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 - Table Rock Mountain Loop (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:  VERY HARD  (Petzoldt Rating:  11.70 )

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)

  • Cameron Miller

    on May 31, 2015

    As a kid growing up in the early 80's, at the foot of Table Rock, I can remember seeing this little "shack" on my way to catch the school bus. I was told it was a fire lookout or ranger station. From the house it looked like a telephone booth size little building. Friends I work with remember the building but don't recall what it was.

  • kw

    on March 11, 2013

    Amazing, consequently lots of 'thumbs up's! What a hike! Is it quite a popular hike, or just parts of it? Those building remains are very interesting-- definitely wonder the history behind them! A hermit wanting a mountain top view?