The Best More Difficult Hikes in Western North Carolina

Hikes by Difficulty: Easy | Moderate | More Difficult | Most Difficult | All

This page includes all More Difficult hikes.

Each hike has its own printable guide page with all the information and links, including (where available):

  • directions to the starting point
  • length
  • difficulty
  • elevation change
  • an interactive topo map
  • photos from along the way
  • a detailed description and trail directions, and
  • a place to leave comments about your experiences

More Difficult Hikes

Chimney Rock Tour Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • The short description of this hike could simply be "Hike all of Chimney Rock's trails!" Though Chimney Rock may resemble a theme park more than it does a wilderness, the trail network provides a way to enjoy the park from a more natural perspective....
  • 4.5mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Some Obstacles

Glen Falls Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This trail takes the hiker through a pleasant forest of hardwoods and pines to one of the spectacular waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. As Overflow Creek plunges over the ledge below one of the East's highest towns, you really get two falls in...
  • 1.1mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Graybeard Mountain Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • A fantastic, classic summit hike starts in the shadows of a deep valley and culminates atop one of Western North Carolina's preeminent 5000-footers. The hike features widely varied scenery in an area managed as wilderness, yet the trails are well...
  • 8.8 - 9.1mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Green Knob Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This hike takes you along the Mountains to Sea Trail in a remote section of the Pisgah National Forest. The entire hike is above 5000' in elevation, and you'll explore forests of oaks, birches, beeches, spruces and firs. You'll cross the headwaters...
  • 9mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Some Obstacles

John Rock Loop Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This hike takes you past a small but attractive waterfall, up to the top of John Rock, which is the large mountain you see looming behind the Fish Hatchery parking area in Pisgah National Forest. Views of the valley below, up to the Pisgah Ridge, and...
  • 5mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Looking Glass Rock Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This hike takes you to the top of a Pisgah National Forest icon: the huge granitic pluton known as Looking Glass Rock. Visible from many locations along the Blue Ridge Parkway and found on postcards in every gift shop in the region, the summit of the...
  • 6.4mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Old Mitchell Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • Don't be like the rest of the tourists and drive to the top: take a real hike to the summit of Mount Mitchell! This moderate trail climbs from the Park Office roughly 2 miles to the summit along a beautiful trail that is both historic and yet...
  • 4mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Panthertown Valley Tour Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This is a large loop with a wide variety of main attractions. The trails will take you past lazy, meandering streams with clean white sandbars, yet you'll discover 5 major waterfalls as well. You'll explore the unusual, flat-bottomed, high-elevation...
  • 8.8 - 10.0mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Rainbow Falls Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • Rainbow Falls is one of the biggest and most scenic falls in the region. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. Several more smaller falls and some more scenery are...
  • 3.0 - 4.0mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Shortoff Mountain Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • Climbing one of the most prominent peaks on the rim of the Linville Gorge, this hike takes you to the plateau-summit of Shortoff Mountain. A fire scalded environment lines the trail as it ascends the rocky slopes, with an open forest of young trees...
  • 5.1mi, Climbs Moderately
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Snowball Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • Not to be confused with Hawksbill Mountain in the Linville Gorge, Hawkbill Rock is an outcrop along the ridge between Snowball and Little Snowball Mountains in the Great Craggy Mountains range which makes a great destination for a day hike. The...
  • 2.75mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Stone Mountain Loop Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • Passing three of the most sought-out points in the park - the summit of Stone Mountain, the Hutchinson Homestead, and Stone Mountain Falls - this hike is as varied as the park itself. A moderate climb through open, pleasant woods gives way to more...
  • 4.5mi, Hilly
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough

Table Rock Hike

More Difficult Hike
  • This trail climbs steeply to the top of a knife ridge, which from afar looks flat, giving the mountain its name. Though the rugged peak won't seem much like the surface of a table when you're standing on it, the views are unparalleled and worth the...
  • 2.0mi, Climbs Steeply
  • Tread Condition: Moderately Rough