Designated as a Wilderness Area in September of 1963, Shining Rock encompasses over 18,000 acres. This area has elevations varying from 3300 to over 6,000 feet, lies on the north slope of the Pisgah Ledge, a northeasterly extension of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and gets its name from the white quartz outcropping near the crest of the Shining Rock Mountain.
At a Glance
NOTE: This trail is in a federally designated wilderness area, which by law is managed to minimize evidence of human presence. Consequently, trails are neither signed nor blazed, and are maintained at a low level that results in their treads being difficult or impossible to see at times. An accurate map, compass, and the ability to use both are mandatory for travel in a wilderness area. Additionally, in the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness Areas, campfires are not allowed, groups may not be larger than ten people at any time, and bicycles are not allowed in the wilderness areas.
US Forest Service
Directions: Shining Rock WA, the older, more well-known, and popular of the District’s two, is north of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and encompasses most of the district’s land between US 276 on the east and NC 215 to the west (excluding the Graveyard Fields area, which is not within the wilderness).