Camp on Hawksbill Mountain

1.7 miles 700 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by John Stephens

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

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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🥇Top Contributor

2 months ago

Weekday was the way to go

Came here on a weekday evening and got one of the sites with a view. It was a unique place with plenty of nooks and crannies to get interesting perspectives for photos.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

almost 2 years ago

Not a ton of campsites, but the few are awesome

There are not as many campsites on the mountain here as you might think and expect to find them occupied very early on the weekends. Many of the campsites do not have immediate views, but are a stones throw away from epic vistas. Be sure to get a permit for the weekends!

🥇Top Contributor

over 2 years ago

These directions are not sufficient

You encounter three forks - hang a left at all three to get to where you want to go. The trail will finally open up after an incredibly steep and rocky push marked by a large bolder and fire rings with 3 or 4 overgrown paths to take. Take the far right trail to get to the best overlook. There are a few places to pitch a tent, but they are tight and not flat so keep that in mind if you want to camp. Besides that, this view is one of the best (if not the best) in the Linville Wilderness. I cannot recommend this view enough!

Loved this camping trip!

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!

Amazing Sunrises And Sunsets

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.

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