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Areas in Linville Gorge

Amphitheater 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Camel, The 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Chockstone Chimney Wall 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Conley Cove 5 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Gold Coast Cliffs 9 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 16
Hawksbill Mtn 30 / 20 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 44
Henson Creek Canyon 5 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Linville Gorge Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Linville Link Ups 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Linville River Crag 20 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
North Carolina Wall 17 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Shortoff - Upper Wall 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Shortoff Mountain 58 / 8 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 59
Sitting Bear 18 / 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 24
Table Rock 47 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 51
Wiseman's View 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Elevation: 3,363 ft
GPS: 35.887, -81.885 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 450,202 total · 3,279/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Oct 14, 2006
Admins: Ryan Williams, Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry


Linville Gorge is a premier climbing destination in the SE. Routes range from easy multipitch to hardman sandbags. Table Rock and the Amphitheatre are very popular with those seeking more moderate outings while areas like Hawksbill and Shortoff attract a more hardcore crowd.

The rock is quartzite, and typically low angle. There aren't many parallel sided cracks here, and routes can wander so route finding can be an issue. Of course, this make Linville an ideal place for beginning multi-pitch leaders to cut their teeth. The plethora of easier routes combined with some foreseeable challenges create an atmosphere of learning.

Having said that, it is also important to note that despite the easy grade of many of the routes at Table and Linville, they are still rock routes and are affected by the same factors as any other rock climbing route. It is advisable to wear a helmet at all times. Don't count on belay stations to be fixed. Know your route.

Linville is a fantastically beautiful place, with great exposure and lots of fun routes.
Seasonal Raptor Closure Details

Getting There

From Asheville, take I-40 east toward Marion, exiting at US 70 just west of Marion. Continue on 70 to exit on US 221 and head north to the small town of Linville Falls. At Linville Falls, turn right (east) on NC 183 and drive about four miles to NC 181; turn right again (south). After about 2.5 miles, make another right off 181 onto Gingercake Road (SR 1264) for a short distance, then take the left fork onto Table Rock Road (SR 1261); this changes to forest road 210 and becomes a gravel road. Continue for several miles to the Table Rock parking lot. From here, there is camping and trails leading to Table Rock and to various sections of Linville Gorge.

Where to Stay

Hostels and Hotels

Harmony Hostel in Banner Elk, NC welcomes climbers.

274 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Linville Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
The Prow
Trad 4 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Jim Dandy
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
North Ridge
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
The Mummy
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Cave Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
The Daddy
Trad 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
My Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Little Corner
Trad 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Maginot Line
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
White Lightning
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Paradise Alley
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Construction Job
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Dopey Duck
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Straight and Narrow
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Prow Amphitheater 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 4 pitches
Jim Dandy Table Rock 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 3 pitches
North Ridge Table Rock 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
Peek-a-Boo Table Rock 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
The Mummy Amphitheater 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
Cave Route Table Rock 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
The Daddy Amphitheater 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
My Route Table Rock 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Little Corner Shortoff Mtn 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 4 pitches
Maginot Line Shortoff Mtn 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
White Lightning Table Rock 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Paradise Alley Shortoff Mtn 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Construction Job Shortoff Mtn 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Dopey Duck Shortoff Mtn 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Straight and Narrow Shortoff Mtn 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Linville Gorge »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Steve Lineberry
Charlotte, NC
Steve Lineberry   Charlotte, NC  
There are car camping pull offs all along the gravel road leading to table rock. A popular place is the Hawksbill parking lot / pull off. May 10, 2017
where can I car camp at table rock? May 9, 2017
Hey does anyone know about the fires at/near Linville? Apr 13, 2017
My friends and I want to visit the Gorge in December. We are wondering what conditions we are likely to see. Dec 5, 2016
Jonathan Dull
Boone, NC
Jonathan Dull   Boone, NC

amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-… Apr 30, 2014
Best guide book for linville gorge/ north carolina? Apr 29, 2014
John Braun
Hendersonville, NC
John Braun   Hendersonville, NC
The road to Table Rock has a gate that is closed in the winter. If it is closed, you have to park at the gate and hike (or bike) another mile to the picnic area. Mar 23, 2014
Austin Pethan
Madison, WI
Austin Pethan   Madison, WI
I will be heading to Asheville March 15-20, and am looking to climb a couple multipitch trad routes anywhere with suitable conditions. I am looking for a partner competent at climbing multipitch trad, and willing to take a friendly Midwesterner out for a day. I can supply a six pack of a fine a Wisconsin craft brew, and some of the best cheese in the country. I've done some multipitch alpine routes, and feel comfortable leading up to 5.9. Multipitch in Wisconsin means breaking a 100' route into two pitches, so I would really enjoy getting some air under my feet!


