Weekend Backpacking in Linville Gorge


Added by Mike Baker

This place is fantastic (especially the Spence Ridge trail) if you're looking for a place to get into backpacking. Absolutely beautiful area. As someone who has grownup backpacking and camping in the South-East region this place is top 3 material...easily.

Days Spent: 2 

Nights Spent: 1 

     We started at the Spence Ridge entrance which is probably the most popular entrance. We were coming from the Pee-Dee area and did not get in until about 11:00pm. So, we hiked in with headlamps and camped off the side of the trail about (maybe) a mile from the river. The sites are all primitive/backcountry sites so don't expect anything fancy. I tent camped but my two companions hammock camped. Our site was right next to a stream so it was very relaxing. 

    We only camped out one night. Since we got in so late we decided to sleep in and take our time making breakfast and coffee. So about mid morning we headed down towards the river and shed our gear and just rock hopped and played in the river. The water too cool to swim in but it made for good jumping & exiting haha. If you can cross the river (depends on the level of the river which fluctuates & the second half of the bridge was out when we were there) then do it! It's extremely fun to hike along the river and you can rock hop about everywhere (BUT BE CAREFUL as the river moves pretty fast).

     Keep in mind to not eat in or near your tent. While we didn't see any bears...Linville Gorge is known for it's bear activity. String up your food away from your campsite before you go to sleep! 

     Overall it was a fantastic weekend trip! My advice, take a few friends and go hit this area! It can be a day hike or a week hike. Just depends on what you want to make it!  

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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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