Shortoff Mountain via Wolf Pit Trail

A must-do hike in Linville with stunning cliffside views of the gorge.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
7.5 km
Ascent
368 m
Descent
368 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
548 m
High Point
903 m
Gradient
Shortoff Mountain via Wolf Pit Trail Map

Shortoff Mountain is one of the must-do hikes in Linville Gorge. It's relatively short (under 5 miles) and great for the entire family! Enjoy the wildflowers during spring and summer, experience the vibrant colors throughout fall, or plan this hike during the dead of winter to have the entire trail to yourself. The views of the "Grand Canyon of the East" are nothing shy of epic from this perch along the southeastern rim.

Description

Every portion of this hike is spectacular in its own way. The first leg includes almost all the climbing, but is accompanied by some spectacular views reminiscent to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Dead trees and sanitized soil give way to a rugged, sandy, and rocky landscape that almost seems out of place.

Ahead of the climb, you will walk into a tricky intersection. Stay on the Mountains to Sea Trail (blazed with a white dot), heading west towards the edge of the mountain. It will be dead ahead as you walk into the trail junction.

The real beauty of this hike is that there are incredible views all along the rest of this mapped route. Go as little - or as far - as you'd like to along the Mountains to Sea Trail, and find yourself a spot to enjoy lunch with a view. Even on a busy day, you can likely find a spot all to yourself. The furthest point on this route is near the official summit of Shortoff Mountain at 3,000'.

The Wolf Pit Trailhead is located at the end of Wolf Pit Road, easily found on any modern GPS map. The last stretch of the road is gravel with a turnaround at the end. There is also adequate roadside parking for dozens of vehicles, but be mindful of any signage denoting No Parking areas. There are some private landowners nearby that need to maintain access to their properties.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area