There are many broken up cliff lines on the west side of Linville Gorge. The name Gold Coast refers to the section that lies below the Rock Jock Trail. There has been a fair amount of undocumented exploration on these walls over the years. Many of the explorers only made the trip a hand full of times due to the generally heinous approach to these cliffs. One particular party even bushwhacked over from the east side, not realizing that there was a road on the western rim! The recent re-construction of the rock jock trail has influenced the most recent interests in the Gold Coast climbing, and made for some pretty reasonable approaches. This has resulted in some truely classic routes being established in the more recent time frame.
Locate the Kistler Memorial Hwy on the west side of Linville Gorge. Directions below are referenced by driving north on this gravel road.
The best approach to everything from the south end up to Zen Canyon is this:
If driving north on Kistler, park in a small spot on the left (west side of road) 7.2 miles from the beginning of the gravel section. Locate the "drainage ditch" which is the trail head. It should take about 10 minutes to hike down to the RJ this way, as opposed to 35 min if traversing in the whole Rock Jock. Once at the RJ, to get to Razors Edge and Zen access trails turn left. To get to Moonshine and Underworld access trails turn right. Further approach info can be found under the respective canyon access.
If climbing at Bluejay canyon and north the best approach is this:
It is best to hike in from the north end of RJ. Either start at the Conley Cove trailhead and hike south to the intersetcion of the Rock Jock trail (longer way), or park 1/4 mile south of Conely Cove at a faint parking spot located in the steep S curve (there are several spots). The old path is nearly gone but the start can easily be found at a tree with a big X spray painted on it. Walk a minute or less through the woods to the RJ and turn right. There are many smaller cliffs within about 5 minutes from the car. Bluejay is about 20-30 minutes. It is the drainage gully ("canyon") where the trail turns sharply uphill and crosses come large down tree's. Instead of going up, just go down the drainage.
Weather station 7.9 miles from here
16 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Gold Coast Cliffs
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gold Coast Cliffs:
Featured Route For Gold Coast Cliffs
Mark of the Beast 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b NC
: Linville Gorge
: ... : The Underworld
This route has great variety. A crimpy face leads to a tough, steep roof. Sequential climbing on the headwall leads to pumpy jugs. This route is fun and sustained with good flow on great rock. It has some technical steep face climbing, a bit atypical for the cliff. A personal favorite. ...[more] Browse More Classics in NC
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Jon leading off FA of P-2
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By Bob Underwood
Sep 14, 2008
The Crevasse Creek overhang is now about 200ft below the current route of Rockjock. Have climbers discovered it?
By Ben Sachs
Mar 1, 2010
YES Nathan thanks for posting some descriptions and photos of these canyons. Color photos make it seem way more inviting. Maybe people will go down there. The approaches are tricky but with good trails could be significantly shorter than much of the East side.
By Ben Sachs
Apr 1, 2010
Should/Can this be moved into Linville Gorge? It's in the gorge after all.
By Ben Sachs
Mar 1, 2012
Coming in from the North side, the small pullout mentioned in the first set of directions is about 6.3 miles from where you turn onto Kistler.