Camping and backpacking in North Carolina with access to Linville Gorge’s 12,000 acres of breathtaking views and fantastic hiking trails.
Linville Gorge, located in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, is a massive gorge cut 2,000 feet deep and 12 miles long by the Linville River and is lined with massive rock formations on both walls of the canyon.
The gorge and surrounding 12,000 acres of Linville Gorge Wilderness a wealth of fantastic hiking trails and climbing – arguably some of the best in the state of North Carolina. Check out our trail review of the two mile out-and-back to the outstandingly beautiful summit of nearby Table Rock Mountain in Linville Gorge.
It’s here, across Forest Service Road 210 from the Hawksbill Trail trailhead, that we found one of our favorite camping and backpacking spots in North Carolina. Set back from the gravel forest road and trailhead a distance of a quarter mile, several primitive campsites here, marked with circular stone rings, offer solitude from the busy Linville Gorge hiking while providing close proximity to hiking in the gorge.
The campsite itself offers fantastic views from a 30 foot rock outcrop that opens to a wide valley facing north away from Linville Gorge. Views here are expansive – and equally beautiful at sunrise and during the day.
Parking is available along Forest Road 210. Access to the campsite is across the forest road from the Hawksbill trailhead; head a quarter of a mile along the trail. The first campsite is located in a wide clearing and offers ample space for several tents around the large stone fire ring. Our campsite of choice is located to the left of the first site; turn left when you reach the large clearing and follow the trail to the large rock outcrop that juts from the ground at a 45 degree angle.
Permits are required for camping in the gorge from May 1 through October 31, available from the Linville Falls Visitor Center.
Getting there: Turn onto Forest Service Road 210, Gingercake Road, from NC 181. Turn right at the fork on FR 210. The road rises as it climbs to the ridge of Gingercake and becomes a gravel road at the entrance to the Linville Gorge Wilderness. The Hawksbill Trail and camping area are located 3 miles along Forest Road 210 from Gingercake Acres. \
GPS Coordinates: 35.952285,-81.892862
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