Cold Mountain via Art Loeb Trail (from Daniel Boone Scout Camp)
This is a challenging and beautiful hike in the Shining Rock Wilderness, and it is the shortest route to summit Cold Mtn by far.
From the Art Loeb Trailhead at Daniel Boone Scout Camp, you will make a steep 4 miles ascent up to Deep Gap. Most of this is under dense forest canopy, with a few view spots and pretty rock-hops across streams. The trail is generally in good shape, though there are some rugged sections.
At Deep Gap, the Art Loeb turns right along the ridgeline to the South. You will instead turn left on the spur trail to Cold Mtn. Because this is a Wilderness Area, the trails are not signed, so be careful to locate this intersection both climbing and on the return.
The trail to Cold Mtn is another 1.5 miles of fairly steep climbing, but you will be rewarded by several spots near the summit with fantastic views of the Shining Rock Ledge and the surrounding mountains. If you look carefully, you'll find some rock outcrops that make an excellent spot for lunch with a view.
The Art Loeb Trailhead is located along the road at the back side of Camp Daniel Boone here: https://goo.gl/maps/nqoGoditv7p
Be sure to respect all parking signs, and be aware of the rules for hiking in the Wilderness area (e.g., 10 person limit).
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