Our first views come early after only 1 mile as we reach the summit of Black Balsam Knob 6,214’.
Stay to the right (actually straight) and continue to follow the trail to Shining Rock.
After climbing up onto the Shining Rock and enjoying the views from there, return to the access trail and continue on up to the top of the knob. Difficult hike. You can make a strenuous 8.4 mile loop in the heart of the wilderness by combining Shining Creek and Old Butt Knob trails with a short section of the Art Loeb through Shining Rock Gap. Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wildernesses by USDA Forest Service. Shining Rock Wilderness is a breathtaking mountain area near Asheville that offers absolutely fantastic hiking, sightseeing and exploration. Intersecting Trails ; Art Loeb Section 3; This trail is located in the Shining Rock Wilderness area. Here's a map of the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness areas. Go straight at this intersection to go to the rhodo field containing the smaller quartz rock formations. Use a camp stove for cooking Take a right onto the trail to Graveyard Fields and look for the Art Loeb trail on the left a short way down the trail.
Helps to see start and end points for an individual trail. A series of high ridges extends east and west from the north-south oriented Shining Rock Ledge. The Art Loeb trail makes its final (or initial) pitch up the side of Cold Mountain, and the Cold Mountain trail takes you the final distance to the peak. available at all times due to system maintenance or outages.
The GPX format stands for GPS Exchange - a free, open, XML format for exchanging GPS and map data. Although Black Balsam is not part of the Wilderness itself, the Art Loeb (moderate) and Ivestor Gap (easy) trails lead into the wilderness area from there. Here we’ll enjoy a nutritious lunch provided and prepared by your guide, and enjoy being in this magical place. Trails starting at this trailhead are all strenuous - it's almost 11 miles round-trip to the summit. Another popular trailhead is located at the crossing of the Big East Fork Pigeon River by US Hwy.
The final ascent to the top of Shining Rock entails a short rock climb. To reach the top of the knob in order to see the other quartz formations, return to the access trail and continue climbing on that trail until you reach the top of the knob. When approaching the base of Shining Rock, follow the trail to the right that goes along the south face of the rock. The Middle Prong wilderness occupies the western half, and right down the middle runs NC route 215, which is the only thing that separates the two wilderness areas. Transportation for the duration of the tour (pickup and drop off in Asheville, NC), A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, informative, and full as you'd like, and as is possible in a day, Use of a top of the line, technical day pack, Warm wool or fleece top (Spring, Fall, Winter), Warm hat and gloves (Spring, Fall, Winter), Water bottles or bladder (2 liters total capacity), A cold or frozen bottle of water or Gatorade (Spring, Summer, Fall), 12 and older to join daily departures (mixed groups), 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval determined on a case by case basis.
For more maps, including printed publications, see our Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness maps page.
summit from end of ridge, Trail from Tennent Mountain down to Ivestor Gap trail. This excellent, short video lays out which trails go where and is well worth reviewing before heading out: The Big East Fork trail connects to the Mountains to Sea Trail after exiting the wilderness to the south near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Another popular route to Shining Rock begins at the Big East Fork Trailhead and uses the Shining Creek Trail to gain the ridgeline at Shining Rock Gap. On the return, you have the option to leave the Art Loeb trail and take the Ivestor Gap trail back to the parking lot at either of the two intersections between those trails. Creekside sites can be nicely situated, but be careful of the potential for flash flooding. As of March 2015, bear canisters are required for dispersed camping in Shining Rock Wilderness. All information on this site is based on information available at the time it was entered into the site and is subject to change from natural or man-made causes. Directions to Trailhead – At BRP milepost 420 turn onto FS 816 and drive about 0.8 mi.
