Cold Mountain And Shining Rock
|Type:||Backpacking Hike - Loop|
|Distance (Total):||15.4 miles / 24.8 km|
|Elevation Gain:||2,700 feet / 823 meters|
|Minimum Elevation:||3,300 feet / 1,006 meters|
|Maximum Elevation:||6,000 feet / 1,829 meters|
|Hiking Season:||- All Year Long|
|Things To See:||- Cascades - Cliffs - Creeks - Forest - Mountain Views - Old Growth - Rock Formations - Scenic Views - Summit - Waterfalls - Wildlife|
|Rating:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Nearby Town:||Asheville, North Carolina, United States|
This backpack takes you from Daniel Boone Scout Camp to Cold Mountain and Shining Rock on the Art Leob Trail. This hike offers panoramic views of the Shining Rock Wilderness and scenic streams views with multiple cascades and waterfalls. The description is for a 3 day 2 night backpack.
WARNING: This is a wilderness. There are NO trail signs and trail blazes. Make sure to have an accurate map for navigation.
From the Art Leob Trailhead at Daniel Boone Scout Camp follow the Art Leob Trail through the woods for about 3.8 miles and up 1,700 ft to Deep Gap. Deep Gap is a flat area on the ridge at about 5,000 ft. The trail to the left is the Cold Mountain Trail. The trail to the right is the Art Leob Trail to Shining Rock Gap. There are a few streams along the trail to refill water. There is a small spring/stream just before Deep Gap.
Before leaving camp at Deep Gap, hike the Cold Mountain Trail to the summit of Cold Mountain. The out and back hike is about 2.6 miles. There is a small spring about half way up the mountain. The summit offers panoramic views of Shining Rock Wilderness. As of May 2010, this part of the trail had a large number of fallen trees.
After returning to Deep Gap, follow the Art Leob Trail across The Narrows, Stairs Mountain and finally Shining Rock Gap in 2.9 miles. The Narrows are the most difficult part of this section. The trail is rocky, eroded and steep. This section offers more panoramic views of the wilderness. WARNING: There is not water access between Deep Gap and Shining Rock Gap!
Just before arriving to Shining Rock Gap, you will start noticing white shiny rocks in the woods. At this point in time, you are passing near Shining Rock. Shortly after you will be arriving at Shining Rock Gap to the left (small open field). To the right is the Investor Gap Trail that you will take the next morning. Cut across the small field and take a right on the Art Leob Trail. Shortly after there will be a spring on the left and a campsite on the right.
After setting up camp visit Shining Rock by backtracking to Shining Rock Gap. Stay on the well worn trail. Stay to the left at the fork and enter the woods. You will soon reach the base of Shining Rock. Take a right along the edge of it until you find a way to climb to the top to enjoy more panoramic views of the wilderness.
After packing camp, return to Shining Rock Gap, cross the open field and continue down the Investor Gap Trail for 0.5 miles. At 0.5 miles the trail will start to turn left and the Little East Fork Trail will fork to the right. Take a right onto the Little East Fork Trail. As of May 2010, this trail had a very large amount of fallen trees blocking the path.
Follow the Little East Fork Trail down the mountain for 2.4 miles to Little East Fork. Cross the stream and follow the Little East Fork Trail all the way back to the trailhead at Daniel Boone Camp for another 2.8 miles. Little East Fork is a beautiful mountain stream with numerous waterfalls and cascades.
The group size is limited to 10 hikes in the wilderness.