Hike to the Summit of Shortoff Mountain

Shortoff Mountain Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Justin Costner

Distance: 4.4 mile out and back gaining 1,321 ft of elevation en route to the summit. Expansive views of the Linville Gorge and surrounding peaks. Amazing vistas for sunset. Some of the biggest and best walls in the south for Rock Climbing. Day hike or overnight.

Start your hike from the Shortoff Mountain Trail off of Wolf Pit Road at the base of Lake James. From the summit there is a small grassy area off a side trail that provided awesome cliff side views of the Gorge and Linville River! You can setup after making the hour and a half trek (maybe just in time to witness one of the best sunsets ever).

If you start the hike late and you're lucky, the skies will stay clear for the night and with no moon, the Milky Way appears in the southeast! The great thing about this hike is that you can easily stay and camp if you'd like. If you decide to stay and camp, the nights on Shortoff no matter what season can get chilly with the winds howling across the 4,000 ft summit relentlessly so be prepared! This is definitely one of the most scenic spots in the southeast! With a natural fresh water spring, well marked trails and duration-overnight camping.

Distance

4.4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1321 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Asheville East KOA

Swannanoa, North Carolina

Boone KOA

Boone, North Carolina

Spartanburg NE / Gaffney KOA

Gaffney, South Carolina

Asheville West KOA

Candler, North Carolina

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

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fun to drive to, Easy hike Up, Amazing Views, Easy Hike Down.

The G.O.A.T. of Hiking Trails in North Carolina! Stop by the secret water tree for the best water on the planet!! 🧐

Bad directions but a Good time

The pin droped for this trip at the wolf pit road Parkin spot doest not work on iPhones unless you set your gps after you get through a town called Morgantown. We had a few issues getting there, but the views we're absolutely amazing. Very different terrain from what you normally find in North Carolina. We had a blast and are already planning our next trip there. Thanks for posting this trip on here.

Great Day Hike!

We loved this hike! The entire trail up is beautiful and the rocky terrain makes for a fun and challenging hike. My husband and I took two of our friends who had never hiked before with us and it was a great first experience for them. The only downfall was that the entire trail is exposed (lots of trees burnt down) but the top area is exposed over rock - so bring lots of sunscreen and water! We packed lunches and found a shady area under one of the rocks on an offshoot and had lunch overlooking the mountain range. If you continue on the trail it will take you to table rock. If you aren't looking to go that far but want to catch the awesome views, I recommend going until you pass the small stream where it opens up to the gorge and you can see beautiful rock formations. Overall, great experience!

Nearby Adventures

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Camp on Shortoff Mountain in the Linville Gorge

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Hike the Rock Jock Trail

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Camp in the Linville Gorge via the Pinch In Trail

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Explore Lake James State Park

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