going north, Art Loeb trail branches off to the right of Ivestor Gap, Approaching Grassy Cove Top and entrance to Shining Rock Wilderness, Art Loeb intersects Ivestor Gap and follows trail to Graveyard Fields on right, South boundary of the Shining Rock Wilderness, Art Loeb branches off to the left of the Graveyard Fields trail, Sign marking the Art Loeb trail at base of Grassy Cove Top, Descent from Grassy Cove Top into Flower Gap - Shining Rock in the distance, Trail to Shining Rock straight ahead - Art Loeb trail continues north to the left, Art Loeb trail to the right, trail to Ivestor Gap to the left, Access trail to top of Shining Rock on left, Emerging onto the Shining Rock upper portion, Path leading down to the lower portion of the rock, Looking down the west end of Shining Rock, Looking out towards the Middle Prong Wilderness, To view the quartz formations at the top of the knob, go straight at this intersection, The first quartz formation - this is visible from Old Butt Knob Trail, One of the formations in a field of rhodo bushes, View from the top of one of the formations, Wild black berries are common on Ivestor Gap, Wild blueberries are everywhere on the trails, Description – Shining Rock via Art Loeb Trail Hike. This route has just about everything. To sign up, simply fill out the very brief form below and you'll start receiving information that will help you maximize your outdoor vacations! The Shining Rock Ledge (or ridge) forms the backbone of this area. The Pigeon River drains this area with many tributaries starting on the high mountains, and it splits around this area into the East and West Forks.
It's a very steep climb to Old Butt Knob, but traverses relatively moderate terrain from there to Shining Rock. Speaking of Shining Rock Gap, that area just south of Shining Rock is often considered a rather confusing junction of trails. There are no developed campgrounds inside the wilderness itself; however, there are several within a short drive, and one, Sunburst Campground, borders the Wilderness area. Shining Rock became one of the original components of the Wilderness System in September 1964. Although I've never had a problem with it myself, for a long time I planned on doing a video walk-through of the area to help orient people to the gap before they arrive, but The Foothills Backpacker beat me to it!
Environment – grassy knobs with thick blueberry bushes in places, balsam forest areas. Looking to do a day hike in Shining Rock instead? Despite the relatively short length of this loop (9.4 miles including Shining Rock), this is a difficult day hike for hikers of all abilities. Feel free to call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone. Hover over a trail to see it highlighted. It is the largest Wilderness area in North Carolina.
Sunburst, which is open from April - October, has 9 level campsites with drinking water and flush toilets. The right-hand trail is the Old Butt Knob trail that descends to the Big East Fork trailhead. The closest developed campgrounds are at Davidson River, Mount Pisgah and Sunburst, all within about 20 minutes' drive of the trailheads. Base layers may not be sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from You can hike to Shining Rock itself via the Old Butt Knob trail out of Shining Rock Gap. Because of the catastrophic fires of the previous century (which created the mountain balds), campfires are prohibited within the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. We're here to help! A day-use picnic area is also on the site. Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. For the full list, see the Shining Rock Wilderness trail list page. The Ivestor Gap trail will be on the left and another trail to the right goes to Graveyard Fields. 276. At this point you will see a sign for the Shining Rock Wilderness area at the base of Grassy Cove Top.
If you're traveling with a group, the maximum group size is limited to 10 people. The Art Loeb trail to Deep Gap splits off to the left along with a trail that connects to the Ivestor Gap trail. However, leading west (and back into the heart of the wilderness) about 3/4 of the way to its end is the Greasy Cove trail, a strenuous climb that winds up on the Art Loeb near Ivestor Gap. There are many lodging options in the surrounding towns of Canton, Waynesville, Brevard, and Asheville. GeoJSON is a newer, lightweight data exchange format which can be used to quickly share map data and may have a smaller size than KML or GPX. Receive a PDF info packet via email which includes: A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, friendly wilderness guide. If you have Google Earth installed, clicking the KML link should open the trail or point directly There are a couple of ways to climb up onto Shining Rock but the one near the top of the rock is the easiest. Your spot is not confirmed until you've paid your deposit and completed your registration profile.
Intersection of Art Loeb and Ivestor Gap trail at base of Tennent Mt. The Old Butt Knob trail forms a loop with Shining Creek trail on the ridge to its north, providing a ridge-top route.
These views are worth the extra time. KML is the main file type used by Google Earth.
Take the left and follow the trail up Grassy Cove Top. There you will see a three-way intersection at that point. Several longer trails head up the into the heart of the wilderness from there, marked by beginnings that are relatively easy, becoming more and more difficult the further you travel.
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