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Burnsville, North Carolina

Backpack the The Linville Gorge

10 Miles Total - Point-to-Point Trail

Originally added by Jen Seiser

If you’re looking to skip the Smoky Mountain National Park crowd, head to the Linville Gorge. This is a great multi-day hike and backpacking trip.

We arrived late to Linville, and set up camp near the visitors center to be sure we were in line early for the competitive permits to backcountry camp. We started on our hike the next morning after getting the required backwoods camping permit and hitchhiking to the entry point of the trail.

The hike began with a sizable decent down into the gorge where we set up camp. The leaves and foliage was just stunning this time of year. I would imagine it gets quite warm here in the summer, even in October we found the river running through the bottom of the Gorge to be not only a needed water source, but also a refreshing spot for a swim. We spent the next few days here hiking and camping. The final night of our trip, we hiked back out of the Gorge and camped along the rim of the gorge. This provided an awesome view and made leaving in the morning more timely. It also allowed us to restock our beer provisions for the campfire and catch dinner in town at a local BBQ joint.

While here we backcountry camped, setting up along the trail. I think this is the best way to experience the gorge. We did discuss that in the future we may enjoy hiking more without carrying so much weight all day. While the back country camping along the river is a must, moving sites each night may not be. Next visit we will consider setting up camp on the first night then enjoying day hikes from there and returning to the same camp for several nights. This would allow us to get more miles in more quickly and see more of the elevation.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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