Hiking With Llamas

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Hiking with llamas is an incredible experience that YOU can do without flying to South America.  Earthshine Lodge offers hiking excursions with their friendly llamas in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina.

White llama with a green lead.

Booking a Llama Hiking Trip

We took our first llama hike at the High Hampton Resort in Cashiers, North Carolina. While the resort no longer offers llama hikes, it is still possible to book a hike and get up close and personal with the incredible creatures.

Earthshine Lodge offers guided hikes to groups of 4 or more hikers. They bring the llamas, you have the fun! Their hiking llamas are specially trained and love nothing more than a good hike in the mountains.

Black llama with a green lead.

Before embarking on the hike, hikers learn how to safely handle the camelids (llamas are in the same family as camels). Then it’s time for the hike up a private trail with a gorgeous mountaintop view.

Brown llama on a hill.

Each group will get 1 to 3 llamas to take with them on their journey which covers approximately 1 mile and lasts about 1.5 hours. Be aware that the journey is uphill on rocky terrain which can be slippery at times. Hikes take place rain or shine. (You’ll want to dress accordingly!)

White and brown llama.

To reserve a time slot and for more info, go to the Earthshine website and select your time. Rates start at $45 per person ages 6 and up. Children 5 and under are free, just be sure to let them know when you book that you will have a little one with you.


Llama with a blue lead.

Llama Facts

1.  Llamas are pack animals which means that they can carry heavy loads.  Llamas can trek up to 20 miles in a day while carrying 50 to 75 pounds. 

2.  They are domestic animals that are hypoallergenic, don’t shed, and can even be “pottied trained.”

White Llama chewing on grass.

3.  Llamas can be used as guard animals.

4.  Llamas are similar to cows in that they eat grass and will regurgitate their food and then chew it as cud. 

Close up of llama.

Alpaca vs Llama

Multicolored llama on a leash.

Llamas and Alpacas are very similar and can interbreed and have fertile offspring.  What’s the difference between the two?

  1. Their sizes. Llamas weigh around 250 pounds while alpacas weigh roughly 121 – 143 pounds.
  2. Their faces.  Llamas have elongated faces and larger ears while alpacas have shorter ears and blunt faces.
  3. Their hair.  Llamas have coarse hair, unlike their alpaca cousins who have shaggy hair which is used to make fleece.
Four llamas in a row.

Have you hiked with a llama?

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