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Backpacking all of Linville Gorge Wilderness

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Linville Gorge Wilderness-NC   Backpacking: Backpacking all of Linville Gorge Wilderness   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, May 18 2017  7:30 am >> Sun, May 21 2017 6:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Apr 3 2017 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, May 16 2017 12:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days 10 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced (Exploratory)
Distance:35 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Mike Pawloski
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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:4
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.




  1. If you have not done a D6 backpacking with us or recently you need to convince trip leaders that you have adequate backcountry experience. Leaders reserve the right to remove anyone from the attendee list.  
  2. Since we have at least 2 river crossing and camping/hiking next to Linville river, we will keep an eye on the rain and water level prior to the trip. The river condition and water crossing may cancel the trip, may add up to 12 miles to the trip and change the location of camp sites.


About Linville Gorge Wilderness:

From USDA webpage:

"The Linville Gorge Wilderness, in the mountains of Western North Carolina, is part of the Pisgah National Forest. The gorge is formed by the Jonas Ridge on the east and Linville Mountain on the west and is bisected by the Linville River which drops 2,000 feet into the valleys below. The terrain is steep and rugged with numerous rock formations. It is covered by dense hardwood/pine forest and a wide variety of smaller trees and other plants. Recreation opportunities include hiking backpacking, rock climbing, fishing and hunting."



This is going to be a great adventure. Full of spectacular views. 

We will use combination of system and social trails. So some of the trails may be over grown and not well maintained. 

Total millage: 35 mil

Total elevation gain: 10500 ft

First Day: 3.7 miles – 650 ft ascent, 2500 ft descent

  1. Start driving from carpool location at 7:30 am
  2. Arrive at the Table Rock Parking Lot around 1 pm. Table Rock Parking Lot is on the east rim and approximately in the middle of the gorge
  3. Start hiking south on the east rim and gradually descend into the gorge. we stay on the Mountains-to-Sea trail
  4. We hike south for about 2.5 miles till we reach the Cambric trail. Then we start descending in to the gorge to get to our camp site. This is a steep trail. We lose 1325 ft in 1.2 miles.
  5. When we get to Linville river we set up a camp, gather fire woods, explore around and enjoy the nature.


Second Day: 10 miles – 2970 ft ascent, 2990 descent

  1. We get up early and start hiking no later than 8:30.
  2. First we climb up on the Cambric trail again to get to Mountains-to-Sea trail on the east rim. Then we continue south on the Mountains-to-Sea trail till we get to the south boundary of the wilderness.
  3. There we cross the river and start hiking north on Mountains-to-Sea trail for about 1.8 more miles. At this point Mountains-to-Sea trail start climbing up west rim so we change to Leadmine Trail and hike for 1.3 miles to get to the Linville Gorge Trail. Then we continue 2 more miles to get to our second camp site. It is right cross the river from our first camp site.
  4. We set up a camp, gather fire woods, explore around and enjoy.


Third day: 9 + 6 miles - 4280 ft ascent, 2925 ft descent

  1. We get up early and start hiking no later than 8:30.
  2. We start by climbing up Pinch-In trail. This trail goes up to the west rim. It is a steep trail. We climb 1700 ft in 1.5 miles to reach the west rim of the gorge.  
  3. There we go north for 0.5 mile on an unpaved road to reach Rock Jock Trial. We continue north on this trail for 3.8 miles. We should get a lot of good views on this trail.
  4. After 2.8 miles we reach Conley Cove and descend into the gorge again. This is a steep trail too. In 1.3 miles we descend 800 ft.
  5. After reaching Linville Gorge Trail we hike 3 miles north to our camp site. 
  6. After setting up the camp and rest for a little we can hike a 6 miles loop to see the Linville fall.  


Fourth Day-   6 miles - 2550 ft ascent, 2100 ft descent

  1. We get up early, eat breakfast and gather the camp
  2. We go south on Linville Gorge Trail for 1 mile south and cross the river to reach Devils Hole trail.
  3. We use Devils Hole trail which is a 1.5 miles trail with 1190 ft accent to climb up to the east rim.
  4. Then we walk south on the east rim to get to our cars. We may need to walk for 1.5 mile on unpaved road.


Map: Click here



- We will have river crossings, so be prepared.

- Don’t forget to bring your allergy or other medicines.

- I may cancel the trip based on the weather condition.

- On the way back we probably stop to grab a bite

- PLease plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before departure time to car pool location.


Trail Map: 







Required Items to Bring:

-Hiking Boots

-Tent\shelter and sleeping bags.

-Food and Snacks (at least 3 lunch,3 dinner, 3 breakfast)

-Bear bags to hang our food and all items that may attract bears

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


-Wood saw

-Hiking Poles

-Bug Spray

-Change of Clothes and Towel

-Water filter 

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Click here  for google map

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):500Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $200.00 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.

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

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