Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Two Brothers in Shining Rock Wilderness
Display Avatars Sort By:
Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Two Brothers in Shining Rock Wilderness on 05/05/2012 21:58:21 MDT Print View

Shining Rock Wilderness (Fall 2011)

After bailing out of a trip in Linville Gorge my 13 year old brother Joseph and I worked things out to extend our trip and spend two nights exploring the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. We didn't do anything epic or special but we had a great time together.

Its cold!

The trailhead leading into Shining Rock Wilderness is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. As we shouldered our packs in the bone chilling wind tourist helpfully told us we were crazy. I would have loved to have showed them our minimal gear!


It was getting late so we hiked a short distance and pitched camp by a creek. I knew it would be cold so I pitched my 9x9ft. tarp with three sides flush to the ground. The open end I faced downhill and into the brush. It was a cold night. We passed the time chatting about varies things. Joseph is a very smart young man at 13 wer're lucky too have always gotten along pretty well as brothers.


At first light we were up and hiking.



The trail led up to the ridge and the Art Loeb Trail.


Once on the ridge the views became much more open and dramatic.



It was still cold and ice linger on the trees from a storm the day before. We enjoyed the scenery silently. We didn't talk much we just quietly enjoyed the scenery and the experience of seeing a cool wilderness together.



As the sun got higher it warmed up a bit but it was chilling all day long. Hiking at a good pace helped us stay warm.

Snow dusting

There had been a light snow sometime earlier and you could still see a dusting of snow in shady spots.



This was our first time in the area and Joseph absulutely loved the scenery. He took dozens of pictures from every angle.


We ate lunch on a rock and dried out Joseph's sleeping bag which had picked up some condensation.

We had planned to hike a few more miles and camp near Shining Rock. The next day we'd climb Cold Mountain and head home.
The problem was my ankle was starting to hurt. I was recovering from a really bad sprain earlier and I knew if I pushed myself it could get really painful and it would not heal again quickly. That nixed any hope of climbing Cold Mountain either that day or the next.

We agreed that since we couldn't hike much farther we might as well take a side trail off the ridge and back to the car. I told Joseph we could stay the night be he said "No thanks." If we weren't going anywere new he had no interest in another cold nice on a windy mountain.

Hiking out

The trail out was pretty but nothing like the ridge we'd been on. We moved quickly and didn't stop for much. We skipped dinner knowing we'd buy somethign on the way home.


It was a fun trip but I was a bit dissappointed. Our original hiking plan for Linville Gorge had fallen apart and now the three day epic hike I'd planned had turned into a realatively tame overnighter that was barely more than a day hike. I changed my outlook when my mom reported that Joseph told her it was his favorite trip ever. I guess that makes it a success. I'm blessed to have an awesome family and spending quality time with them is way more important to me than how far I'm able to hike on a trip.


Edited by Cameron on 05/11/2012 07:32:59 MDT.

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
re:Two Brothers in Shining Rock Wilderness on 05/06/2012 06:28:04 MDT Print View

The smile on his face says it all!

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Two Brothers in Shining Rock Wilderness on 05/06/2012 06:58:26 MDT Print View

It's great that you two brothers spent some quality time and that you are introducing him to some nice areas. With that age, you have to be wiling to make adjustments since. I'm sure that he'll be out there some day with you or his buddies, and he'll be the one leading the crew. The roles of brothers can reverse with (old) age as I have appreciated with my brother, who is 9 years older than me. :)

Sean Heenan

Locale: Southeast mountains
Shining Rock on 05/06/2012 09:55:52 MDT Print View

Love Shining Rock, I did this trip last summer with my son and had similar results, we were on our way to Cold mountain and my my son got sick and the weather turned rough(severe thunderstorms) so we hiked out. Only one night spent at Shining rock but gives us a something to shoot for on a retry. Love your trip report.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Shining Rock on 05/06/2012 10:08:46 MDT Print View

Great trip Luke. I have yet to hike with my older brother, though we talk about it. I do have a 16 yr old nephew that was thrilled with a short hike up to Timber mtn, I ought a go pick him up soon and take him on an overnight. It would be quite an honor to be the one who helped nurture a young man's passion for the mountains. Looks like you have the same opportunity with your brother as he clearly is kindling the same kind of interest. Thanks for the story, get him out again soon so we can hear about it!

Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
Re: Two Brothers in Shining Rock Wilderness on 05/06/2012 18:43:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing this with us, Luke. SRW is one of my favorite places around and should be on your list for future trips.

edit: my question was answered in the other Trip Report.

Edited by xpatrickxad on 05/06/2012 18:45:08 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Thanks on 05/06/2012 19:49:58 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind words ya'll. I was hoping someone would enjoy the pictures besides me and Joseph.

Adan - I'm hoping to get back out there with Joseph before my summer job starts. The tenative idea I working on is a big loop of 50+ miles in southern VA. If I do I'll try to post pictures again.

Patrcik - I liked your TR on Grayson Highlands by the way. I'm hoping to get up there this June.

Kyle Crawford

Locale: SouthEast
Great pics and report on 05/10/2012 23:55:29 MDT Print View


Love the photos and the report. That is an incredible area to hike. Love the balds. You should look at thru hiking the Art Loeb trail, very gorgeous and close to that area.