Austin Mar 9, 2014
Nathan Burns
Dahlonega, GA
Nathan Burns   Dahlonega, GA
Any word on how the table rock fire has affected the area? I have never been to linville and wanted to go within the next few weeks to get on the daddy and the prow, but have no idea what conditions look like or what the trail situation is like Dec 10, 2013
"typically low angle" is a pretty poor characterization of Linville Gorge. That is fine for Table Rock, but the vast majority of climbing in Linville Gorge is quite steep, regardless of the grade. I recommend updating the region description so that people do not get the wrong impression. Dec 3, 2013
Just got back from Linville. Gate is open, and it seems that all climbing is accessible. Facilities (toilets and trash) are closed, but we had a great weekend climbing. It was very crowded on Sat and Sun. Oct 8, 2013
Does anyone know where the best place to find beta for routes on the chimneys is? Sep 25, 2013
Menlo Park, CA
andjoely   Menlo Park, CA
^No Mar 29, 2012
todd w  
"Linville Gorge (Shortoff Mountain and NC Wall) closed from January 15th - August 15th"

Does anyone know if this includes the Amphitheater? Mar 29, 2012
Keep in mind that despite being in the south, Linville is not a winter rock climbing destination. Many areas are above or near 4,000 feet and get snow as early as late October. Feb 25, 2010
Phil York
Winston-Salem, NC
Phil York   Winston-Salem, NC
EliShank, yes.

You can keep updated on closures through the year here: carolinaclimbers.org/area-r… Jun 12, 2009
Is there a peregrine closure period for shortoff or north carolina wall? Apr 6, 2009
Bob Underwood
Bob Underwood   greensboro
Correction to directions:

When you get to Forest Service Road 210 continue down this gently descending and very winding road. A mile past the parking areas for Spence Ridge Trail take a sharp right. This puts you on FSR 2105, the road that leads past OUTWARD BOUND and on up to Table Rock. Bring water as spring at TR is not reliable. Parking can be crowded at TR. Hyde's Linville Gorge Trail guide suggests that it is about as quick to park at Spence and hike up via the MST. Sep 14, 2008
Bob Underwood
Bob Underwood   greensboro
Work on Rockjock was finished by the USFS in Spring of 2008. This trail remains on the USFS Adopt-A-Trail program and will always need occasional maintenance. The southern exit shown on the USFS maps is mislabeled. It is a rim-to-River trail called MCRT (Mossy Canyon Ridge trail). MCRT is now a steep barren flag route thru the heart of fire blast from the 2007 'Pinnacle' fire. Since it is mislabeled as being the south end of Rockjock, it will become an erosion ditch with increased use. Rockjock TRail is unmaintained south of MCRT but continues along the rim of the Gorge 0.5 mile south to Pinchin and beyond all the way to the intersection of kistler Road and Dobson knob road. This fire-damaged trail is now survey flags thru thin scraggly brush but it is relatively flat and will not erode. Pinchin is the better exit. Rock face along this broken wall is a fantastic area of fracture and erosion but not much clean rock. --Bob Sep 14, 2008
Bob Underwood
Bob Underwood   greensboro
the US Forest service has opened the Rockjock trail from Conly Cove south to Mossy Canyon Ridge trail allowing a backpacker to return via MCRT to kistler Road Apr 12, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
I received this update via email from Bob Underwood

Rockjock Trail

This largely abandoned and overgrown trail was listed in Sept 2006 for the US Forest Service Adopt-a-Trail program . The trail runs about four miles ( by crow ) across the top of a 400ft wall sometimes called the 'Goldcoast'. Altho the NC Wall directly across the Gorge is higher and cleaner, the Rockjock area contains some clean rock on the south side of the 'canyons'. it is currently being 'mined' by various groups of independent climbers. It is a spectacular trail which passes by about 6 waterfalls, overhangs and caves and several unusual promnitories and outcrops.
The agreement with the USGS allows us to work from Conly Cove south to an unpublished trail i call "Mossy Canyon Ridge Trail" (MCRT) about half mile north of Pinchin. If/ when this work is Done, i will requsest Your help in petitioning the USFS to extend the agreement to continue the Rockjock trail south to Dobson Knob Road--which was its original length.

The reason the USFS did not allow us to continue south of MCRT is because that portion of Rockjock never appeared on their maps and they are required to go thru a lengthly process to approve "new" trail. They seem reluctant to do this. Common sense woud suggest that MCRT is a steep trail and highly vulnerable to erosion if it became better known and that the Dobson entrance is Clearly the best way to protect the forest. We hope MCRT will be abandoned and allowed to revert to nature when this project is complete.

This area was burned by the Nov 2000 fire and burned again on its south end in the spring of 2007. It is now a charcoal forest and easy to get thru. A spare fire crew did a wonderful job of restoring trail from both ends and the middle is still unfinished. Your help is needed.

Work began on Rockjock in Oct 2006 and about 60% of the trail is now open.

An interactive map of the entire Linville Gorge is available at linvillegorge.net with an index of 39 trails not published on USFS maps ,

Google Earth has hi-res photos of the Gorge which would allow you to see a person standing anywhere in it ,

and Yahoogroups Linvillegorge keeps a open forum running of Rockjock progress.

Finishing this beautiful trail is not going to be a one-day one-shot process , it will requre dedication. Go out and have a look. The Rockjock trail will speak for itself!

Bob Underwood Sep 6, 2007

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