Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains

Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains

3 Days



Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains

3 Days Starting and ending in Asheville

Visiting: Blue Ridge Mountains

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 8

Physical rating:

High, High

Age range:

12-99 years

Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:
$1041 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29
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Tour Overview

When it comes to trails, views, summits, and abundant flora and fauna, North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains and Shining Rock Wilderness in particular, is the place to be. Discover the Cradle of Forestry area where American forest conservation began and stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall, which features incredible 360 degree views. Spend two nights camping in the heart of the action near the famous and unique rock feature known as Shining Rock. Hike to the summit, eat lunch on a massive ledge with views of the entire area, and enjoy spectacular views on this small group backpacking adventure.


  • Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your leader as you watch the sunset from the comfort of your camp on the summit of Shining Rock.

  • Take in spectacular views on the hike to the summit of Cold Mountain which features in Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel of the same name.

  • Take in sweeping views of the Appalachian Mountain Range as you enjoy lunch on the summit of one of the peaks or in the grassy meadows of Ivestor Gap.

  • Stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall, and watch the water tumbling over the top of a high cliff to create an impressively wide cascade.

  • Enjoy scenic vistas galore as you make your way along a trail that showcases views of the entire Pisgah National Forest.


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Day 1: Blue Ridge Mountains
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Accommodation: Camping
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

After a pick up from downtown Asheville, your trip begins with a drive through the city of Brevard and a stop at an amazing roadside attraction, Looking Glass Falls. From here it is a short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the start of the Art Loeb Trail and its mighty mountain peaks. Cross over Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain and take in the sweeping views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountain Range as you enjoy lunch on the summit of one of these peaks or in the grassy meadows of Ivestor Gap. After hiking onwards to our two night basecamp near Shining Rock Gap, you will enjoy a memorable sunset dinner on the summit of Shining Rock.

Included Activities:
-Shuttle from Asheville
-Looking Glass Falls visit
-Art Loeb Trail hike
-Tennent Mountain climb & lunch
-Shining Rock summit sunset dinner
-Guided Backpacking experience

Day 2: Blue Ridge Mountains
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Accommodation: Camping
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today there are two different ways to enjoy the Appalachian High country. The first option is a hike to an amazing summit view from atop Cold Mountain which features in Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel of the same name. After lunch at the summit, hike back toward Shining Rock Gap and your scenic camp. Your second (easier) option is to simply shorten this hike to turn around and have lunch along a scenic ridgeline called “the Narrows”. This shorter hike allows extra time to relax and explore the quartzite rock outcroppings of Shining Rock before the return to camp. Please note, your tour leader will decided, together with the group, which option is best for everyone.

Included Activities:
-Cold Mountain climb & lunch
-Shining Rock Gap hike

Day 3: Blue Ridge Mountains
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Today you will break down camp and work our way back to where you began our trek. On the way, stop and enjoy multiple views along the trail which allow us to take in all of Pisgah National Forest. Today’s lunch is at one of the many amazing viewpoints of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, before the short drive back to Asheville where your trip will come to an end.

Included Activities:
-Pisgah National Forest hike
-Shuttle to Asheville

What's Included

  • Shuttle from Asheville

  • Looking Glass Falls visit

  • Art Loeb Trail hike

  • Tennent Mountain climb & lunch

  • Shining Rock summit sunset dinner

  • Guided Backpacking experience

  • Cold Mountain climb & lunch

  • Pisgah National Forest hike

  • Shining Rock Gap hike

  • Shuttle to Asheville

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Airport Transfers at Destination


  • We recommend taxis and rideshare services like Lyft and Uber when traveling to and from hotels in the USA and Canada. These services are widely available across North America, offering convenient and accessible transportation options. Private transfers in North America incur high costs and present an increased risk of missed connections due to their fixed schedules. In contrast, taxis and rideshares offer both cost-effectiveness and flexibility, ensuring a smoother journey. With transparent pricing, GPS tracking, and on-demand availability, we believe that taxis and rideshare apps not only offer a reliable alternative to private transfers but also provide a secure, trustworthy, and budget-friendly transportation option for our customers.


  • You’ll camp in beautiful, well-located campgrounds and spend the night in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents with self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags which are professionally laundered after every trip.

Important Information

  • 1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
  • 2. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
  • 3. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details.
  • 4.This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking, an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.
  • 5. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts at Holiday Inn Express & Suits Asheville Downtown hotel in Asheville. We recommend you book a pre tour night in that hotel.
  • 6. A single tent is provided to all solo travellers at no extra cost.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are flights included in this tour?


  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Is this trip right for you

    This is a hiking trip; a good fitness level will help you enjoying all included hikes and activities. Good clothing, appropriate footwear, and wet weather gear is a must.

    This trip involves daily hiking ranging in distance from 4-9 miles 6.5-14 km) per day with a total trip distance of up to 22 miles (35 km). The maximum daily elevation gain/loss is 2000 feet (610 m). Please check the trip itinerary for more details.

    On this tour you will be required to carry a backpack weighting approximately 35-45 lb (15-20).

    On our final day there is no accommodation included so please plan your departure accordingly, or pre-book a post-tour night.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?


  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?


  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes, if age 15+ are accompanied by an adult

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?


  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Monday - Wednesday

May 20, 2024 - May 22, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Wednesday

Jun 03, 2024 - Jun 05, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Saturday

Jul 04, 2024 - Jul 06, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Friday

Jul 31, 2024 - Aug 02, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Aug 23, 2024 - Aug 25, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Wednesday

Sep 02, 2024 - Sep 04, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Sep 20, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Sunday

Oct 04, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Oct 13, 2024 - Oct 15, 2024
$1070 $1041 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$29 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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