HIGHLIGHTS: The Shining Rock Wilderness is a series of high elevation ridges with spectacular views in the Pisgah National Forest. Five peaks in the area are over 6000 feet including Cold Mountain (6,030 feet) and Black Balsam Knob (6,214 feet). However, the wilderness is named for Shining Rock (5,940 feet) which is a summit of white quartz located in the middle of the forest. The views from here are impressive (although not as drastic as other mountains in the area), and Shining Rock is a central hub for most of the backcountry trails in the wilderness. This hike starts at USFS 816 and follows the Art Loeb Trail over Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain where there are outstanding views in all directions. It then drops to the Investor Gap Trail and climbs gradually to Shining Rock.