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Linville Gorge

Land Manager: US Forest Service, Grandfather District

Area rep: Andy Thorsell

With a wide range of climbing areas and a beautiful setting, Linville Gorge has something for everyone. From top-roping at the Chimneys, moderate classics at Table Rockm test pieces at Shortoff , Hawksbill and the NC Wall to adventure climbing on the Gold Coast, there is a wide range of opportunities for climbers. Almost all of the climbing in Linville is found within a federally designated wilderness, so tread lightly and remember that motorized equipment (including drones) is not allowed.

What to Expect

All of the climbing in Linville requires traditional protection. While there are bolted routes around, most require additional gear placements. There is excellent, remote bouldering in the gorge as well. Plan your access based on where you are going to climb, it's a long way from Hawksbill to Table Rock and you don't want to add to what is usually a long hike. Table Rock is the most easily accessed and popular area, but be aware that there are seasonal gate closures for the last mile or so of the road, generally January 1- April 1. There are also seasonal Peregrine Falcon closures at Shortoff, the NC Wall and the Amphitheater, check the closures page for updates. 

You should be well versed in traditional climbing, route finding and multi-pitch tactics before venturing into the gorge. Rescue is difficult and can take a long time as many of the climbing areas are not easily accessible.


Consult a guidebook or Mountain Project

Access Notes

Be aware of seasonal closures to roads and for nesting Peregines. No power tools are allowed in the wilderness area. Camping is allowed, but check the regulations on the USFS website to avoid issues.


There is no current guidebook to Linville, but it is covered in the Climber's Guide to North Carolina and Selected Climbs in North Carolina.