Asheville TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Linville Gorge

Linville Gorge Camping

North Carolina’s Linville Gorge east rim camping sites are steps away from breathtaking gorge and mountain views, fantastic hiking trails and some of NC’s best climbing.

Linville Gorge, located in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, is a massive, deep-cut gorge that plunges 2,000 feet deep and stretches 12 miles long. Carved over millenia by the Linville River, the gorge is filled with massive rock formations, steep canyon walls and the ultra-popular (and ultra-beautiful) Linville Falls waterfalls in its depths.

The gorge and surrounding 12,000 acres of Linville Gorge Wilderness offer a wealth of fantastic hiking trails and climbing – arguably some of the best in the state of North Carolina. Just northeast of Asheville by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Gorge is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Linville Gorge CampingAbove: camp at Linville Gorge for close access to some of North Carolina’s best hikes

Up for a long weekend of climbing or hiking in this incredible wilderness? The gorge offers some incredible backcountry primitive campsites on the Linville Gorge east rim.

North Carolina's Linville Gorge east rim camping sites are steps away from breathtaking gorge and mountain views, fantastic hiking trails and some of NC's best climbing. #hiking #camping #backpacking #asheville #nc #northcarolina #travel #outdoors #adventure

Linville Gorge east rim: our favorite campsites

On the gorge’s eastern rim, the graveled, meandering Forest Service Road 210 offers easy access to some of Linville Gorge’s best summit hikes, including Hawksbill Mountain, Table Rock Mountain and Spence Ridge. Further south, an ultra-popular extension of the Mountains to Sea Trail climbs to the summit of Shortoff Mountain, offering stunning views of nearby Lake James and northward into Linville Gorge.

Campsites are available on-trail near the summits for climbers and backpackers willing to pack their gear in. But there are a few scattered campsites along FS 210, too, that offer the convenience of car camping with a short trek to the site.

Linville Gorge Camping

Our favorite site? Steps away from the Hawksbill Mountain trailhead lies one of our favorite campsites in North Carolina, tucked off the gravel road in a young forest. Across the road from the Hawksbill trailhead, a small trail travels eastbound less than .1 mile to an angular rock outcrop.

Just north of Hawksbill’s campsite, trails lead to a small cliff that offers wide views into the Linville Gorge Wilderness – a great spot to catch a sunrise or unwind after an adventure-filled day on the trail. From the campsite, it’s a less-than-.1-mile trek, due north, to the outcrop overlook.

Alternate sites

Didn’t get there early enough, and the Hawksbill campsites are already taken? There’s another site just south on FS 210, located east of the Spence Ridge trailhead. From the Spence Ridge parking area, it’s a quick 200-foot walk into the forest to the site (GPS coordinates: 35.904183, -81.878217 / N35 54.251 W81 52.693). Or for less privacy from the road, but some next-to-the-car convenience, there’s also a small campsite south of Spence Ridge, near Table Rock (GPS coordinates: 35.889767,-81.869217 / N35 53.386 W81 52.153).

Linville Gorge Camping

Note: permits are required for camping in the gorge from May through October.
Get more info here.

What to pack?

Wondering what to pack for your adventure? Our camping gear list features our favorite tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cookware, lighting, and essentials to make for an amazing adventure under the stars.

Linville Gorge hiking adventures

Chase waterfalls, hike to some incredible summit views, catch gorgeous sunsets and peer deep into the gorge from dizzying heights on our favorite Linville Gorge hiking trails. Climb to stunning views from Shortoff Mountain. Cross the gorge to explore the tumbling, towering waterfalls on the Linville Falls Plunge Basin Trail. Or explore nearby adventure from the summits of Table Rock Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain, catching unforgettable mountaintop views.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Linville Gorge Camping: West Rim Campsites Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions


Note: Trailhead access is via a gravel Forest Service Road. Continue following FS 210 south from the Hawksbill Trailhead to access the alternate campsites.

GPS Coordinates

35.914683,-81.878317     //     N35 54.881 W81 52.699


Rob Sollie fell in love with the outdoors while growing up in Montana near Glacier National Park. Since he moved to Atlanta in 2001, he’s made it a mission to find great outdoor adventures in Georgia and throughout the South. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures.