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Top backpacking spots in and near Asheville. Level of difficulty: Easy.
 
 

– Asheville hiking & backpacking trails over 6 miles: top hikes

 

It has some fairly steep sections, but overall is relatively easy, with several benches along the way in case you want to rest a bit. To finish the hike, just go back the way you came. You can also explore other trails, like the 0. It offers relatively minimal elevation gain, yet still gifts you with magnificent views.

The hike starts at the Art Loeb Trailhead just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost and heads northbound through a beautiful balsam forest.

Continuing north, the trail makes its final stretch to the summit of the bald mountain at 0. Located about 38 miles from Asheville, Sam Knob is a striking mountain that stands over 6, feet tall.

The hike to the summit is under 3 miles and has moderate elevation gain, so it is usually managed well by most reasonably fit hikers.

The Sam Knob Trail starts off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP and follows a wildflower-lined gravel road through a forest before the trees open up to reveal a broad, grassy meadow.

After traversing the meadow and crossing a set of wooden stairs, your ascent up the mountain begins. The views are exceptional, with the Devils Courthouse visible to the south, the summit of Black Balsam Knob peeking out in the east, and the Middle Prong Wilderness and Shining Rock Wilderness all around.

Just 25 miles from downtown Asheville, the Catawba Falls Trail is one of the most popular waterfall hikes near Asheville, especially during the summer months. Named for the Catawba Indians and formed by the headwaters of the Catawba River, Catawba Falls features an impressive series of cascades plummeting over feet from two major drops.

Along the trail, keep your eyes peeled for stone ruins from the early s, including the wall of an old dam. The peaceful gurgling of small streams and cascades provides a soothing soundtrack as you hike the 3-mile round-trip trail. One of the most iconic and tallest North Carolina mountains , Mount Pisgah towers at 5, feet, allowing it to be seen all the way from downtown Asheville. The first half-mile of the hike will seem easy, with very little elevation gain. Soon thereafter, your efforts will be rewarded as you reach a wooden observation deck where you can admire the long-ranging summit views.

The name Graveyard Fields may evoke images of a dark and eerie stretch of wilderness. But this is actually a beautiful trail, with sparkling waterfalls and fields of wildflowers along the route. The trail gets its odd name from stumps that were said to resemble tombstones, which were once dispersed across the area after a terrible wildfire.

Those haunting remnants are long gone, and the area is now one of the most popular day trips from Asheville. Along with the high-elevation meadows and wildflowers, blueberry bushes can be seen all over the area.

Around August, lots of people come here to pick their own berries , with National Park Service rules allowing visitors to pick up to 1 gallon of blueberries per day! There are many trails that can take you to the falls, but the most popular is the 4. The trail will lead you through a gorgeous stretch of DuPont Forest.

At around 2. Here you can admire the cascading water up close as it rushes down the granite rock face before collecting in a series of pools and settling in the area below. While it may not have the jaw-dropping summit views that some of the other Asheville hiking trails on this list offer, the Rattlesnake Lodge Trail makes up for it with its understated beauty and rich history. A popular hike among locals, this trek follows the Mountains to Sea Trail eastbound.

You can hang your entire pack or just your food bag — it takes two minutes and keeps all your stuff safe. Just make sure anything you hang on the cables is waterproof! The biggest risk is if you surprise one.

If it looks like it might charge, make as much noise as possible while backing away slowly. This was my primary navigation source for all the backpacking routes in this post. For a backup paper map in the Smokies, the National Geographic one does the trick. Remember, a paper map and compass are only good if you know how to use them. Take a basic navigation course online or at your local REI before heading into the backcountry.

The Art Loeb Trail is easily one of the best hiking trails near Asheville. You can hike the Art Loeb in either direction.

This allows you to save the best views for the end, but it involves about 2, feet of extra elevation gain and two very steep climbs.

Most people hike north-south. Aside from a short section near the Blue Ridge Parkway, I saw a total of four groups in three days on the trail. And that was on a beautiful three-day weekend in June! The trail starts from Davidson River Campground near Brevard. Your first day involves climbing through the green tunnel. Mountain laurels surround you as you traverse a couple of small 3,ish foot peaks.

