Linville Gorge Wilderness Hiking Meet-Up
September 9, 2017
Time: Meet and depart from the Pinch-In trailhead at 7:30 a.m.
Directions: From US 221, turn RIGHT onto Highway 183 into the Linville Gorge area. Pass the turn-off for Linville Falls. Drive 1 mile and turn RIGHT onto SR 1238, also known as Kistler Memorial Highway (and before that Old NC 105), at the LINVILLE GORGE sign. The road is unpaved, but passable. A point of reference is you’ll continue past the turn-off for popular Wiseman’s View area, which is about 4 miles into the drive. Depending on where you’re traveling from, Google the directions for Kistler Memorial Highway (again, a dirt road into the wilderness). From the turn-off onto KMH/SR 1238, the drive is roughly 7.5 miles to the Pinch-In trailhead.
Trail route: #228 Pinch In Trail > #231 Linville Gorge Trail > #229 Conley Cove Trail > #247 Rock Jock Trail (the last 4 miles of Rock Jock is unmapped). We might consider hiking the above directions backwards in order to take in the more scenic views from Rock Jock earlier in the day. The entire loop is about 11.5 miles.
Need to know: This route is rated as a VERY STRENUOUS by every source of information I could find. Be ready to climb, grunt, and sweat. We’re not in a race, so we’ll take frequent breaks, especially at scenic overlooks. However, consider your hiking experience and physical condition before undertaking this hike!
Bring plenty of water. There are water sources along the trail, especially along the Linville River, but you’ll most likely consume more water than normal for this hike, especially if it’s hot.
The last (or first, depending on our route) 4 miles of this hike are not on the official map. The trail becomes spotty in places, and there is the chance of getting lost. I’m being real and transparent. As a designated Wilderness Area, trails are not blazed. I have not hiked this entire route before, so I’ll be relying on my map skills, as will you.
Portions of the trail are overgrown, steep, and rocky. Wear appropriate gear.
The weather can change in a moment in the Gorge. Pack accordingly.
Pack as if you’ll be spending 2 days in the Gorge (Hey, you never know).
You assume full responsibility for yourself and your well-being on this hike. Linville Gorge Wilderness is rugged, remote, and can throw a lot at you. Use best safe hiking practices at all times.
Meet at the trailhead promptly by 7:30 am. We will begin the hike no later than 7:45 am. Sorry, but we cannot wait for anyone.
There is always a chance of rain in the Gorge. The hike will continue as planned in rain or shine unless conditions are above normal for lightning, flash flooding, etc. At that time, this hike will be rescheduled in the interest of safety.
You will be hiking in black bear and rattlesnake country.
I have one place left in my Jeep. I’ll be leaving from the Macedonia area in Gaffney, SC. If you want the last spot, DM me via Instagram ONLY.