Hike to the Summit of Shortoff Mountain

North Carolina Shortoff Mountain Trailhead

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.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Hammock
  • Climbing Gear
  • Cook set
  • Fuel
  • Water Filter
  • Camera
  • Tripod
Read More

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

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1321 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Amazing Views!

Our family of four (youngest = 11) and two dogs hiked 3 miles in. We experienced absolutely breathtaking views of Lake James, Linville Gorge and Table Rock during the ascent and once we reached the summit. It was a pretty intense trail half of the way with rocky terrain but the views are totally worth it. The only issue we had was finding the trail head. GPS did not take us directly to Wolf Pit Rd because of spotty service and there is no road sign. We guessed and thankfully ended up in the right spot! Pack lots of water for this hike and wear good supportive hiking shoes.

3 months ago

over 1 year ago

Awesome hike. The hike provides a different terrain than most trails in North Carolina. The campsites were easy to locate but they fill up fast on weekends.

over 1 year ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Crabtree Falls

North Carolina / Crabtree Meadows Campground

Starting from the old store parking area at MP 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, follow the trail through a meadow past the campground amphitheater.

Elyse Clark
13 Saves

Hike to Skinny Dip Falls

North Carolina / Looking Glass Falls Overlook Parking Area

Park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. After enjoying the view of Looking Glass Rock, gear up and head to the right side of the parking area (right side if your back is to the overlook).

Jess Fischer
21 Saves

Hike to Douglas Falls

North Carolina / Douglas Falls Trailhead

The trail begins at the back of the parking area, and is marked by a trail sign. Once on the trail it is a straight shot to the waterfall with no turnoffs.

Nathan Szwarc
14 Saves