The Unrivaled Canyon Hike In North Carolina Everyone Should Take At Least Once
The Linville Gorge is easily one of the most jaw dropping experiences in North Carolina. Deemed the ‘Grand Canyon of the East Coast’ it’s an absolute must experience. The Linville River’s high source on Grandfather Mountain formed the gorge. Today, it encloses the river for 12 miles. Consisting of 12,002 acres, The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area is the third largest in North Carolina and one of two in the southeastern United States.
With so much land, there are plenty of scenic hikes to make the most of North Carolina’s own Grand Canyon.
The Linville Gorge is basically a utopia for hikers and backpackers. There are 39 miles of trails that weave in and out through the wilderness, most leading to the river.
At 11.5-miles, the Linville Trail is one of the hardest at the gorge but also the most rewarding. Hikers are told to prepare for at least two days in the wilderness, but due to the remote forests and unique landscape of the gorge, it's SO rewarding.
Formed by Linville Mountain and Jonas Ridge, the gorge is home to several notable peaks you can experience yourself. Those include Sitting Bear, Hawksbill, Table Rock and the Chimneys.
The Table Rock Summit Trail is a strenuous but rewarding 1.2-mile hike that takes you to the views pictured above. When you reach the 3,930 ft rocky overlook, you're treated to 360-degree views of the gorge.
If you want to get the incredible view pictured above (and one of the best in my opinion) hike to the top of Jonas Ridge. The difficult and primitive 2.4 mile hike isn't for the novice hiker but is still accessible. You'll hike across the summit of Sitting Bear Mountain towards Gingercake Mountain. It's a hike that continually rewards you time and time again with views of Table Rock, Hawksbill, and Babel Tower.
If you're a native, you surely already know of Linville Falls, which is on the backside of the gorge. Linville Falls is home to several different hikes that give you different views, read our full guide
Ranging from 1 mile to 11, Linville Gorge is home to dozens of hikes that are a perfect fit for each level of ability. The mountains-to-sea trail also runs through the Gorge for those seeking a longer backpacking experience. For a full list of hikes,
With near perfect temperatures, now is the perfect time to plan a weekend hike at Linville Gorge. You can’t go wrong at North Carolina’s own Grand Canyon!
Have you hiked the gorge before? Are there any trails you’d recommend?
While you’re in the western region of the state, check out this
rare North Carolina phenomenon before it disappears in November.
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