiking

Miles kick butt on this 11 mile hike

View Ward 's Recording
View user's profile page
Erica Muse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2021
Hiking
View Erica's Recording
View user's profile page
T Bone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
Backpacking

Happy New Year!!

View T's Recording
View user's profile page
AD Barnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

long, and a big challenge for me. Going clockwise up Shining Creek and down Old Butt Knob. Old Butt Know is very steep, glad I was going down it and not up. BRING YOUR POLES

View AD's Recording
View user's profile page
DYLAN JUDY
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2020
Hiking
View DYLAN's Recording
View user's profile page
Rachel Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 10, 2020
Horseback riding

Part of the trail was confusing, on the left side of the loop

View Rachel's Recording
View user's profile page
Victor Ponder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking
View Victor's Recording
View user's profile page
Ann Hall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Did out and back, because we were told the upper trail was on bad shape. You are next to and transversing a beautiful creek with waterfalls all the way up. Shinning Rock is beautiful. The glowing white quartz is beautiful!! Rocky, fairly technical trail. But loved it! Something wrong with the recording ... did about 9 miles and out all day.

View Ann's Recording
View user's profile page
Seth Keliher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking
View Seth's Recording
View user's profile page
David Booth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
Hiking

We hiked it counterclockwise on 9/10/2020. Steep and rocky. Phone said 11+ miles. Shining Rock/s great: I guess it raw marble? Beautiful and so different from all along the hike.. If you haven't done the hike, and you go counterclockwise, keep going: you will eventually get back to the point where the trails split.

View user's profile page
Richard Borger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 10, 2020
Hiking

Went up trail counter clockwise, rained on for about 4 miles of the trial (light for two, stopped, then started pouring 2 miles from me finishing). But it actually cooled me off really nicely on the pretty difficult ascent. The first 2.5 miles are no joke. Then you hit the narrow brush everyone is complaining about, but it actually felt nice having wet leaves hitting you, considering I was already somewhat soaked.

View Richard's Recording
View user's profile page
Susanna Sharpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grown

I hiked this trail counterclockwise, going up old butt knob. There is a nice overlook on the old butt knob trail (FS332), about 0.6 miles after you take the fork to the right from shining creek path (FS363). The next 4 miles are uphill and the trail is overgrown, with not much to see until you get to shining rock. Also the loop was 11.3 miles, not 8.3 miles. Didn’t see any bears, but I did see a copperhead around the 2 mile mark. I don’t recommend hiking up old butt knob solo, and if you want to do the whole loop, I would recommend going clockwise. As others reviewers have recommended, if you just want to see the views from shining rock, I would recommend going up the shining rock path and coming back the same way. If you want a serious challenge, give old butt knob a try, but keep in mind those first two miles are a very steep uphill climb, there’s no water source along the way, and very few others on the trail. Probably one of the toughest trails I’ve done so far!

View Susanna's Recording
View user's profile page
Rosalinda Tassin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was me an my three huskies first hike. They loved it!!

View user's profile page
Chris Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
HikingOver grown

Did this loop counterclockwise. The uphill is a great climb, very vertical the first couple miles. Dog Loser was very overgrown, can barely see the trail as you push through the brush. Was glad we tackled the steep uphill first and had an easy descent. Overall it's a great hike, and a solid 10ish miles.

View user's profile page
Serena Balzer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Hiked Shining Creek out and back. Beautiful!! Highly recommend for a good 10ish mile hike. Somewhat technical terrain and very rocky. Probably not worth hiking all the way to Shining Rock- its very overgrown and basically walking straight through brush. Instead, there is a lookout point a little before you get to the turn to Old Butt that is gorgeous.

View user's profile page
James Whiting
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingOver grown

I made this a loop by ascending Shining Creek trail and descending Old Butt Knob trail. Needed to bushwack the first 2 miles due to overgrown brush and the last two miles are straight down. It makes you miss switchbacks!!! Calling this a trail is almost an insult to other trails. I can't give it 1 star simply because the Shining Rock Wilderness is amazing. I cannot recommend this trail, but highly recommend the Shining Creek trail. 9.57 miles round trip, 2933 vertical ft ascent.

