Shining Rock Wilderness

Canton, North Carolina 28716

Shining Rock Wilderness

Shining Rock Wilderness Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Shining Rock—like the Craggy Mountains and Mount Mitchell just north of Asheville—is where the Parkway delivers some of the southern Appalachians’ most stunning scenery.

The horizon peels back on an almost Western scale, and meadow-covered mountaintops march off to meet summits cloaked in evergreens and accented by milk-white crags of quartz—the area’s namesake “shining rocks.”

Descriptions of the following trails are included: Shining Rock Wilderness Circuits from the East Side; Bald Summit Circuits on the Art Loeb Trail; West Side Circuit and Cold Mountain."

More Shining Rock Wilderness Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books)
Joe Miller
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"There are several ways to get to Shining Rock. The route described here is probably the easiest. It begins from the Black Balsam Knob parking area off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Normally, I don’t recommend having dessert before dinner, but I’ll make an exception in this case, in part because the “out” portion of this trail is along an exposed ridgeline and is best hiked early in the day before afternoon thunderheads build."
"Shining Rock—like the Craggy Mountains and Mount Mitchell just north of Asheville—is where the Parkway delivers some of the Southern Appalachians’ most stunning scenery. The horizon peels back on an almost Western scale, and meadow-covered mountaintops march off to meet summits cloaked in evergreens and accented by milk- white crags of quartz—the area’s namesake “shining rocks.”"
Five-Star Trails-Asheville-2nd Edition (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jennifer Pharr Davis
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"The hike to Shining Rock from Big East Fork Trailhead is very difficult. By taking Old Butt Knob Trail to the summit, you will gain more than 2,500 feet in 4 miles. However, the views from the large quartz garden at Shining Rock make the strenuous effort worthwhile. When you are ready to return to the base of the mountain you will take the scenic Shining Creek Trail. This route parallels a cascading mountain stream until it meets the Big East Fork River near the trailhead. This is a very difficult hike. Leave early in the morning to allow for plenty of daylight to complete this loop. Great views from the large quartz deposit known as Shining Rock and lots of creekside walking"

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Trail Information

Canton
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
5.2-12.9 miles
Distance
Several options
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Views
Features
Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, 1600 Pisgah Hwy., Pisgah Forest 28768; (828) 877-3265; e-mail: pisgahrd@fs.fed.us.ncmst.org
Local Contacts
USGS Shining Rock. The area is best covered by Pisgah National Forest’s Shining Rock–Middle Prong Wilderness map. www.nationalforestmapstore.com/category-s/1844.htm
Local Maps

Trail Log