When it comes to backcountry camping, it is hard to find a place more rugged, yet, at the same time, so beautiful, as the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. For years the area has been explored by those looking to get off the beaten path and out into the wilderness to test themselves and their abilities against the unforgiving landscape of densely forested hillsides, towering cliffs, raging whitewater, and endless boulderfields that line the river.
The miles of cliffline have long been explored for their climbing potential, offering those who seek adventure climbing a chance to explore high-quality stone in a wilderness setting – a combination that forces climbers to be certain of their skills and abilities before committing to the challenges that lie above on the vertical walls of the Linville Gorge. For kayakers, the river was one of the last great challenges in whitewater boating in North Carolina. The continuous barrage of massive holes and dangerous rapids make for an adrenaline packed paddle that affords those who are willing a chance to check out the views from their boat – a rare opportunity that is seen by only the most experienced whitewater boaters. When it comes to hiking, the rugged, rocky trails, steep climbs, and beautiful views have been drawing backpackers deep into the Gorge for decades. The newly renovated Rock Jock Trail is a highlight of the Gorge that is not to be missed for those seeking a change of pace and a view of the apocalyptic-looking burned out forest that remains after the fire of 2008. Regardless of the adventure one chooses in the Linville Gorge, explorers to this area can be certain that they will find beautiful views, a rugged wilderness setting, and plentiful opportunities to pitch a tent beside a roaring river and admire the beauty of one of North Carolina’s finest Wilderness Areas, the Linville Gorge.