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Appalachian Trail In NC
Bly Gap to US 64
Standing Indian Mt, Albert Mt
AT Hiking Guide - North Carolina
Bly Gap to Fontana Dam
Hiking guide with descriptions and maps for the Appalachian Trail as it travels in NC from Bly Gap to Fontana Dam. The guide is broken down by 6 sections of the AT. The book comes to you delivered as a pdf file via email. Use the buy now button and we will send you the file via email usually within 24 hours of receiving payment. Happy Hiking!
This 30.9 mile section of the Appalachian Trail features the views from 5000 footers Standing Indian Mountain and Albert Mountain. For north bound thru hikers this is the first section you'll experience in North Carolina. This whole section of trail is within the Nantahala National Forest.
The stretch of the AT has five shelters as well as three designated campsites. Standing Indian Mountain takes north bound thru hikers above 5000 feet for the first time along the AT. Albert Mountain is another 5000+ foot peak and there will be much more to come in North Carolina.
Bly Gap oak tree
This section begins at the North Carolina/Georgia state line located near Bly Gap at an elevation of 3824 feet. When you see the gnarled oak tree in a clearing, you are officially in North Carolina. There is a designated campsite at Bly Gap. The trail climbs to the 4307 foot High Top at 0.6 miles. After a short descent the trail climbs to the 4645 foot Courthouse Bald at 1.5 miles.
The trail descends into the 4253 foot Sassafras Gap at 2.1 miles before quickly climbing again. The trail reaches the Muskrat Creek Shelter at 3.0 miles. This shelter was rebuilt in 1995 and sleeps eight with a privy nearby. The trail continues on and reaches Whiteoak Stamp at 3.5 miles.
Muskrat Creek Shelter
At 6.9 miles the trail reaches Deep Gap and USFS Road 71. From here the Kimsey Creek Trail travels 3.7 miles to the USFS Standing Indian Campground. The elevation at Deep Gap is 4341 feet. At Deep Gap there is parking for about eight cars. The GPS coordinates are N35 02.374 W83 33.163 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
The AT will now begins the long ascent toward Standing Indian Mountain. At 7.8 miles the trail reaches the Standing Indian Shelter. The shelter was built in 1996 and sleeps eight with a privy located nearby. The trail continues its steady climb and the trail reaches 5425 feet, its highest point on Standing Indian Mountain at 9.3 miles. A side trail leads 0.2 miles to the 5499 foot summit with nice views. There are a few undesignated campsites located in this area that receives tremendous use.
View from Standing Indian Mountain
The trail now descends reaching 4448 foot Beech Gap at 12.2 miles. The trail reaches 4210 foot Coleman Gap at 13.9 miles. At 15.3 miles the trail reaches the old Carter Gap Shelter and then the new shelter. The old shelter was built in 1959 and sleeps six. The new shelter was built in 1998 and sleeps eight with a privy nearby.
New Carter Gap Shelter
The AT continues on to the slope of Ridgepole Mountain, reaching a height of 4931 feet. At 19 miles the trail reaches 4318 foot Betty Creek Gap, where there is a campsite. At 19.8 miles the trail reaches 4421 foot Mooney Gap and USFS Road 83. Mooney Gap receives over 93 inches of precipitation every year, making it among the wettest places in the eastern United States.
View from Albert Mountain
The trail now heads toward Albert Mountain, passing a few gaps along the way. The final approach does include a few steep rock scrambles as well as steps. The AT reaches the 5250 foot summit of Albert Mountain at 21.4 miles and the views from the fire tower.
Soon after leaving Albert Mountain the trail reaches the site of the old Big Spring Shelter at 22.0 miles. This shelter was removed to make way to a new shelter built in 2012 located two miles further along the trail called the Long Branch Shelter. The trail descends into 4162 foot Glassmine Gap at 25.1 miles. At 27.2 miles the AT reaches Rock Gap Shelter, which was built in 1965 and sleeps eight with a privy nearby. The shelter gets a lot of use since it is so close to the road.
Big Spring Shelter
At 27.3 miles the trail reaches Rock Gap and USFS Road 67. There is parking for about eight cars nearby. The GPS coordinates are N35 05.643 W83 31.345 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle. It is only 1.5 miles along USFS Road 67 to the USFS's Standing Indian Campground. The campground is located on the headwaters of the Nantahala River. The elevation is 3,880 feet and there are warm showers in Loops 4 and 5. There is potable water in each loop at common faucets. There is a small camp store.
Appalachian Trail at Rock Gap
Continuing north on the AT, the trail reaches 3698 foot Wallace Gap at 27.9 miles and crosses old route 64. There is parking available for about five cars at this trail crossing. The GPS coordinates are N35 05.883 W83 31.599 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
The trail now climbs to 4400 feet, reached at 29.4 miles before making a final descent toward US 64. The trail reaches US 64 and 3742 foot Winding Stair Gap at 30.9 miles, marking the end of this section. The trail turns right, following the road briefly before crossing the highway then heading back into the woods.
Winding Stair Gap and US 64
A large parking area for about twenty cars is located where the AT first meets US 64. The GPS coordinates are N35 07.184 W83 32.886 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle. A smaller parking area for about six cars is available where the AT crosses the road and heads back into the woods. The GPS coordinates are N35 07.236 W83 32.831 for this parking area.
Ten miles east along US 64 is Franklin, NC, a popular stopping point for thru hikers.
We offer the full GPS tracks of this section as well as 88 miles of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina from Bly Gap to Fontana Dam for only $1.97 via a gpx file. This file also includes waypoints for the shelters located along the trail as well as parking areas. Use the BUY NOW button above to purchase this and we'll send the file via e-mail ASAP! A great tool to keep you on the trail!
We recommend purchasing any of the following books for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina:
Appalachian Trail in North Carolina Hiking Guide - Bly Gap to US 64
Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina: 13th Edition
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Georgia North Carolina Tennessee
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Hiking Trails of the Smokies
Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park Explorer
View from Albert Mountain Fire Tower
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