How to hike the High Country Loop!

This month I hiked the High Country Loop with a couple friends and there have been a ton of requests for more info on the route. Since this is a new loop figuring out where to go was more confusing than other more popular hikes, so we had to piece together our own guide.


What and where is this hike?

The High Country Loop is a 170-mile loop in the NW side of North Carolina. It covers some beautiful areas including the Roan Highlands, the Linville Gorge, Grandfather Mountain, and the dozens of creek crossing in the Wilson Creek Area.

Who Made The Route?


The High Country Loop was created by Adam Collins in 2014. Adam is an awesome photographer and I recommend checking out the photos he took on his hike around the loop (on his website) (or his Instagram)


Adam emailed us a spreadsheet that he made linking to a few maps. (which you can find here)

Guide Books

There are 4 trail sections and 2 road walk sections.

HCL Sections devided overview map.jpg

1. The Mountains to Sea Trail
which is the majority of the hike.
on the MST we used the official (guide)

2. the Black Mountain Crest Trail (map)
*there's no water on this section*

3. The Appalachian Trail
For this segment I used Guthooks hiking guide which is a GPS app on my phone. the GA/NC segment cost $8.99 though. (Guthooks app is here)
the AllTrails activity would work just as well. (here)

4. Grandfather Mountain State Park
We used the (state park map)

5. Road walks
There are two road walks.
a. The first is between the black mountain crest trail and the A.T. (here's a google maps link)
b. The second is between the A.T. and the Grandfather Mountain profile trail. (here's a google maps link)


There are 3 main options for resupply.

1. West Marion:
Our first chance for food was at highway 221. We got a ride 4 miles south to the town of West Marion. There's a Food Lion, Mcdonalds, Wendys, Tacobell, Comfort Inn, and so much more. (google maps)

Resupply Map

2. Burnsville:
We hiked 2 more days over Mt. Mitchell and the Black mountain crest trail. a few miles into the road walk there is an Ingles in the town of Burnsville. (google Maps) there's also a little snack shop ontop of Mt. Mitchell with reasonably priced snacks.

3. Linville Gap:
After the A.T. section and the final road walk there is a "Lowes Foods of Banner Elk" right next to the Profile trail. (google maps) There's also a mcdonalds there, but don't stay too long. they get stingy.



Hopefully that will help you plan your hike! Let me know if there are any questions you have about the route, and I may add them to this blog post.

*you can label all these google map points on your phone. download the app on your phone and save them there. Then download this area of NC so you can navigate to the stores without having cell signal.*