Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in North Carolina with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Hollow Rock Trail

14 hours ago

Easy to follow trails. Took two 10 years old and a 12 year old. They had a blast.

3 days ago

Excellent trail. We got there early as this one seems best enjoyed before the large groups arrive. Would recommend regular shoes if you can step carefully, but plenty of beautiful spots to stop by water along the way.

nice trail along the Creek for about the first two miles. Hebron rock colony - car sized boulders in the river all the way down to the valley. we had for small children with us and they did great. very scenic

Excellent. Hiked with my wife and sons (9.5 and 7). Both did well. Total time was just under three hours. Trail is next to water for 75% of the time. Wonderful to hear the sound of running mountain stream. Multiple crossings. After rain, these crossings could be a bit messy; prepare to get feet a bit wet. My youngest did the hike in Keen sandals and was perhaps best prepared!

Super easy and short.
Great views.
If you think this is a difficult hike you should get into shape before commenting.

Breathtaking 360 views atop the mountain. Definitely a hidden gem.

Easy to moderate in my opinion. Hiked a 10 miler (round trip) along the east rim of the Gorge. Went an extra 2 miles after I reached the Shortoff Summit. Probably got close to 1,400 feet in elevation gain, so I was at about 3,100 feet. So many vistas along the way. A lot of views south of Lake James. The views to the west and to the north were the gifts that kept on giving once the trail flattened out. Sick views of Table Rock Mtn and below into the Gorge. Grandfather Mtn was in the back behind Table Rock, and Mt Mitchell was in the distance behind the west ridgeline. Might have gone all the way to Table Rock for a 14 mile round trip if not for the heat.

This trail would have probably been less strenuous starting from the left. If you start on the right, the first 3.5 miles are very uphill. If you bring a dog, consider going with someone. It was very difficult to get my dog over the ladders and stairs by myself. Wear shoes that can get wet! There are numerous stream crossings with slick and unstable rocks. If you are out of shape or not entirely sure of your balance, the middle three miles are quite difficult.

Attempt number one to summit.... I’ll be back tomorrow.

Very pretty, loved the small waterfalls and sandy beach areas to chill. Saw a bear cub, luckily momma bear didn't appear. Diverse terrain. Lots of trails that can be confusing. Make sure you have a good map!

10 days ago

Hubby and I did this trail but didn’t realize it was “hard”. Some beautiful sights that make it worthwhile. It might be wise to bring a first aid kit and snacks (don’t ask lol). It took us 3-4 hours but we haven’t hiked in quite awhile and we are slow! We went in hiking sandals and were fine. 10/10 would do again.

Great path, good exercise) I hiked with 8 yo son, he also liked it.

11 days ago

Highly recommend. We went today with our 2 dogs. and did the whole 5 mile loop. My husband and I are in good shape, but I would say it is moderate, but a few areas a little strenuous. Definitely wear good hiking shoes, no sandals or flip flops. A lot of great areas for dogs to cool off in the river. My husband even was able to do a little blackberry picking! A variety of views from forest, to meadows, mountain rages and waterfall views. The last mile and a half it rained on us, so if you think it might rain, bring a poncho because it is a longer hike. Definitely worth it! When looking for the entrance, go to the Julian Price picnic area and you will see a small sign by the restrooms (on the left) when you you first pull in, because it took us a little while to find the entrance to the trail. There was plenty of parking.

12 days ago

loved this trail. i would rate it a moderate. Just finished it with my two teenaged nephews and they loved the rocky terrain and crossing the creek over and over and over. great experience!!

Awesome trail! wear proper hiking shoes!

lightly marked but the paths are clear. it was an awesome day hike and I was glad to see a bunch of people out hiking the trails aswell.

Did some climbing and hiking here. Really enjoyed the location and routes. Tones of great routes from trad to sport to TR. some nice 90’ routes and all levels of difficulty. Was pretty when we headed there on a Sunday afternoon, though still plenty of routes open to climb. Can’t wait to go back. Easy parking, cold working fountains, bathrooms and well maintained bolts and anchors.

14 days ago

I would rate this trail moderate for the most part. Wear boots or sturdy shoes for mud, rock scrambling, and walking through the creek many times. It took me about three hours at a slow pace and I stopped several times to enjoy the view. Plenty of people out this time of year so come early for parking.

Amazing view of the valley on your left before reaching the summit on your right. When you make it to this point you’ll know what I’m talking about. Great views, good photo ops, dog friendly, and slightly difficult with a nice scramble to the top.

It's tough to rate these trails because it's so subjective according to what each person likes, but I just finished the entire LGT with an extension from Wolf Pit Parking area, all the way out Babel Tower as my endpoint. Starting from Wolf Pit Parking area, down Faulker Flats, cross the river to the MST, then link up to Leadmine trail, then to LGT and finally Babel Tower trail. It was a brutal link up in this June heat (83 today and 2000% humidity). The gnats and ticks were ridiculously thick in the lower section of the gorge all the way to Conley Cove. Plenty of campsites, lots of good water to filer but very slick rocks, tons of downed trees to cross. So, somehow it seems much, much harder than it looks on paper. It's often referred to as 'gorge miles' because its very deceptive until you experience it for yourself. When you're looking at this thing on the map your mind says, 'it just runs flat by the river', but with all the log crossings, high steps and ridiculously slick wet rock it just makes you really work for every mile. Legs feel like someone has taken a baseball bat to them after exiting Babel Tower on my third day. I chose this link up to fish up the river. Very challenging but it will reward you, guaranteed.

I love this trail..you go through the stream several times and can cool off on a rock or enjoy the sunshine. There are some steep shirt climbs and ladder steps but nothing too difficult.

Our family favorite

Great trail! The first part is rocky and a bit steep but rewarding views at the top! Looks like it has some great camping spots but we just did out & back.

Nice clearly marked trail. Can see dramatic evidence of the 2017 forest fires. Bolder fields are interesting. The stairs to the top can be treacherous when wet. Overall a very pleasant experience.

27 days ago

Parking area can be extremely crowded, but most aren't hiking the whole trail. About a mile in, you can start venturing off to various falls and rocks strewn about the river. Excellent places for rock hopping if you're brave enough. Trail itself is moderate, but the optional rock hopping can be quite difficult.

Beautiful views of the gorge. Hiked during late winter, so it was quite nippy and icy throughout the hike. During the summer, be sure to stay safe, but if hiking the winter, watch for the ice on the rocks! Fantastic views!

28 days ago

One of my absolute favorite hikes! First time I hiked the trail, I was 2 years old and accompanied by my family of 6. It’s been amazing watching nature take its journey on the trail and change it completely. Still just as beautiful as 23 years ago, this trail is a must hike for nature lovers!

Solid hike - We hiked in 5 miles to the base of the chimneys and hiked out the next day. There are only a few water sources other than at the top so plan ahead.

rock climbing
1 month ago

Such an awesome location. Tons of trails, fantastic sport and top-rope climbing for all levels, fire-pits, picnic areas and more. Solid anchors and bolts, plenty of routes, and well maintained. Plenty of parking, clean restrooms and easy to get to. Great for a day out, highly recommend.

This trail is by far my very favorite trail that I have hiked in NC. Great views I mean fantastic views of the gorge. Wild blueberries growing along side the trail. Great views of Lake James. Steep incline at first and then it flattens out at the top of the trail. There is a pond and shade at that point. This trail is spectacular in so many ways! My 14 yr old Dixie trekked it with me on her birthday. Happy Trails!

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