This Meetup was canceled.
Linville Gorge is a destination near the top of every Southeast backpacker's list. Yet the reputation of this rugged 11,651-acre wilderness can be intimidating. This trip offers an introduction to the gorge that lets you savor its awesome beauty and sample the ruggedness for which it's known. It's a good opportunity to determine just how challenging you'd like your backpacking to be. Here's the plan:
Friday: From the Wolf Pit Trailhead, we make the 1.7-mile hike up to Camp Shortoff, a series of primo primitive campsites on the southern end of the gorge's east rim. We'll set up basecamp and enjoy the most complete views of the gorge you'll find (see photo) as well as a stellar sunset. We'll be near the new moon: on a clear, cloudless night you should be able to see the Milky Way.
Saturday: We'll don day packs and hike 3 miles north on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to the cutoff for the Cambric Ridge Trail. Cambric Ridge is a lesser-known trail in the gorge, knifing its way 1.4 miles down to the Linville River. There, we'll have lunch, filter water, explore the river, then head the 4.4 miles back to our basecamp. Another night of watching the sunset and the stars emerge. 8.8 miles of total hiking.
Sunday: We'll take our time over breakfast, then break camp and head back to our cars.
This trip includes:
* eguide, including recommended gear and clothes; maps, distances and elevation profiles of both the backpack to Camp Shortoff and Saturday's hike from Camp Shortoff on the MST to Cambric Ridge Trail and the Linville River.
* Planning meeting to go over the trip, including the unique aspects of exploring Linville.
* Recommended training hikes to prepare for Linville's steep climbs.