Linville Falls – Plunge Basin View and Linville Gorge View



Linville Falls and Gorge is one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s top attractions.   Linville Falls has the distinction of having the highest volume water flow of any NC waterfall, although it is certainly not the biggest or highest.  With a nice gift center, restrooms, large parking lot, and numerous trails on both sides of the river leading to different and magnificent views, it is no wonder that this place attracts tens of thousands each year.  Here I am on a Saturday morning, one of the busiest days up here, preparing a hike.  What was I thinking?  I had just stayed the night at the nearby Linville Lodge after attending the 1st annual Spruce Pine Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival the night before, so I was here and it was very convenient.  The weather early on this morning was also perfect, so I could not resist.  This day I chose to hike along the East side of the river or left side.  This trail takes you to the Plunge Basin View and down to the bottom of Linville Gorge.  The mileage is 0.5 to the Plunge Basin View, and 0.7 to the Linville Gorge.  Do not let these relatively small mileage amounts fool you.  It is some steep, rugged climbing down to the bottom, and then you have to climb back out.

The trail starts off relatively mild, taking you uphill.  After 0.3 miles, you will reach a fork in the path where going straight takes you 0.2 to the Plunge Basin View, and going left takes you 0.4 miles to the the Linville Gorge.  I begin by going straight here, you will want to see both views…trust me.  Going straight, the path will level off and begin to drop, somewhat steeply, but nothing extreme.  If stops at one of the finest views of Linville Falls, a side view known as the Plunge Basin View.  You will be way above the falls here but a closer and more personal view of the falls and pool than the views on the west side of the river.  The trails on the west side do however give a great view of the Upper Falls just above Linville Falls and an interesting view at how the river has cut its way through the rock to pop out on the other side like it does.  All trails on both sides are must-hikes.

Here is the view of the entire falls and pool!


AAfter taking in this beautiful view for a few moments, it is time to keep moving.  You will have to backtrack for 0.2 miles and head back to the fork in the path.  It will now be 0.4 miles to the bottom of the beauty that you just viewed.  For a trail that you know has to go way down, this fork trail surprisingly goes up for the first 0.1 mile.  Then.. the trail turns down, way down.  Steps, roots, rocks will have to be carefully navigated. The rocks will mostly be wet with mud puddles to avoid as well.  Going down is always more dangerous than going up.  There are no spots that require any kind of rope or anything, but please navigate this descent with care.  Take your time.  Here below is a view of the staircase that lets

After a few minutes you will find yourself at the river level and will need to rock hop upstream to get the best view possible.  Once again, be careful down here.  The views that will await you are phenomenal and will be well worth the short but strenuous hike.

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Author: waterfallshiker

I gave up the video game playing, TV watching lifestyle years back now. There just had to be more to life. I discovered a love for waterfalls on Christmas day 2008, at Elk River Falls in Elk Park NC. While not initially realizing it, this opened a whole new world, and lifestyle for me. I now love to spend my free time, hiking to waterfalls, and mountain tops in search of pristine views. This has also led me to a love of photography and blogging. While i am still not an expert at either several years in to this, I love the challenges that both offer me. I see my skills getting better at both as time goes by. Sharing what I see via social media brings me great joy. I love the feedback, good and bad. I love to see what others are able to show as well. I created my blog "WaterfallsHiker", originally to just help myself keep up with my travels, not really with any real purpose in mind. After 2 years on this blog, I see that It has evolved into a combination of an information site, and a place to show off my progress as an amateur photographer. I try to do it all and include some bits of my personality as well. It is something I really enjoy doing. When I am not working on this hobby, I can be found on a golf course, spending time with my beautiful fiance and her daughter, or working my 40 hours a week at Costco.

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