Morganton, North Carolina

Camp on Shortoff Mountain in the Linville Gorge

Originally added by Samuel Martin

Camp out in one of the most rugged gorges in North America. No need for a permit if you're camping outside of the summer. Take in views of Lake James and the Gorge as you hike to your campsite. Duration: Overnight.

The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the wildest, most rugged gorges in the eastern United States. It's also an outdoor paradise for hikers and backpackers. Camping here is always a treat and you are sure to enjoy your time spent in the gorge.

During peak seasons, May 1st- October 31st, you must obtain a permit to camp in the gorge. However, because this is a wilderness area, camping is allowed year round.

On this particular trip, our group arrived at the trail head (Wolf Pit Rd) in mid December and started out toward our campsite on Shortoff Mountain. Along this hike you will have incredible views of Lake James and beyond as well as a view of the gorge that will take your breath away. This hike is moderately strenuous. Once on the ridgeline you will have multiple campsites to choose from, some right on the gorge rim and some farther back in the wood line.

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Wolf Pit Rd Access to Shortoff Mountain Trailhead

We are residents of the community at Shortoff Mountain and Wolf Pit has become almost impassable due to lack of maintenance. We are gathering this petition to submit to various government agencies in hopes of getting regular maintenance to the road for everyone.

Fantastic Night In The Gorge

Decided to try camping in the middle of January while a winter storm was approaching, and discovered Shortoff while growing the Outbound app- it looked like a perfect fit! Our group started out the hike in the middle of a rainstorm, and hiked an hour and 15 minutes until we found a prime campsite on the ridge, with great trees for hammocks, flat spots for tents, and even a small “cave” to build a fire in away from the rain and wind. After we got camp set up, the rain and wind died down, and we had an amazing evening around the fire while the temperatures dropped from 60° all the way down to 24°. Warning! The winds here are no joke! Check the weather before you go out- and if there’s supposed to be winds, a hammock might be a bad idea. I was definitely wishing I was in a good tent instead of an exposed hammock. Even with the cold temperatures and the rain, Shortoff was an amazing experience and we will definitely be back when the weather is a little nicer!

Bad directions but a good time

Did this trip last night and Im already planning my second one back. absolutely beautiful

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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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