How to Plan the Perfect Hiking Trip at Bearwallow Mountain

Bearwallow Mountain is a 4,232-foot mountain located on the rim of the Hickory Nut Gorge. It is a popular hiking spot for many reasons. The trail is challenging, but not strenuous, and at its peak, visitors can take in panoramic views of Western North Carolina. Lace up your hiking boots, and read on to learn more about the trails you’ll find at Bearwallow Mountain. Afterward, download our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide to discover more great hiking spots and the best places to refuel, including restaurants, coffee shops, and spas.

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Bearwallow Mountain & What You Need to Know

Where to Begin

As you enter the Bearwallow Mountain parking area, you will see two distinct trailheads. To access the Bearwallow Mountain Trail, venture to the right where you’ll find the trailhead behind a metal gate.

Your journey begins with a slight incline. During your hike, you can expect an elevation gain of 537 feet. Although the hike isn’t overly strenuous, you can expect some steep slopes. Proper hiking shoes are a must, especially during the winter when some areas are prone to ice.

A historic fire tower marks the summit where you’ll have sweeping views of the French Broad River Valley, Mount Pisgah, Hickory Nut Gorge, and beyond. Get directions beforehand. As you approach Bearwallow Mountain, your phone is likely to lose signal.

Continue on the Trombatore Trail

To extend your hike, combine the Bearwallow Mountain Trail with the 2.5-mile Trombatore Trail. This route also starts in the park area and leads away from Bearwallow Mountain toward Blue Ridge Pastures. It offers fantastic views and varied terrain in a peaceful, surrounding forest. View a trail map before you head out.

The Weather & What to Expect

Bearwallow Mountain is a pleasant hike throughout the four seasons. You’ll find wildflowers in the spring, grazing cows in the summer, and dazzling colors in the fall. Winter is also a great time to hike, but please keep in mind that boulders occasionally freeze over with ice.

Remember to bring a backpack with plenty of water to stay hydrated. Because temperatures in the mountains are lower than on the plains, wear layers. You can pack them away in your bag as you feel necessary and it will make your hike more pleasant.

Plan Your Outdoor Adventure at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant

The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant is only 20 minutes away from Bearwallow Mountain. After a day of fun in the great outdoors, head home to our bed and breakfastegg breakfast to enjoy the best of what Western North Carolina offers. We are only a short walk away from downtown Chimney Rock where you’ll find quaint coffee shops and cafes, mom and pop stores, and more. For those who want to extend their outdoor adventures, Chimney Rock State Park is only five minutes away from our inn.

Enjoy spacious accommodations, beautiful mountain views, spa services, and easy access to our award-winning restaurant. Complimentary gourmet breakfast is always included in your stay. If you are ready to plan your next mountain adventure, check our vacation specials and book your stay!