Laurel Mountain

Asheville, North Carolina 28810

Laurel Mountain

Laurel Mountain Professional Review and Guide

"Though I generally don’t like out-and-backs, this one rates up there as a great ride. It’s a straightforward ride, with no turns to worry about, and a relatively easy climb—for 1,400-foot elevation gain, that is.

Even determined beginners can make it up to Good Enough Gap, and the run back down is like a dirt-faced roller coaster that pegs the fun meter. You’ll come back down the mountain like your ass is on fire and you like the heat. Just watch for the off-camber rocks and rattlesnakes. Tread: 12.4 miles of pure, prime Pisgah singletrack."

Laurel Mountain Reviews

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This definitely ranks as one of my favorite rides. Laurel features one of the best singletrack climbs in Pisgah - some techy rock sections and the usual roots on a mostly gradual (for Pisgah) ascent. Contrary to the above trail description, I do NOT recommend riding Laurel as an out-and-back! Especially on the weekends and during all days in summer, you will find that this trail is popular, and you will encounter, and likely frighten, many ascending riders as you barrel down the trail on the out-and-back route. Consider taking the Laurel Mountain Connector trail to the Pilot Rock trail, descending Pilot, and following FS road 1206 back to your vehicle at Yellow Gap. The Pilot Rock trail offers a fabulous albeit rocky and technical descent, and I highly recommend it. Another variation of Laurel is to descend an unmarked trail at Sassafras Gap (roughly 6 miles from the start of Laurel at Yellow Gap) to Big Creek trail. Ride back on the Hendo Reservoir Road to FS road 1206.
Started on the parkway; walked first part to intersection with Laurel Mtn. Connector. Rode the rest downhill. Ran shuttle to Yellow Gap Road, (I ride an offroad unicycle). Took about 2.5 hours. Some parts too wet/steep to ride. Excellent technical riding. Last 3 miles very rolling with some difficult rocky sections. The weather was foggy and wet. Trail would be much easier if it were dry. Well marked trail, excellent places to take a break, one of my favorite downhills in Pisgah so far.
Correction to last post , should have been for the Laurel River trail near Hot Springs !
This trail is awesome. This is an intermediate level ride. Beginners would push and crash too much to enjoy it. Killer climbs. The views are spectacular especially from the exposed rock area. Tight switchbacks keep you on your toes. Huge waterbars to launch off of after the switchbacks. Next time we will ride to the steep section everybody pushes then ride back down. That will be a blast.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty
1.5 to 2.5 hours
3,100 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,000 feet
Top Elevation
Pisgah National Forest, Pisgah Ranger District (336) 877-3265
Local Contacts
USGS Dunsmore Mountain; USDA Forest Service Pisgah District Trail Map; National Geographic Trails Illustrated Pisgah Ranger District.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018