Start early on Day 2, because this day is brutal. Descend to Deep Gap, then begin the climb to the Parkway. This starts gradual and then gets extremely, brutally steep right at the end. Hands and knees required. The final 3. There are five viable areas to camp along the Art Loeb Trail.

The first good camping area is right below Cedar Knob. There are about 15 established backcountry sites over the course of a mile. This stretch of sites ends at Butter Gap Shelter.

The second possibility is at Deep Gap Shelter. This is a good option for folks covering the trail over four days. Most campsites are in the immediate vicinity of the shelter. Black Balsam is more crowded but less exposed.

I prefer the western side of the trail facing Middle Prong Wilderness. You have a better chance of clear sunsets than clear sunrises. Your fourth option is to camp somewhere between Ivestor Gap and Shining Rock. There are a ton of absolutely gorgeous campsites through here, but they come with two issues: first, the bears around here are quite aggressive.

One of the biggest challenges with backpacking the Art Loeb is there is almost no water along the trail. You only have a few options, and several of them kind of suck:.

I used Pura Vida Adventures and had a good experience. The two trailheads are about a minute drive apart, mainly because Route is slow going. Parking at Davidson River Campground is excellent. Turn into the campground and take the first small driveway on your left. If you ask really nicely you can even use the restroom at the campground. There are no trash cans or restrooms. This 6,footer is only half a mile away from its more famous cousin.

It offers equally epic panoramas. But you have a good chance of getting the summit completely to yourself. It shares many of the same characteristics, but the scenery is more varied. Plus it involves a lot less elevation gain. You have a number of options to approach this loop, depending on how you want to split up the days. Towering ridge lines frame plunging valleys here in the southernmost stretches of the Appalachian Mountains, some of the oldest mountains in the world.

Nestled in the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC, our town is well-loved for its vibrant culture, abundant arts, fantastic cuisine, and close proximity to some of the best trails in the South. Grab your backpack, favorite boots and hiking gear, and hit the trail for some seriously stunning views and some sweet-scented fresh mountain air.

Wherever your adventures take you, please remember to always leave no trace to help preserve the beauty of these forests and wilderness areas. And please follow these tips for good trail etiquette to help make sure everyone has an equally enjoyable time. Climbing 6, feet into the clouds, the Mt Mitchell summit is the highest east of the Mississippi, and on a clear day, offers simply breathtaking views from the top.

Explore exceptionally beautiful high-elevation forests on this two-trail loop, catching soaring views from the summit and looping through a lush, fragrant, mossy forest of balsam fir trees on the Balsam Nature Trail. This hike on the Mountains to Sea Trail follows an old gravel road through a scenic forest, catching beautiful views above the Parkway from an angled rock outcrop. Mitchell Campground. The town of Burnsville is just a few miles north, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a few miles south.

The campground offers everything from monthly RV sites with full hook-ups to walk-in primitive tent sites. There are also cabin rentals available as well. This campground has lots of extras, including free Wi-Fi, as well as a playground and onsite camp store. Accommodation options include full hookup RV sites and tent sites, as well as cabins, glamping tents, and lodges for larger groups. The park has two restaurants , a water playground, a large pool, a lake with a dock and over-water ziplines , a mini golf course, a jumping pad, an outdoor movie theater, and more.

So families will have no trouble keeping their children content, and there might even be time to venture over to Asheville to check out the city. The campground has full-service RV sites and tent sites, as well as cabin rentals. Amenities include a pool, game room, dog park, walking trail, and an onsite camp store. This place offers great camping near Asheville without being quite the all-encompassing destination that Jellystone Park is.

There are full-service RV sites and tent sites here, but visitors can choose to stay in cabins and lodges. Other amenities include a fairy garden , dog park, playground, hiking trails , a lounge with games, and a large pavilion for group gatherings. Access to Wi-Fi and cable are both free. We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore.

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

 

Best backpacking near asheville nc – best backpacking near asheville nc –

 
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