Summary: This is a strenuous and rugged trail that crosses the ridge tops where there are magnificent views of up to 60 miles if it is clear. This trail is described in NC Hikers, the only thing time has changed is at the top of Black Balsam Knob many trails have been established. This is slightly confusing but bear right on the signed Art Lobe Trail, and follow the most boot tracks. The trail generally follows up and down the ridge tops until you reach the Shining Rocks and has been little maintained (this is a wilderness area), the view from the summit of the rock is great if you want to risk the climb.
Trailhead: From W. Asheville take Brevard RD.( NC-191) aprox. 7 Mi. to Blue Ridge Parkway entrance at Bent Creek. Continue to intersection do not cross bridge bear straight up the mountain. It is around 19 Mi. to Mt. Pisgah and about 30 Mi. more to Mile Post 420.2 just past the Graveyard Fields overlook. Turn right here to the dead end, this is Black Balsam parking lot. Park and backtrack the road about 1/4 Mi. to the Art Lobe trailhead on your Left, this is the trail to the Shining Rocks. (Lat:35.32577 Lon:-82.88139)
Trail Guides for Shining Rocks Hike:
North Carolina Hiking Trails (third edition)
by Allen de Hart (Appalachain Mountain Club Books.)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Pisgah Ranger District, District Ranger, 1-828-877-3265
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Owen, who has posted 11 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by JRH on 2/28/2008
It was the 1st place i have ever packed. i went back several times. every time i go i get to see something that i didn't see before.
Reviewed by JNK on 12/10/2007
First Place I ever backpacked, its amazing and breathtaking.
Reviewed by Dave M. on 9/8/2007
It's been 5 years since I hiked this, following the footsteps of a friend who had hiked it before. All I will say is, "Take a map with you!" There are lots of confusing trails intersecting the trail you will be on. Also, the trail that goes around the peaks is an old train railbed and is filled with rocks that are difficult to walk on, so you either hike on a more level surface of rocks or a hilly, more strenuous, with better views on better trails. We chose to go to the Rock on the hilly route and come back on the level route. And we started way too late in the day. Go early to give yourself time to enjoy being at Shining Rock itself and not have to hike back while it's getting dark. The hike is well worth seeing the rock outcropping
Reviewed by Bob Moore on 3/10/2007
The mileage in the description is not correct. It is not 30 miles past Mt. Pisgah, but about 11 miles. For those who want to get to Shining Rock (not "rocks") without dealing with the maze of trails on Black Balsam simply follow the old right of way directly from the parking area. This trail was originally layed out to be a loop road around Graveyard Fields, but was never completed. The level, but rough, trail will take you to Ivestor Gap where the trail forks left along Shining Rock Ledge to the mountain. Almost all of this hike is level, and is usually at least a little wet. The ascent to the summit is steep, but not long or dangerous. The round trip is a good 10 miles, but the views are well worth it. Look for the old silver mine.
Reviewed by James on 7/27/2005
Have not hiked this natural area since the mid 1980ies but really enjoyed backcountry camping near the Shining Rocks and I remember going over a hill with tons of blueberries and many people picking them, this might have been the Art Loeb trail, also followed a dirt road trail around this hill on the way back, did not quite make all the way to Cold Mountian though, little bit far for me.
Reviewed by BL Knoxville on 5/19/2004
Beautiful hike. Make sure to take along a map of the area.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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