Linville Gorge View from Hawksbill Mountain Summit

Revisited Linville Gorge Wilderness area for a three day hiking and camping trip. My brother and I pitched our camp in the same spot we did the year before. This is labeled as WP1 on the Hawksbill map below. Like last year we climbed Hawksbill Mountain but the clouds were dropping into the gorge and visibility was poor. We made another trip the next day so I could take a panoramic photo of the gorge (see above photo). This trip we hiked to Sitting Bear Mountain which features a rock formation that resembles a bear sitting. We drove down to the parking lot of Table Rock Mountain and found it nearly packed so we decided to hike to The Chimneys instead of Table Rock which we hiked last year. Each Photo will have a waypoint (WP##) listed on the comments section on the Album Page that corresponds to the topo maps provided below to indicate where they were taken on the trail.

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger view or here to scroll through the photo gallery consisting of 26 photos plus the three maps and 14 Wildflower photos. The Photo Album will pop up in a separate window and there is a link at the bottom of the page in the navigation icon area to get back here but I suggest just closing that window. The link is provided for those who turned off allowing websites to open a separate window. These photos were taken with the PENTAX K-50 and K-70 DSLR cameras.
  • The Linville Gorge from Hawksbill Summit

    The first day we arrived at the campsite thick clouds dropped into the gorge preventing me from getting the panoramic photo I was planning on taking from the Hawksbill summit.

  • Second Chance

    The next day the clouds lifted and I was able to get photos from the summit as seen on the left and below. I was able to get the panoramic photo I was after as well displayed at the top of this page.

  • Campsite on Jonas Ridge Trail

    The Jonas Ridge trailhead starts from Table Rock Road (210) and runs north into the Gingercake Mountain. In places the trail can be confusing. The photo to the left is of a large clearing with a campfire pit in the center (WP6). The trail continues on the far back of the photo to the right and runs into a tee. The Devils Hole Trail is to the left at the tee and marked by a post with no sign or markings. The Jonas Ridge Trail is to the right of that tee.

  • Panoramic View from Jonas Ridge Trail (WP7)


    The above panoramic view from Jonas Ridge Trail was taken facing west from a spur trail that led to a cliff. We sat on a narrow ledge where it was challenging to set up my camera on a tripod to take a series of photos for the panoramic photo.

  • Sitting Bear

    Along the trail you come across a rock formation that resembles a bear sitting. I was unable to find a suitable spot to capture the entire formation. Since the trail continues north we decided it was not worthwhile to try and photograph the bear from further up and ended the hike there and turned back to the parking area.

  • The Chimneys

    The Shortoff Trail is part of the Mountains-to-Sea trail. Heading south from the Table Rock parking lot takes you to the rock formations called The Chimneys. There are two rock formations that resemble chimneys along the peak of the Shortoff Mountains range. This is a rugged trail that is rated as ‘difficult’. You clamber up many rocky areas and navigate several paths on the edge of cliffs.

  • Table Rock Mountain from Hawksbill Summit

  • Hawksbill Trail Topo Map

    A topographic map of the Hawksbill trail taken from AllTrails. Table Rock road is the north/south dotted lines on the right hand side of the photo. The dotted lines from the trailhead heading east is the trail to the campgrounds. These are primitive campsites with no amenities. The dotted lines off the Hawksbill trial heading north lead you to Jonas Ridge Trail. WP1 is the campgrounds where we set up camp.

  • Jonas Ridge Trail Topo Map

    A topographic map of the Jonas Ridge trail taken from my Garmin eTrex 10. The Jonas Ridge Trail takes you to the Sitting Bear rock formation as well as the Devils Hole Trail. The Devils Hole Trail takes you into the bottom of the gorge. The Jonas Ridge trail takes you to a small mountain community to the trailhead on Grandview Exd. I use my Garmin eTrex 10 to plot waypoints where I take photos and points of interest on trails. Although not very accurate I can compare the data from the unit with trail maps to post my hiking information, as in the other two maps. In this case I post the data from the unit itself. Notice the wide gap in the trail lines to and from the Sitting Bear rock formation. The distance between the contour lines is 40 feet. I assure you that we did not vary more than two feet off the path. The lines heading west at WP6 are when we took the wrong path which is the Devils Hole Trail.

  • Shortoff Trail Topo Map

    A topographic map of the Shortoff trail taken from AllTrails. The Shortoff Trail is a rugged trail rated as ‘difficult’ and after hiking this path it was understandable why. You clamber up and down rocks and skirt along cliff edges as you hike along the ridge of the mountain range. The views are spectacular and well worth the effort in traversing the trail. I plan on doing this hike again past the Chimneys and to the summit of Shortoff Mountain in the near future.