Map of Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Trail including United States Of America

Incredible views, waterfalls, and spectacular summits in North Carolina’s Shining Rock Wilderness

When it comes to trails, views, summits, and abundant flora and fauna, North Carolina’s Appalachian Trail and Shining Rock Wilderness in particular, is the place to be. Discover the Cradle of Forestry area where American forest conservation began and stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall, which features incredible 360 degree views. Spend two nights camping in the heart of the action near the famous and unique rock feature known as Shining Rock. Hike to the summit, eat lunch on a massive ledge with views of the entire area, and enjoy spectacular views on this small group backpacking adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Asheville, United States
Finish
Asheville, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
SKXA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your leader as you watch the sunset from the comfort of your camp on the summit of Shining Rock.

  • Take in spectacular views on the hike to the summit of Cold Mountain which features in Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel of the same name.

  • Take in sweeping views of the Appalachian Mountain Range as you enjoy lunch on the summit of one of the peaks or in the grassy meadows of Ivestor Gap.

  • Stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall, and watch the water tumbling over the top of a high cliff to create an impressively wide cascade.

  • Enjoy scenic vistas galore as you make your way along a trail that showcases views of the entire Pisgah National Forest.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a walking trip; a good fitness level will help you enjoying all included walks and activities. Good clothing, appropriate footwear, and wet weather gear is a must.

  • On this tour you will be required to carry a backpack weighting approximately 35-45 lb (15-20).

  • On our final day there is no accommodation included so please plan your departure accordingly, or pre-book a post-tour night.

Itinerary

After a pick up from downtown Asheville, your trip begins with a drive through the city of Brevard and a stop at an amazing roadside attraction, Looking Glass Falls. From here it is a short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the start of the Art Loeb Trail and its mighty mountain peaks. Cross over Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain and take in the sweeping views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountain Range as you enjoy lunch on the summit of one of these peaks or in the grassy meadows of Ivestor Gap. After hiking onwards to our two night basecamp near Shining Rock Gap, you will enjoy a memorable sunset dinner on the summit of Shining Rock.
Included Activities
  • Shuttle from Asheville
  • Looking Glass Falls visit
  • Art Loeb Trail hike
  • Tennent Mountain climb & lunch
  • Shining Rock summit sunset dinner
  • Guided Backpacking experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 1 hour. Today’s walking distance is approximately 8kms (5 miles) with a 305m (1000 feet) elevation gain.
Today there are two different ways to enjoy the Appalachian High country. The first option is a hike to an amazing summit view from atop Cold Mountain which features in Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel of the same name. After lunch at the summit, hike back toward Shining Rock Gap and your scenic camp. Your second (easier) option is to simply shorten this hike to turn around and have lunch along a scenic ridgeline called “the Narrows”. This shorter hike allows extra time to relax and explore the quartzite rock outcroppings of Shining Rock before the return to camp. Please note, your tour leader will decided, together with the group, which option is best for everyone.
Included Activities
  • Cold Mountain climb & lunch
  • Shining Rock Gap hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 8kms (5 miles) to 14 kms (9 miles) with a 230m (750 feet) to 550m (1795 feet) elevation gain.
Today you will break down camp and work our way back to where you began our trek. On the way, stop and enjoy multiple views along the trail which allow us to take in all of Pisgah National Forest. Today’s lunch is at one of the many amazing viewpoints of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, before the short drive back to Asheville where your trip will come to an end.
Included Activities
  • Pisgah National Forest hike
  • Shuttle to Asheville
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 1 hour. Today’s walking distance is approximately 6kms (4 miles) with a 780m (2550 feet) elevation gain.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Backcountry camping (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Shuttle from Asheville
  • Looking Glass Falls visit
  • Art Loeb Trail hike
  • Tennent Mountain climb & lunch
  • Shining Rock summit sunset dinner
  • Guided Backpacking experience
  • Cold Mountain climb & lunch
  • Shining Rock Gap hike
  • Pisgah National Forest hike
  • Shuttle to Asheville

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Trail trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
2. Travellers on this particular trip are not required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
3. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
4. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details
5. This trip is operated and run by our trusted partner, Wildland Trekking. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers. Intrepid has worked very closely with Wildland Trekking to ensure that all of our customers will enjoy their time away, and experience all that the region has to offer.
6. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts at Holiday Inn Express & Suits Asheville Downtown hotel in Asheville. We recommend you book a pre tour night in that hotel.
7. A single supplement is available. The single supplement applies to all nights of the trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
8. A single tent is provided to all solo travellers at no extra cost.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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