REI Community
Linville Gorge

Select Area...
Camel, The 
Chockstone Chimney Wall 
Conley Cove 
Gold Coast Cliffs 
Hawksbill Mtn 
Henson Creek Canyon 
Linville Link Ups 
Linville River Crag 
North Carolina Wall 
Shortoff - Upper Wall 
Shortoff Mountain 
Sitting Bear 
Table Rock 
Wiseman's View 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

HHT Trail
A 3 mile loop at Buffalo Creek Park with lots of climbing and fast, flowing descents. Near Lake Lure, North Carolina
Watershed Trails
Great singletrack loops hidden away in Hampton, TN. Near Hampton, Tennessee
The Cat's Pajamas
An intense 1.6 mile climb and twisting expert descent through some seriously steep terrain. Near Hampton, Tennessee
Woods Mountain
Ridge-top riding and one long descent. Near Marion, North Carolina
Harris Creek
This trail has its challenges. Near Marion, North Carolina
FSR 469
A remote forest road. Near Marion, North Carolina
From MP's sister site:

Linville Gorge Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 35.8868, -81.8851 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 317,695
Administrators: Ryan Williams, Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Oct 14, 2006


70° | 53°

72° | 52°

71° | 50°

60° | 47°

62° | 48°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
Devils Cellar Highline!

Fire Closure. Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


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.

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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.8 miles from here

257 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',36],['3 Stars',135],['2 Stars',63],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Linville Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Linville Gorge:
The Prow   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Amphitheater
Jim Dandy   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Table Rock
The Mummy   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Amphitheater
North Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Table Rock
Peek-a-Boo   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Table Rock
The Daddy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Amphitheater
My Route   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Table Rock
Maginot Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
White Lightning   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Table Rock
Paradise Alley   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 450'   Shortoff Mountain
Construction Job   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Shortoff Mountain
Dopey Duck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Shortoff Mountain
Straight and Narrow   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 340'   Shortoff Mountain
Linville Crusher   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 19 pitches   Linville Link Ups
Built to Tilt   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
Lost in Space   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 170'   Hawksbill Mtn : Main Wall
Golden Rule   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Shortoff Mountain
Encore   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 100'   Hawksbill Mtn : Lower Hawksbill
Supercrack    5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Shortoff Mountain
The Dark Angel   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   Gold Coast Cliffs : The Underworld
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Linville Gorge

Featured Route For Linville Gorge
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on the first pitch of Construction Jo...

Construction Job 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  North Carolina : Linville Gorge : Shortoff Mountain
P1- An easy dihedral leads up to two or three ledges. Pick the highest if you want to do the route in 3 pitches. P2-Stemming in a right facing corner leads to a lieback. Now, power through the roofs above. You will want some TCU's for this pitch. You can keep going through the last roof or belay on a nice ledge on the left.P3- Gun it to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in North Carolina

Photos of Linville Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: From L to R:  Hawksbill, Table Rock, the NC wall, ...
BETA PHOTO: From L to R: Hawksbill, Table Rock, the NC wall, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: It doesn't take nature long in the Gorge.
It doesn't take nature long in the Gorge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Trillium's are common along the river in spring.
Trillium's are common along the river in spring.
Rock Climbing Photo: Best Seat In The House (Mashburns Pinnacle)
Best Seat In The House (Mashburns Pinnacle)
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hurricane Wall as seen from sitting bear.
The Hurricane Wall as seen from sitting bear.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Linville Gorge in March
The Linville Gorge in March
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Linville Gorge from the Chimneys.
View of Linville Gorge from the Chimneys.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset from Hawksbill.
Sunset from Hawksbill.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset from Table Rock
Sunset from Table Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Dusk
Rock Climbing Photo: This pano was taken from Wise Mans View on the wes...
This pano was taken from Wise Mans View on the wes...
Rock Climbing Photo: Offset placement in a chilly Linville Gorge.
Offset placement in a chilly Linville Gorge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Typical gear placement in Linville. Deep horizonta...
Typical gear placement in Linville. Deep horizonta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Timber Rattler on the approach trail to the NC Wal...
Timber Rattler on the approach trail to the NC Wal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Linville Falls.  This is where the Gorge starts.
Linville Falls. This is where the Gorge starts.
Rock Climbing Photo: Shorthoff Mtn, shortly after the South side river ...
Shorthoff Mtn, shortly after the South side river ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matthew settling in for a cold night
Matthew settling in for a cold night
Rock Climbing Photo: Baine on the last and only worthwhile pitch of The...
Baine on the last and only worthwhile pitch of The...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view north into Linville Gorge from the route Th...
A view north into Linville Gorge from the route Th...
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the top rope climbs on the chimneys.
One of the top rope climbs on the chimneys.

Comments on Linville Gorge Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 5, 2016
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Sep 6, 2007
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 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
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Apr 12, 2008
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
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Sep 14, 2008
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
By Bob Underwood
From: greensboro
Sep 14, 2008
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.
By EliShank
Apr 6, 2009
Is there a peregrine closure period for shortoff or north carolina wall?
By Phil York
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Jun 12, 2009
EliShank, yes.

You can keep updated on closures through the year here:
By Jake Gounaris
Feb 25, 2010
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.
By todd w
Mar 29, 2012
"Linville Gorge (Shortoff Mountain and NC Wall) closed from January 15th - August 15th"

Does anyone know if this includes the Amphitheater?
By andjoely
From: Menlo Park, CA
Mar 29, 2012
By Jesh Plumb
Sep 25, 2013
Does anyone know where the best place to find beta for routes on the chimneys is?
By Reid Brooks
Oct 8, 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.
By Robert Hutchins
Dec 3, 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.
By Nathan Burns
From: Dahlonega, GA
Dec 10, 2013
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
By Austin Pethan
From: Madison, WI
Mar 9, 2014
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!


By John Braun
From: Hendersonville, NC
Mar 23, 2014
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.
By bayouclimb
Apr 29, 2014
Best guide book for linville gorge/ north carolina?
By Jonathan Dull
From: Boone, NC
Apr 30, 2014
By Andrew Ubaldi
Dec 5, 2016
My friends and I want to visit the Gorge in December. We are wondering what conditions we are likely to see.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · People · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About