Cold Mountain Trail #141

1.4 mi - Difficult - This trail follows a ridge line south of Cold Mountain for its first half, and then traverses to the west of the mountain before climbing to another ridge and ascending the mountain’s western flank. The top of Cold Mountain has plenty of trees on it, so the view is broken, especially in the summer months when the trees are foliated. But what can be seen is well worth the hike. A more open viewpoint—an exposed rock face on the summit’s south side—is accessible via a very short spur trail on the right side of this trail, about 20 yards short of the summit.

Approximate Elevation Change: 900 feet
Blazes: None

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking Trail: foot traffic only.
Water: no
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: This trail is accessible from the Art Loeb Trail (#146) in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area: From the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) on US 276. Proceed 14 miles north; turn right onto access ramp for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then left (south) on Parkway. Proceed south to FS 816 (Black Balsam Road), on the right shortly after Milepost 420. From the parking lot at the end of the road (one mile), hike to Shining Rock Gap via Ivestor Gap Trail (#101, 3.7 miles) or the Art Loeb Spur and Art Loeb Trail Section 3 (# 108 and #146, approximately 3½ miles total). From that gap, continue on Art Loeb Trail Section 3 to Deep Gap (approximately 3¼ miles), where Cold Mountain Trail is on the right. (See note below regarding signage in wilderness areas.)


Day Hiking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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