Tag Archives: North Carolina

How to backpack the Standing Indian Loop on the Appalachian Trail

Views from Albert Mountain when backpacking the Standing Indian Loop

Panoramic fire tower views. Rocky ledges overlooking deep river gorges. Endless green tunnel dotted with pink lady slippers, goldenrod, and monarch butterflies. The Albert Mountain – Standing Indian Loop is one of the best Appalachian Trail backpacking trips in North Carolina. This 20-25 mile backpacking trip is ideal for a weekend getaway. It’s one of […]

Foothills Trail Thru Hike: The BEST backpacking in South Carolina

Sunrise from Sassafras Mountain on my Foothills Trail thru hike

Towering waterfalls. Thunderous river gorges. Wildflower fields. The highest peak in South Carolina. And stairs. So many stairs. This is your life when you attempt a Foothills Trail thru hike. The Foothills Trail runs 77 miles from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park in South Carolina, crossing briefly into North Carolina twice along […]

Hiking Mt LeConte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Mt LeConte elevation is over 6,000 feet, making it a great spot for views of the Smokies.

Towering cliffs. Panoramic vistas. Caves, waterfalls, and fire-scarred slopes. Hiking Mt LeConte is the #1 thing to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mount LeConte is not the Smokies’ highest summit (that’s Clingman’s Dome). Nor is it the park’s hardest hike. But a trek to the top provides a sense of journey unlike anything […]

Hiking Grandfather Mountain: A guide to High Country’s best views

Sunset at the end of an epic Grandfather Mountain hike

Steep ladders with sheer drops on all sides. Cable-assisted climbs along narrow ledges. Rock scrambles down 100-foot-long chutes. Hiking Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina’s High Country isn’t for the faint of heart. Hikers brave the obstacles to reach the views from two summits — Macrae Peak and Calloway Peak. Plus, there’s a swinging bridge, plenty […]

Hardest hikes in the US: 7 trails for experienced adventurers

Views of Linville Gorge - one of the hardest hikes in the US

The United States has over 600 million acres of public lands, waiting to be explored. Some of the lands are covered with paved, flat walkways. Others? Not so much. The hardest hikes in the US take you to remote corners of the American backcountry, up and down steep cliffs, across raging rivers, and through harsh […]

Linville Gorge Grand Loop: The hardest hike in NC

Practice navigation with a map and compass and bring a GPS as backup.

North Carolina’s wildest and most remote wilderness area is a hiker’s paradise. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” many hikers find Linville Gorge’s trails more challenging — and the views even better — than the iconic western park. But hiking and backpacking in the Gorge isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, […]

Moore Cove Falls Trail: Top waterfall hike in Pisgah National Forest

The Moore Cove Falls trail leads to the base of the cascade.

The Moore Cove Falls trail is one of the most beautiful waterfall hikes in Western North Carolina. This family-friendly hike takes you to a unique cave waterfall that you can walk behind. It features incredible wildflowers in springtime. And it has a few hidden gems that you can explore using side trails. As a local […]

The BEST Blue Ridge Parkway hikes near Asheville, NC: 19 epic trails

Hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway allows you to get epic views of Linville Gorge.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s most iconic scenic drives. It winds 479 miles along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. Along the way it passes waterfalls, the highest peaks in the East, and the most […]

Daffodil Flats Hike in Linville Gorge: An epic wildflower hike in NC

Spring in the Carolina mountains brings wildflowers galore. The earliest poppies bloom in Green River Gamelands in early March. In April, you start seeing mountain laurels at low elevations. And by June dramatic pink rhododendron blooms envelope the 6,000-foot peaks. There are hundreds of wildflower hikes in the area around Asheville, but the Daffodil Flats […]

Best time to visit Asheville NC: Fall colors, wildflowers & snowy hikes

The best time to visit Asheville NC depends on what you want to do

Picture yourself on top of one of the tallest mountains in the East, watching the sun set on a warm summer night. Imagine walking through a field of wildflowers — pink rhododendrons, white mountain laurels and bright-yellow goldenrod blooming all around. Visualize frozen waterfalls, or mountain slopes covered with fiery red foliage. There is no […]