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Art Loeb Trail

 4.5 (28)


31.1 Miles 50.1 Kilometers

7,578' 2,310 m


-6,409' -1,954 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (33°)

6,194' 1,888 m


2,138' 652 m


Shared By Zane Ray


All Clear 28 days ago
Mostly Dry - Puddles here and there but a lot of the trails seem to be along natural run off. Nothing uncommon. Great hiking conditions! History

Getting forecast...

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

Zane Ray

Dogs Leashed

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

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


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.


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:


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Your Check-Ins


Oct 12, 2018
Jon T
Sep 24, 2018
Bodhisattva Robinson
staying on black balsam can be scary... 60 mph winds... but amazing views 31mi
Aug 31, 2018
Jean-Claude Linossi
Hiked only a small section of the trail 1mi — 0h 30m
May 13, 2018
John Zabelle
SOBO. First 2 days were tough climbs!
May 10, 2018
Damion Anderson
Apr 29, 2018
Skye Comstra
Feb 23, 2018
Ian Gibson
We day hiked section three and added the quick hike up cold mountain at the end. Super worth it & we took our time stopping for tons of pictures! 6.8mi
Feb 17, 2018
Chaitanya Rajasekhar

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 28 votes


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  4.5 from 28 votes
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1,961 Views Last Month
18,741 Since Sep 22, 2015
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It took us three days to hike S to N. We camped 1.6 miles south of Gloucester Gap night 1 and on the back side of Tennett Mountain night 2. Overall, the hike was great, but the climbs were tough (especially Pilot Mountain). Make sure you grab water at Deep Gap before Black Balsam. Also, be careful in Shining Rock Wilderness (post-deep gap) - the trail isn't very well marked, and we got lost. Sep 7, 2017

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