Hiking Project Logo

black Art Loeb Trail

  4.5 ( 38 ) Favorite

Trail

31.1 mile 50.1 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 7,578' 2,310 m
Descent: -6,409' -1,954 m
High: 6,194' 1,888 m
Low: 2,138' 652 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 66% (33°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

One of the longest and more difficult trails in NC; this also ranks as one of the most popular.

Zane Ray

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Commonly Backpacked

Bear canisters are required for all backcountry camping. No campfires in the Shining Rock Wilderness

Overview

Taken in its entirely, the 30+ mile Art Loeb Trail traverses many significant peaks in North Carolina, which provides ample places to stop to take in the panoramic views. The trail begins with a long and, at times, steep incline at first, but quickly begins a gently rolling descent to the end point.

Many turn this trail into a multi-day trip, but be aware of other trail users who break the trail into segments for day use.

Description

Although one of the longest and more difficult trails in North Carolina, the 30.1-mile Art Loeb Trail still ranks as one of the more popular routes in the area. And no wonder, traveling mainly along peaks and ridges, the trail offers many outstanding panoramic views along the way.

Along its route the Art Loeb Trail traverses several significant peaks, including Black Balsam Knob (6214 feet), Tennant Mountain (6040 feet) and Pilot Mountain (5072 feet). The trail also skirts the base of Cold Mountain which was made famous by the novel and Hollywood film.

Many hikers use the Art Loeb for extended backpacking trips, while others use shorter sections for day hikes, or use connecting trails to form several outstanding loop hikes. Most of the trail is overlapped by the Mountains-to-the Sea Trail which is blazed with 3-inch white dots.

This trail is commonly divided into four separate sections, and more information about the individual sections can be found here:

Flora & Fauna

Rhododendrons, mountains laurels, oak and maple trees. Many species of wildflowers.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Dec 27, 2019
James Ratliff
31.1mi
Jul 7, 2019
Diego dos Santos
Jul 3, 2019
Todd Burgman
Jul 1, 2019
Andrew Soto
10.5mi
Jun 21, 2019
David Williamson
May 24, 2019
Amanda P
Steep and beautiful just as described. 31.1mi
Apr 6, 2019
SUMANTH R
Gorgeous views. Went there for sunrise. Started from mile 19.4 and did a loopback on investor gap trail 5.4mi — 3h 22m
Mar 12, 2019
Jaylin Meyer
6.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 38 votes

#1

in Avery Creek

#109

Overall
  4.5 from 38 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Avery Creek

#109

Overall
1,064 Views Last Month
29,468 Since Sep 22, 2015
Difficult Difficult

0%
3%
0%
48%
39%
9%

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking