Roan Highlands
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Babel Tower - Linville Gorge Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest, NC

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
3.5 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

2 hours and 40 minutes with 50 minutes of breaks
1,515 ft
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Park at the Babel Tower Trailhead on Old NC 105. 35.91856, -81.91956

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach)

Babel Tower is a popular destination in the Linville Gorge Wilderness and is one of the most heavily used official trails on the western side of the gorge. From Kistler Memorial Highway/Old NC 105, the trail descends through hardwoods and rhododendrons, descending 900 feet in 1.2 miles over rocky terrain. Babel Tower is a massive rock pinnacle rising over 400 feet above a giant horseshoe curve in the river. This impressive series of rock pulpits and cliffs serves as an unofficial dividing line between the snakelike north end of the gorge and the relatively straight southern course. The trail and the tower extend hundreds of yards north from the Linville Gorge Trail junction and is ripe for exploration. Many scramble paths lead to outstanding cliffside views south of Table Rock Mountain hovering above the gorge. After you are done exploring Babel Tower, you may want to check out the river too. Head west (trail direction north) on the Linville Gorge Trail, which drops down to a great little spot with a waterfall and massive swimming hole surrounded by sheer rock walls. Replete with huge, flat bedrock, it is the perfect location to cool off during the summer.

Wilderness Regulations – Group size in the wilderness is limited to 10 persons. A free camping permit is required on weekends and holidays May through October. Permits are first-come, first-serve. You can pick up a permit at the ranger office near Linville Falls, or contact the Grandfather Ranger District office to reserve one in advance. No large mechanical devices are allowed in the wilderness, such as aerial drones. Trails in the wilderness are not blazed and signs at trail intersections are infrequent.

Mid March
Babel Tower Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Kyle Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Wow, what a treat! Thank you to Zach for posting the info about this hike. The write up allowed me to navigate the trail without any issue. The only advice I would give is that, if using Google Maps to find the trail head, proceed about .25 miles past where Google Maps alleges the Babel Tower Trail head is. Be careful around the falls, the black moss on the rocks is incredibly slippery.

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