October 13, 2018
Rogue Dames Hiking Group
I found this Charlotte hiking group and made a good decision to join this hike. I’ve never hiked with people I don’t know but this hike was so intriguing that I had to try! I was on the waiting list for nearly a week because for wilderness hikes they only allow 10. I checked everyday and then on Thursday I was in! I was so excited!
This is a Linville Gorge Trail. We were meeting at the trailhead around 10 at the Conley Cove Trailhead. Brandi, our hike leader made it very clear this was a very strenuous and treacherous hike. She even brought along two men for safety. Apparently this is against the Rogue Dame rules but super smart on her part. Just to lead this hike is difficult. They are all unmarked trails. She said numerous times Gorge miles are hard!
A little back ground. “The Lost trail stands for Lower Old Scrambler Trail. LOST consists of very faint paths that travel along or out to those super-fun spots on the brink of the rim that have a precipitous dropoff. Much of LOST is, well, just about lost in the brush and the blowdowns.”
We met in the parking lot and made our introductions. Turns out some of us didn’t know each other. An all new group.
We head off down the trail. I expected to head straight down a thousand feet but we were just walking along the trail for about 3/4 of a mile and We came to this giant tree.
We came to a nice rock wall with a waterfall in it. It was called Blue Jay Falls.
The trail headed up a rock path. I must admit I love to climb Rock paths and this hike had plenty! I was already having a blast!
We kept going and came to Split Rock.
We went up hill for a bit in what I believe is called Blue Jay Canyon. The trail we were on continued on but we took a left where a very faint trail went through lots of rhododendrons. This is the hidden trail LOST. There were quite a few cars in the parking lot but none of them went the way we did. This is for the “cool kids” only! 😜 Not really but I believe you have to know someone who knows this trail!
There was a short side trail to an overlook. If you ever hike the Linville Gorge you know that you just can’t get enough of the beautiful views. It’s just a gift from God!
We got back on the trail and the next thing we come to is a steep rock climb down to a ledge area.
Just on the other side of it is One Bat Cave. We had our headlamps on and went in. It’s about 50 ish feet long and 20 ish feet high. We didn’t see any bats but it was cool. I am able to check cave off my list! ✔️
The trail continued along the ridge line of the gorge. The river was way below us. It was very cool walking along here. We had to climb up a large rock on the edge. She had a rope just in case.
From here we continued on the ridge line with beautiful views everywhere!
The trail then heads along a huge rock wall. It makes a left turn down along a rock gully. This part was awesome!! I was having a blast! It’s wet and there is water running down it. Brandi called it the point of no return. We went down on our butts one by one. A little ways down is where the men came in handy. There is a 6 foot rock wall we have to get down. No one stayed dry here! Ed was at the bottom of it helping each of us down.
Once we got down the rock wall we have to walk down a rocky gully to the base of a huge rock wall.
That was super cool! We waited at the spot for everyone to get down. At this point I took a minute to look up. I rarely remember to do that!
Next stop on our adventure hiking trail is called the balcony. It’s a beautiful rock area. When you climb to the top of it someone has put up some large chimes. From here it’s nothing but views left and right of the Linville Gorge, Hawksbill and Table Rock. We can also see the Sphinx across the gorge.
This is where we sat and had lunch. Just another awesome place on this trail. The river is way below us but we can here it all the way up here.
Sitting here I am wondering where do we go from here. It looks like a dead end. There is a crack in the wall big enough for a person to climb through and continue down the trail.
As if this trail can’t get any better we enter Zen Canyon. If only I could get pictures that captured how I felt. We had 150 ft rock walls all around us with Carolina blue skies and fluffy white clouds above us.
Then the climb begins!! Up, up and up through Zen Falls. We climbed and climbed right past and around Zen Falls. It was awesome. My adrenaline was so high at this point I didn’t understand why it was called Zen Falls? I was discussing this with Ann Marie at the time. She asked what I would call it. I said Euphoria Falls! That’s how I felt!!!
We all did some serious scrambling up this area! Fun fun! It took along time! After we all reached the top of Zen Canyon we continued on toward Razor’s edge. The 2 guys went to Razors edge and we all went to a viewpoint above it. From here we had views of the Sphinx, the amphitheater and Razors Edge.
Then the guys came into view on Razor’s Edge! It was amazing! Dave stood up on a pile of Rocks up there! It had to be 100 ft drops on 3 sides!
I wish I would of went with the guys out there! I’m not sure I would of sat on the rocks with my feet over the edge like Dave did but look at his face! Says it all! Amazing!
This is their view up to us.
We met back on the trail and headed back towards the car. I was leading, Rhonda behind me and the young one Ann Marie behind her. We powered through that last part of the trail about as fast as we could but it was still a long way to the car. We have only hiked 5 miles but we’re out there nearly 6 hours! I was amazed by the pace I was going. I was still pumped from this awesome hike!
I really got lucky to find this group and this hike! It was definitely a top 3 hike for me! I love adventure hiking and this was an adventure for sure!!!!