Ready to Hike WNC? Our Favorite Trails in 2020

Hike WNC Difficulty Levels

One of the most annoying things about people recommending hikes is that they always talk about the views, the pictures, the fun, or how much fun “I’ll have” on the hike. However when I ask how hard is this life-changing experience going to be on my next Saturday, they usually shrug and say something like, “kinda easy, but I don’t know, there some inclines to watch for!”.  Duh, we live in the mountains. There’s an incline I have to watch for on my way to Walmart. I say all that to let you know I’ll try my best to give a fair warning of the difficulty of these hikes listed with an estimated time of competition.

Why GPS Coordinates?

This is a great question! Why are we listing the GPS Coordinates for these hiking locations? We do not expect you to pull out your trusted map of Western Carolina to lookup these trail heads. You can plug these into Google Maps to get easy to follow directions. We do not expect you to brush up on your map literacy. Especially when the writer has none!

How to Put GPS Coordinates in Google Maps

Open Google Maps on your Android phone or iPhone.

In the search box, paste our listed coordinates. If Google Maps changes their supported coordinates format here are a few more to try:

Degrees, minutes, and seconds (DMS): 41°24’12.2″N 2°10’26.5″E

Degrees and decimal minutes (DMM): 41 24.2028, 2 10.4418

Decimal degrees (DD): 41.40338, 2.17403

You can convert our listed GPS coordinates to different formats at the FCC website here.

You’ll see a pin at your coordinates when Google accepts the coordinates. Press “Get Directions” and you will be on your way! With the technical stuff out of the way let’s get in the list of hikes we love and are sure you will enjoy as well.

High Falls or Cullowhee Falls

Difficulty: Medium – Easy First Half Downhill, Not So Easy Trip Back Uphill

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  35.198521, -83.159605

Estimated Completion Time: 1 Hour


High Falls has been coined Cullowhee Falls by the local college students of Western Carolina University. Cullowhee Falls offers a 1.5 mile round trip hike to a beautiful waterfall. There are two entrances to High Falls. We recommend you start at the GPS coordinates we supplied above. This parking area is easy to access and the initial hike to the waterfall is all downhill. The hike back may be tough, but you won’t be super sweaty for your selfies! The hike has a lot of stairs so the trip and fall hazard of walking down a deep slope is minimized. The final stretch of stone stairs is 500 ft. You know you’re close to the end of the hike when you start descending on big slabs of rock.

Mount Mitchell

Difficulty: Easy

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Post 355

Estimated Completion Time:  25-35 Minutes

mount mitchell views from wnc hike trialWelcome to the highest mountain in the Appalachian mountain range! By altitude alone, this hike will offer breathtaking views. The parking area at 355 is easy to pull into and the parking is free! You can get some great pictures staring from the parking lot and all the way up the trail. Mount Mitchell


We do not recommend you start your hike at Black Mountain Campground! That will lead you to hike the entire Mount Mitchell hike that will turn this nice, short, and easy hike to a hardcore hiking expedition. If you are looking for that kind of hike then you know where to start!

Let us know what you think of Mount Mitchell! How was the view?

Pinnacle Park

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.422657,-83.19125199999999

Estimated Completion Time:  2-4 Hours

Hiking Pinnacle isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a tough hike. Pinnacle’s hike has a hefty incline for about 70% of the hike. Pinnacle is a 6-mile hike round trip. It’s nice to get the You will be taking breaks often. However, the views are beautiful! You can get a glimpse of some of the views from our videos.

If you plug in the GPS coordinates into Google Maps you will get directions to pull into the parking area. The parking has a payment drop box at the trailhead. I don’t remember the parking cost because I never paid for parking! (I know, I’m a Bad News Bear) Bring $5 in cash if you want to be extra safe. It’s not often I hear of people getting tickets or towed out of Pinnacle. To be honest, the trail is so difficult I never see the parking lot packed. Most people visit for a workout or to pop their pinnacle park cherry.

Leave a comment down below if you decide to visit Pinnacle Park in Sylva North Carolina! How hard would you rate this hike?

What is Your Favorite WNC Hike?

We are happy to share a few of our favorite hikes in Western North Carolina. Which hike looks to be more your speed? Do you have a hike in mind that should be listed above? Please send us a message sharing your favorite places to hike WNC. Looking for more things to do? Check out our Cool Things to Do page to get more ideas flowing for your next outing.