The Gorge and The Grandfather aka Linville and Ladders - Fri, Nov 4 2016

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The Gorge and The Grandfather aka Linville and Ladders

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Linville NC   Backpacking: The Gorge and The Grandfather aka Linville and Ladders  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Nov 4 2016  6:00 am >> Mon, Nov 7 2016 10:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Oct 6 2016 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Nov 3 2016 12:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days 17 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:40 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Eric P
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


If you are wondering what to do with your last few vacation days or need to clear your mind before voting this is a great trip. Well it is great as long as you don't have a fear of heights. Linville Gorge and Grandfather mountain are two of my favorite places to go backpacking unfortunately they are both roughly 4.5 hours from Atlanta. However they are only about an hour apart from each other. We will be taking advantage of this by spending 2 nights at Linville gorge then getting in to our cars and heading to Grandfather mountain for 1 night. I plan on keeping a moderate pace on this one and stopping often to enjoy the countless scenic spots we pass.

Linville Gorge Maps:

Grandfather Mountain Map:

The current plan is to do the "Is That All Ya Got Loop" which gives a good sampling of the Southern end of Linville Gorge and a shorter hike(mile or two) without packs to one of the views of Linville Falls and/or Hawksbill Mountain. We will be using a mix of official trails and unofficial trails along the way, sometimes right along the cliff edges. The trails are not always the clearest to follow and may be overgrown in places depending on if there has been any recent trail maintenance. We do have all the tracks on a gps which we can use if needed.

We will be going along the east rim where the highlights will be Table Rock, the Chimneys, and Shortoff mountain. Additionally we will be making our way back through the gorge by the river. Please make sure that you are comfortable with long days carrying a backpack if you sign up for this. The trip is roughly 23 miles. As you might expect with it being a gorge, there are some fairly flat sections but any uphill that exists tends to be long and steep.There are two river crossings that don't have bridges. You should be prepared to get wet at both although with the drought one might be rock hopable.

After spending two nights in the gorge we will get back in our cars and head to Grandfather Mountain for ~15 miles more of hiking/backpacking. We will start from the trail entrance off of the Blue Ridge parkway and then basically hit all of the trails in the park including the trails through the touristy attraction, "mile high" swinging bridge here we come...  Please note that the trail is extremely steep and rocky in places and has many ladders and cables. You will need to go up and down several of them with your pack. However we will do the majority of the ladders and cables on the second day as a loop starting and ending at our campsite and I would recommend having a day pack for this section.  Additionally I plan on staying at one of the campsites on the ridge line that do not allow campfires. Please note that if we get the max group size of 8 people it may be necessary to split up and stay at two of the camping areas on the ridgeline.

Water may be hard to come by on our first day at each park and you should plan on starting the day with all the water you need assuming that there won't be places to refill.  Hopefully we get plenty of rain before then and the availability of springs isn't an issue but it is always good to be prepared for the worst.


*Due to this trip being planned so far in advance things can definitely change especially due to weather.  If the river is too high to cross at Linville Gorge or if it is icy at Grandfather mountain the plans may need to be altered. I promise that even with a change the event will still be worth your time as I have very limited opportunities to go backpacking with a 1 year old at home and plan on making sure this is an interesting trip.

Required Items to Bring:

Clothing Appropriate for the Weather


Tent / Tarp / Hammock 

Sleeping Bag / Quilt

Sleeping Pad

Food and Snacks (3 breakfast, 4 lunch, 3 dinner, snacks)

Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets


Bear Bag and Rope / Bear Canister

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Day pack for second day at Grandfather Mountain

Camp trowel





How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Google map directions to Linville Gorge

The last few miles are on a dirt road but I have taken it in a Honda Accord multiple times with no problem.


Directions from Linville Gorge to Grandfather Mountain

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):529Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $211.60 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


Due to this event being so far away and wanting to avoid Atlanta rush hour the plan is for the carpool to leave Friday morning at 6AM.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.