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Linville Falls Hike

Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina

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Linville Falls Hike

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  • The trail becomes narrow in places, though it is always well maintained.- Linville Falls Hike
  • The narrow cascade leading to the lip of Linville Falls.- Linville Falls Hike
  • The small ledge above Linville Falls.- Linville Falls Hike
  • Shelters offer a place to relax throughout the hike.- Linville Falls Hike
  • The trail to Linville Falls.- Linville Falls Hike
  • Views downstream into the wild Linville Gorge.- Linville Falls Hike
  • The trail to Linville Falls.- Linville Falls Hike
  • The stairway to the overlook.- Linville Falls Hike
  • Linville Falls from the overlook.- Linville Falls Hike
  • - Linville Falls Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Well maintained trails.
Cons: 
Can be crowded.
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Region:
Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,160.00 ft (963.17 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Linville Falls is an iconic waterfall that drops 90 feet into the Linville Gorge. Overlooks at the top of the falls and from across the gorge provide unique vantages of the twisting mini-gorge immediately above the falls and the falls itself.

From the trailhead at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, cross the bridge on the right over the Linville River. The trail is moderate, with one steeper grade near the middle. In 0.3 miles you'll reach a trail intersection with a trail to the left toward the Upper Falls Overlook. This leads to a viewing area of the 15-foot Upper Falls and sharply zigzagging slides and ledges leading to the lip of Linville Falls. The bedrock here is remarkable.

Returning to the trail intersection, the trail toward Chimney View, the Gorge View, and Erwin's View will be to the left. This trail is mostly flat with the steepest portion coming just after an open meadow. During the climb you will be surrounded by eastern hemlocks, white pine, and the occasional Carolina hemlock. Roughly half a mile down the trail the Chimney View will be to the left. It offers a view of Linville Falls and the plunge pool below from nearly directly across the gorge. Chimney View gets its name from the two tall pillars of rock that start just off the base of the near side of the gorge.

The Gorge View is next, roughly 0.1 miles further down the trail. Here you will be able to see into the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area downstream of the falls.

Only a few hundred feet back down the trail, a turn to the right leads to Erwin's View, the viewpoint that offers the most comprehensive vista of the gorge and falls. It's possible to see the Upper Falls from here as well.

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Location + Directions

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(10 within a 30 mile radius)

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