Cold Mountain Trail

Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina

Elevation Gain1,223ft
Trailhead Elevation4,997ft
Elevation Min/Max4997/6024ft
Elevation Start/End4997/4997ft

Cold Mountain Trail

Cold Mountain Trail is a hiking trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is within Shining Rock Wilderness. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at 4,997 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,223 feet. The trail ends near Cold Mountain (elevation 5,968 feet). This trail connects with the following: Art Loeb Trail.

Cold Mountain Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Five-Star Trails-Asheville-2nd Edition (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jennifer Pharr Davis
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"When Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel, Cold Mountain, came out in 1997 and subsequently sold more than 3 million copies, the wooded 6,000-foot mountain that casts its shadow just northwest of Asheville became known around the world. The out-and-back hike to the top of Cold Mountain starts just south of Camp Daniel Boone and climbs steadily uphill for 5 miles to the summit. There are sparse but spectacular views from the summit and a beautiful mixed hardwood forest leading to the peak. Allow a full day to reach the summit of Cold Mountain. The trailhead is just over a 1-hour drive from Asheville, so 10 hours should be allotted for this hike."
Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books)
Karen Chavez
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"Cold Mountain—the legendary namesake of the fictional novel and Hollywood movie—is a real place. It is one of the highest peaks in the eastern United States and juts majestically out of the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah National Forest. Cold Mountain is not your typical tourist attraction. The 6030-foot summit is accessible only by foot by way of several trails, the “easiest” of which is the nearly 11-mile round-trip hike described here. Forest rangers say that even though interest in the hike has increased, many who attempt the feat are not properly prepared and turn back halfway, discouraged by its difficulty. If you and your dog are experienced and in-shape hikers, this is a trail worth seeing to the end."

Cold Mountain Trail Trip Reports

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Tough day hike. Make sure it is going to be clear up top or you will miss the view. There are a handful of campsites at the top to choose from it you want to make it an over-nighter.
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This trail was very difficult but rewarding. The hike starts at the very beginning going straight up for 5.3 miles. Once you get to the top you have to go through bushes (literally) until you reach the summit which is marked on a rock. The views were spectacular. The trail guide said that the path was hard to follow but I didn't find it to be difficult. Remember to bring a lot of water and food.

Cold Mountain Trail Photos

Trail Information

Shining Rock Wilderness
Nearby City
Shining Rock Wilderness
Skill Level
Additional Use
Local Contacts
National Geographic #780 Pisgah Ranger District, USGS Cruso
Local Maps

Trail Log