• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    700 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Dynamic 360 views looking over Linville Gorge from 4,009 ft elevation at peak. The mountain provides beautiful hidden nooks to set up camp.

Hidden far above the beautiful Linville Gorge stands Hawksbill Mountain, among many other fantastic hikes. The roughly 1.7 mile hike from the dusty gravel parking lot is steep but worth every step. It took me about an hour to conquer with a few water bottle-guzzling stops.

At the top, you are almost immediately hit with the gorgeous views. You have two options for a view: looking left toward Asheville and Table Rock, or looking right toward the gorge lying over 2,000 feet below. Both provide a stunning height and breathtaking vision of the rolling hills ahead. If you time your hike right, you can catch the sunset from here, and watch as the sun suddenly cascades warm light all over the valley and rocks.

The mountain has plenty of little nooks and hiding places to set up a little one or two-person tent. The nights can be a little breezy (my little tent blew around and shook in response to the howling wind). But as the night moved on so did the furious weather. By morning the mountain had again returned to its solemn silence.

The sunrise is again a beautiful view that seems better accompanied by a cup of strong camp coffee.

Camping Permits may be required (May-Oct.). For permit info, contact the local ranger office:

Grandfather Ranger District
109 East Lawing Dr.
Nebo, NC 28761
(828) 652-2144

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Camera & supplies
  • Windbreaker
  • Hiking boots
  • Tent or hammock
  • Cook stove
  • Sleeping bag (It can be very windy overnight)
  • Camping gear
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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The hike up was so much fun. Some parts were a little steep, but manageable. My husband and I hiked up in about an hour with our packs and camped at the top on the other side of the Hawks Bill. When you get to the top of you go right it takes you right to the Hawks Bill where it is SUPER windy but SO beautiful and worth it. The winds were gusting about 50mph but it was such a neat experience and breathtaking views. When you get to the top of the trail and go left it will take you to a less windy spot with some tree coverage and a little campsite - which is where we set up. It was still windy throughout the night but calm compared to the other side of the mountain. I would recommend this hike for a day hike or overnight stay. Waking up to the sunrise over the mountain tops with some oatmeal was beautiful!

9 months ago
9 months ago

We took the long long way to the summit at Hawksbill via the ledge trail and other offshoots, and were lucky to see the sunset over the surrounding ridges and wake up to an insane sunrise. The campsites are small but really cool, perfect if you're looking for the primitive experience that's still easy to access.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Camped on top of Hawksbill again last night, and was reminded why I love coming here. My brother and I hiked up with our Eno's, and there's a handful of great spots with trees for sleeping and open spots for a fire. The 360 view is breathtaking, and there's no better way to wake up then a sunrise over the gorge. If your camping over the weekend I would recommend getting there before dark to make sure you get a great spot.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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