Shining Rock Loop via Shining Creek Path and Old Butt Knob Trail

2 reviews #4 hike out of 40 in
9.5 mi
Distance
4 hrs 28 min
Time
terrain
2,559 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a difficult loop trail to Shining Rock in Shining Rock Wilderness.

The trail starts along the Shining Creek Path, and heads gently uphill for a short ways. At the nearly 1 mile point, the Old Butt Knob Trail branches off to the right, heading sharply uphill. This will begin several miles of very steep climbing, gaining around 1500ft in about 2 miles. From there it continue mostly uphill to Shining Rock Mountain, which is the heart and center of the Shining Rock Wilderness. Look for short user trails to the right that will take you to the solid white quartz boulders at the summit, that gives this place its name. This is a beautiful and popular spot to eat lunch while enjoy the views. Be careful navigating in this area, however, since it can be a maze of unsigned trails due to the Wilderness prohibitions against signage.

From there, you will meet up with the Art Loeb Trail and follow it South for a short distance, through Shining Rock Gap. Immediately past some camping area and a piped spring, the Shining Creek Path branches off to the left, heading sharply downhill. From here you have 4-5 miles of pleasant -- but moderately steep -- downhill hiking to return to your car at the trailhead.

This trail goes by Old Butt Knob and Dog Loser Knob.

Getting Started

The trailhead is located on US-276 in Pisgah N.F at the Big East Fork parking area. Note that there are 2 parking areas and trailhead very close together. You will be parking at the larger one just North of the East Fork of the Pigeon River. Map link is here: https://goo.gl/maps/sshR4DQHUEu

Taking Children

This would be a very tough hike for children. There are better options for family hikes in the area from the Black Balsam area off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The nearby Big East Fork Trail would also be good for children, for the first few miles in.



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CheapCigarMan 1 year, 5 months ago
Shining Creek
trail_hike_comments: This trail follows Shining Creek for the majority of its length. There are plenty of good spots to leave the trail and view undisturbed pools of green water or look upon steep slopes with plentiful, tall trees. The trail ends with multiple traverses to reach Shining Rock Gap, where the Art Loeb (#146), Ivestor Gap (#101), and Old Butt Knob (#332) trails can be accessed; Old Butt Knob Trail may be used for a loop hike back to the parking area., trail_bike_comments: None
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nancy_east 2 years, 3 months ago
363 Shining Creek
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nancy_east 2 years, 4 months ago
363 Shining Creek
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