Shining Rock Wilderness Trip Report
This was a short trip I made with 2 very inexperienced backpackers in last July.
We started off the Parkway at Graveyard fields and hiked up to Second Falls. From there we hike back to graveyard fields and hiked towards shining rock. (I apologize i don't remember the name of the trails) The hike was beautiful leaving graveyard fields and was very easy to follow. Hanger's be warned there are very few hammock hanging spots once you leave graveyard fields, the under growth was very think where there were trees and then on the balds there were obviously no trees to hang from. We were heading for Ivestor Gap near Black Balsam knob and the intersection with the Art Loeb Trail.
When we reached the gap we I was getting pretty nervous about finding a place to hand but just up the Art Loeb on the slope of Black Balsam Knob was a small grove of pine trees that made a great campsite for both tents and hammocks. It was sheltered and had great places to cook and hang bear bags. I loved this campsite with all its "amenities" it also had wonderful views of both Mt. Pisgah and too many other peaks to count in 2 directions.
We got up and packed up camp and headed for shining rock on the Art Loeb trail. The hike was pretty flat and not all that long, but at the intersection with several other trails it gets very confusing to be careful and mindful of where you are at this point. Most people I have talked to have become confused at this point. Note there were plenty of campsites here all seemed conducive to hanging. We got our bearings and went up to the top of shining rock and took in the views. From there my two partners decided they didn't want to hike the planned route for the day and were about done. We decided to head back to Ivestor Gap and camped there again for the afternoon and night.
We broke camp and set out to return to Graveyard Fields. Another great day and completed a short but enjoyable hike.