Shining Rock Wilderness/Hike Reports/Graveyard Fields/2015-07-11

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Redirectltr.png Shining Rock Wilderness >> List of Reports >> Graveyard Fields Trail plus Devil's Courthouse >> Hike Report

Graveyard Fields
Cyan = Shining Rock
Dk Cyan = Middle Prong
Trail Name Graveyard Fields et al
Nearest City Asheville
State North Carolina
Trail Marking N/A
Trail Use/Features Use hiking.jpg Use dogging.jpg
Time expectations
Hiking Time 5 hrs 0 mins
Driving Time 4 hrs 48 mins*
Total Time 9 hrs 48 mins*
Trail Attributes
Total Distance 9.00 Miles
Elevation Gain 2,700 Feet
Difficulty Index 22.373
Difficulty Rating Strenuous
High Point 5,725 Feet
Low Point 4,925 Feet
Elevation Range 475 Feet
Latitude N35.32029
Longitude W82.84703
Nearest Medical Asheville, NC
Feedback Click Here
Preceded by Current hike Succeeded by
Rocky Face-8 Graveyard Fields Buzzard Rock

Club is reviewing the itinerary for this hike, possibly adding Yellowstone Falls instead of Fryingpan Mountain Trail. The trails used for this itinerary are just outside of the Shining Rock Wilderness boundary.

This hike is a significant drive from our meetup, and as such, some hikers are seeking to explore multiple trails to ensure we spend more time hiking than driving. Hikers, be prepared to hike up to ten miles. Drivers, if you intend to return after only a portion of the total, seek like minded hikers for carpooling.

The hike will start exploring Graveyard Fields. Followed by Devil's Courthouse, and ending with a hike to a fire watch tower on Fryingpan Mountain Trail.

For difficulty reference, think of Graveyard Fields as the equivalent of hiking Lake Shore trail. For this reason, Devil's Courthouse and then Frying Pan Mountain Trail will feel more strenuous as hikers begin to get weary. Hike to the fire tower can be shortened by starting from Fryingpan Gap.

Knowledge of these trails are somewhat limited. Please be flexible with leaders regarding their need to make tough decisions on the trail in the interest of the group.

Notable reports of bear activity has closed the area to overnight stays. Pack-snatching bear closes Parkway camping area


Meetup Information

Meet at Newtowne Shopping Center, 7/11/2015, 7:00 AM
Expect to share cost of gas with drivers, roughly 7 or 8 dollars per passenger assuming vehicle has driver and three passengers. This is solely to help offset cost to drivers for not only gas, but hidden costs such as tire wear, oil changes, car washes (especially if drive traverses dirt roads), etc. The club would rather have drivers over-compensated than under-compensated to encourage them to continue offering their services.

Newtowne Shopping Center
Old Harris Teeter Parking Lot
1545 East Broad Street
Statesville, NC 28625

N35.79170, W80.860300
  1. Old JR's parking lot
  2. Old Harris Teeter parking lot
  3. Starbucks
  4. Signal Hill Mall

Hike Leader(s)

Kevin & Belinda

Drive Information

Always check NPS website for road closures in this area from late Fall to early Spring.


  • Drive times do not include stops for bathroom breaks and other miscellaneous activty.
  • Elevation range is greatest single trail range. Multiple trails noted in high and low elevation points.
  • Distance noted is calculated from online sources.
  • Elevation gain is calculated from estimated ground elevation at specific track points.

Extracurricular Activities

Some members may take a little side trip after the hike to:

  • Looking Glass Falls
  • Sliding Rock
  • Dolly's Dairy Bar

Trail Rating Estimates

Description Miles Ascent Difficulty
Graveyard Fields 4.25 1,060 9.529
Devil's Courthouse 1.00 575 3.828
Total 5.25 1,635 13.357
Fryingpan Mountain Trail 4.00 1,060 9.266
Total 9.25 2,695 22.623

Compare with:

Description Miles Ascent Difficulty Notes
Bakers Mountain 4.80 1,346 11.500
Graveyard Fields 5.25 1,635 13.357 Graveyard Fields + Devil's Courthouse
Lake Shore Trail 6.31 1,304 12.830
Pilot Mountain 8.55 2,044 18.800
Fryingpan Mountain 9.25 2,695 22.623 Graveyard Fields + Devil's Courthouse + Fryingpan Mountain
Hickory Nut Gorge 9.08 2,782 22.990



Graveyardfieldsprofile.jpg Graveyard Fields

Fryingprofile.jpg Fryingpan Mountain

Track Data

Pre-Hike Data


Post-Hike Data