View James's Recording
View user's profile page
sarah gregory
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking
View sarah's Recording
View user's profile page
Nathan Huntzinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
Backpacking

We give shinning creek 5 stars, and old butt knob 1.5 stars. We hiked the trail clockwise ascending up shinning creek, and descended down Old Butt Knob. We got in late and camped in a really nice spot on shining creek Shinning creek is beautiful, and well cared for trail. Trails are not marked and there are some areas for confusion at the beginning of the trail, so watch your map and be sure your on shinning creek and not Pigeon river. The trail follows the creek almost the whole way with beautiful sounds and views. There are frequent camp spots and always a place to get water. You hit Art Loeb trail for a few hundred feet before splitting away for the quarts bolder summit of shining rock, a perfect place to take a break. Old Butt Knob is difficult to find heading this direction. There is a maze of paths connecting a series of camps at the high point near the summit. So be sure your on the right trail, and have plenty of water if you chose to head back on OBT, which, with Back packs, we wouldn’t recommend. If we were to do it again we would head back down shinning creek or plot a southern route. Old Butt Knob is hard to identify in this direction, not well maintained, very steep, with no water source for the duration. With full packs, and a light rain the rocky descent is slick and challenging, with little payoff due to all the over growth. There are two or three spots you can catch a beautiful vista, but otherwise the overgrowth is so thick your line of sight is very limited until you reconnect with shining creek. Overall a wonderful two days in the wilderness.

View user's profile page
Kristen Harper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
HikingOver grown

We’re pretty experienced hikers in our 30s and the climb up old butte is no joke. Very steep the second mile. We read reviews and hiked counterclockwise as suggested. We started on old butte and finished with shining creek. The trail on old butte was very overgrown, although probably very nice in fall. The trails to shining rock were quite overgrown and we recommend wearing pants and long sleeves. The shining creek trail was very enjoyable and the highlight of the whole trip for us. We kind of wish we had just hiked shining creek trail out and back. We saw no one else on old butte trail and about 6 groups on shining creek trail.

View Kristen's Recording
View user's profile page
Sandy Hunter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
HikingRocky
View Sandy's Recording
View user's profile page
Jon Leidel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking

Important note: I think it would be helpful for all if the reviewer disclosed their skill level / age so those reading have some perspective. To that point: I am almost 48 years old and consider myself in good hiking and all around shape. I brought my trekking poles and was glad I had them. I arrived at the parking lot a little before 10am and it was filing up - I had to park in the grass across the road. I did this counterclockwise. I loved this trail. And yes, the first 2-2.5 miles are a huffer - puffer for sure. Steep and long with rocky sections. Right about the time i was beginning to wonder how much longer the steep ascent would continue - it flattened out. The change in landscapes on this hike were worth every drop of sweat. From lush green forest, to pine groves to blooming rhodos, to the rock hopping to the gorgeous creek - i loved every minute of it. I did NOT find it hard to follow this trail. I only saw 2 groups of 2 from the trail head to the summit of shining rock, which was wonderful. I truly enjoyed the serenity of it. On the way down, once past the summit, there were a lot of folks both overnighters and day hikers. *At the Art Loeb intersection - if you go about 220 yards down Art Loeb trail -there is a spring where you can fill water bottles. There was no water from trail head up to summit. Coming down Shining Creek was gorgeous. The creek itself is incredible! Plenty of waterfalls, cascades and places you can wade in and cool off. Many great spots to sit and have lunch along the creekside. Also saw a couple of great creekside campsites around mile 6-7 on the way down. If one wanted to - you could certainly hike clockwise, set up a great camp, then to go the peak and back down the same way to avoid the steep section. I brought my 8 month old Mountain Cur puppy Astrid. She did not have any issues with any section of the trail. In fact, she rocked and rolled all the way. Met 6-8 other dogs on the trail after the summit. Thanks to all the previous reviewers for their insights. Going counter clockwise was the right move for me, taking the steep section on with fresh legs really helped. Happy trails everyone!

View user's profile page
Roni Deitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Great hike - we went counterclockwise and did Old Butt to Shining Rock. I will warn that the uphill to Old Butt is no joke - pretty steep and pretty long. But once you’re at the top, the scenery changes frequently and the trail is quite fun.

View Roni's Recording
Showing results 1 - 25 of 204