devil's courthouse

Hiking the mountains of Western North Carolina

Within this sinisterly jagged mountain is a cave where the devil holds court, according to folklore. An ominous tale, but it really is quite beautiful. The steep cliffs provide not just panoramic vistas but also ideal hunting grounds for the world's fastest animal, the peregrine falcon. It's a steep but short hike to the peak, making it an easy stop on your cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Length: 0.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 258 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Strenuous
Trailhead Elevation: 5,460 feet
Top Elevation: 5,720 feet

Directions from Asheville

  1. Travel west on Patton Ave., which is also 19/23 S.
  2. Continue on 19/23 S when Patton Ave. becomes Smokey Park Hwy.
  3. Turn left on Pisgah Hwy., which is also 151 S.
  4. Stay on 151 S until you reach the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  5. Turn right to go south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  6. The Devil's Courthouse is located at milepost 422.4.

A small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway between the gates at milepost 420.3 (near Black Balsam Road) and milepost 423.3 (at NC Hwy 215) will be closed to all visitors beginning November 3, 2014 through May 2015.

During the closure, Devil's Courthouse Overlook at milepost 422.4 will be accessible from the south by foot, bicycle or skis, and the Art Loeb Trail crossing at milepost 421.2 will be accessible from the north.

Find more hiking trails in the Asheville Area...