Plunge Basin Trail

based on 18 tracks & routes #25 hike out of 231 in
2.3 mi
1 hrs 4 min
226 ft
Elev Gain


This is a moderate out and back trail to the bottom of the Linville Gorge Falls. The hike is 2 miles out and back from the visitor center if you include the short trail to the plunge basin overlook. Here you will see the falls coming out of the canyon into the plunge basin. It is a wonderful hike and worth the effort. This trail is not a loop. It may appear as a loop, but it actually looks like a crooked "h" on the map. The main trail takes you down to the plunge basin, while there is a short down and back off of the main trail that takes you to the plunge basin overlook. You cannot get to the plunge basin from the plunge basin overlook because the overlook is actually above the falls. The trail will require you to climb over several rock formations, and deal with uneven ground with roots and rocks all around. Going down is actually harder than coming back up because it's quite easy to gain some momentum and get tripped up on a rock or root. Proper footwear is required. When you get to the bottom of the plunge basin, there is plenty of space to cool off in the river.

This trail goes by Linville Falls, Upper falls view, and Chimney View.

Getting Started

Linville Falls visitor center is located off milepost 316 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Your GPS can easily find "Linville Falls Visitor Center". the trailhead is not clearly marked but if you are facing the visitor center, it is located up the wooden steps on the left side of the building. Stay straight on the trail, the first left on the trail will take you back to the parking lot. Keep going until you get to the trail sign that points to the plunge basin overlook. After enjoying the overlook continue down your original path down into the gorge. Be careful as there is some natural and man made steps, and lots of rocks to navigate. Take your time and you will be rewarded.

Taking Children

Very small children may have a tough time with some of the places that require you to take a very high step up or down.

This is an alternate route for Chimney View Loop via Linville Falls Trail.

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