Shining Rock Wilderness

Asheville, NC
4.9 (15 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Remarkable Quartzite Summit
  • BIG Appalachian Views
  • Diversity of Wildlife
  • Ecologically Diverse Forests
  • Sunset Dinner From Atop Shining Rock
  • Stunning Appalachian Waterfalls
  • Ascent of Famous Cold Mountain
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

Our Appalachian guides feel this is the best backpacking trip we run east of the Mississippi River! When it comes to trails, views, swimming, and summits it is amazing in that it quite literally has it all. But it also has something unique in the region, which is wonderful mountain solitude. Get away from the crowds to experience sweeping Appalachian views, waterfalls, exceptional hiking, fascinating geology, and a chance to see wildlife!

We pick you up in Asheville and shuttle in from Brevard through the Cradle of Forestry area (where American forest conservation began). We’ll stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall. The first day of hiking is relatively short to our camp at the confluence of 2 valleys with fantastic swimming holes and cascades nearby. Day 2 starts with a steep hike to a ridge where we’ll eat lunch while enjoying BIG views. Day 2 ends at Shining Rock Gap, where we camp for two nights. Shining Rock itself (a stunning and unlikely quartz outcropping) is extremely unique and tends to “floor” even people who have been there before. Your guide will give you the “inside” tour of this area before we settle down for dinner. The third day we hike to the top of Cold Mountain, which is relatively challenging, but only with light day packs. If we reach the summit we will eat lunch on a massive ledge with views of all the areas we have been hiking. Our final day we follow beautiful creeks and valleys back down hill to our starting point.

Wildland Trekking is a permitee of the USFS, Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests

4 Days
$1055 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-8 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 22MI / 35KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
25-35 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
2000 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2000 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained
Additional:
This trip follows maintained trails comprised primarily of compacted dirt and rocks. Trails can get slippery after rain and are steep in places. Because of the significant hiking distances and substantial elevation gains/losses on steep, somewhat technical trails when wet, this trip is on the more difficult side of Level 3 (Level 3+).

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Appalachia hike a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time and often a feeling of having the mountains to yourself.

Learn More about our Rating System
TRAVEL TO ASHEVILLE

All Blue Ridge Mountains trips begin and end from Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville has an airport served by Allegiant Air, Delta, United, and US Airways. One can also fly into Greenville, South Carolina or Charlotte, North Carolina and drive to Asheville. It is a 1.5-hour drive from Greenville to Asheville and a 2-hour drive from Charlotte on good roads.

FROM ASHEVILLE AIRPORT
Asheville Airport Express (http://www.ashevilleairportexpress.com, 1-828-691-1121) runs shuttles to and from downtown. Also a number of taxis are usually available on the curb in the Arrivals area.

FROM GREENVILLE/CHARLOTTE
Asheville Airport Express also runs daily vans from Charlotte and Greenville to Asheville. Cost per shuttle is $235 from Charlotte and approximately $120 from Greenville.

CAR RENTALS
Avis: 800-331-1212; Hertz 800-654- 3131; National: 800-227-7368; Thrifty: 800-367-2277; Alamo: 800-327-9633

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

Receive Emails about Wildland Trekking Promotions, Updates, and Discounts:

We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
Or fill out a Reservation Request
Learn About Our Private Trips
View Private Trips
Receive Emails about Wildland Trekking Promotions, Updates, and Discounts:

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the trailhead: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 4+ miles
  • Elevation Gain: 600-1000 feet

This multi-day Appalachia backpacking trip to the Shining Rock Wilderness starts with a drive through the city of Brevard and a stop at an amazing roadside attraction, Looking Glass Falls. From here it is a short drive to our trailhead at the East Fork of the Pigeon River. Our hike and tonight’s camp is along this enchanting waterway full of cascades and swimming holes. Our first night in the Appalachian Wilderness will end with a Hearty meal prepared by your guide and the relaxing sound of the creek as we sleep.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 5-7 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 1,765 feet

Day 2 starts with a relaxing morning and breakfast. We’ll break camp and hike up to the Appalachian high country along Grassy Ridge Ledge, where sweeping views of the surrounding area surround us. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at a high mountain gap while enjoying even more amazing views. After lunch we’ll continue hiking to our next camp near Shining Rock Gap. Here we will set up our home for the next two nights before exploring the unique and other worldly summit of Shining Rock, a mountain capped with white quartzite rock outcroppings. We’ll cap today off with a beautiful sunset dinner, prepared fresh by your guide, at the quartzite rocks.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,795 feet

Today we get the luxury of hiking with smaller backpacks to an amazing summit view from atop Cold Mountain, whose name you might recognize from Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel based in this region during the Civil War, “Cold Mountain”. Our summit brings us to a height of 6,030 ft., the highest of our trip. After lunch at the summit we’ll hike back toward Shining Rock Gap and our comfortable, scenic camp for one more, much deserved, hearty Appalachian dinner prepared by your guide!

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 2,365 feet
  • Shuttle to Asheville: 1 hour

Today we head down the beautiful Shining Creek trail. Along the way we will stop and enjoy multiple cascades along our journey to our waiting vehicle at Big East Fork. Lunch today is at one of the many amazing viewpoints of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. While enjoying the views and a delicious lunch we will recount the highlights of our Shining Rock Wilderness adventure. After lunch it is a short drive back to Asheville and hot, deserved showers!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Blue Ridge Mountains hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Asheville, North Carolina to the trailhead and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent, lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You will meet your guide and group at the Holiday Inn in downtown Asheville (standard rooms are $99-$140 for our guests, 828-225-5550) for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. We’re happy to give you a ride to this meeting if you’re not staying at the Holiday Inn. Your guide will then pick you up the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Blue Ridge Mountains Tours your guide can meet you at any hotel in Asheville at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restriction

The standard group size on Blue Ridge Mountains backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum group size of 8 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in The Appalachian Mountains

The weather in the Appalachian Mountains varies greatly by time of year. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures in for low elevations in the Appalachian Mountains:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Low Elev
High Elev
hi
low
hi
low
January
51°
28°
35°
19°
February
54°
29°
35°
18°
March
61°
34°
39°
24°
April
71°
42°
49°
34°
May
79°
50°
57°
43°
June
86°
58°
63°
49°
July
88°
59°
65°
53°
August
87°
60°
64°
52°
September
83°
55°
60°
47°
October
73°
43°
53°
38°
November
61°
33°
42°
28°
December
52°
28°
37°
21°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (15 reviews)
Sarah B.
5.0

Perfect Fit For Me!

5 months ago

This was my first backpacking trip as an adult. I consider myself a fit and active individual, but I didn’t know the basics of backpacking and camping. This trip was a perfect fit, both physically challenging and education. I have made life long friends in the others who did the trip with me!

Marguerite L.
5.0

5 Star Guide!

5 months ago

Our guide Kyle was reassuring, well-prepared and capable; sensitively supporting each of us. He was personable as well as knowledgeable (and an excellent cook!). 5 stars for Kyle!

Scott G.
5.0

Great Trip

5 months ago

My guide Kyle was great- very easy and accommodating- food was wonderful- hikes were beautiful- can’t wait to take another trip

See More Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

Related Trips

You might also like...

Receive a PDF info packet via email which includes:
 
 
 
Receive Emails about Wildland Trekking Promotions, Updates, and Discounts:
 
Privacy Policy: Click Here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*