Linville Gorge - Tablerock Mountain (11-5-12) - dwhike
From the southern end of the ridge you can get a bit better look into the lower portion of the gorge.  Along the east (left) rim you can make out the chimneys area with Shortoff Mountain in the haze beyond...

Linville Gorge - Tablerock Mountain (11-5-12)

Linville Gorge is always a favorite place visit, and one I don't get out to nearly as often as I should. It had been nearly seven years (thanks to my northern hiatus) since I had set foot on one of its trails and I wanted to make my return a special one. My planned route would take me up over the summit of Tablerock Mountain (one of the highest points along the rim of the gorge) down to the bottom and back out in a 7.5 mile loop. Utilizing some of the least used as well as most used trails in the gorge the hike would offer a little bit of everything that this wilderness has to offer. The hike would be a rugged one with an elevation gain over the entire route approaching 2,000-feet. Knowing it would be a classic, I headed out early to enjoy one of the last great days of fall...

***A quick note...the Spence Ridge Bridge pictured in this album didn't even last a year after I took this hike.  Floods in 2013 completely destroyed it and as of the present it has not been rebuilt nor, to my knowledge, are there any plans to do so.  Please take this into consideration if you are hiking in this area of the gorge!!!***

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  35.903519, -81.878968

Route Type:  Loop + spur                  Difficulty:  HARD

Hike Length:  7.5 miles                       Hike Duration:  3:45 

Trailhead Temp:  35'F                        Trail Traffic:  10-25 people

Min. Elevation:  2,000'                        Max. Elevation:  4,100'

Total Vertical Gain:  2,100'                 Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile:  280' 

Trails Used (blaze color):  Little Tablerock (unblazed), Spence Ridge (unblazed), Tablerock Gap (unblazed), Tablerock Mountain (unblazed)