Winter Hiking from Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge Bald

Details

Distance

5 miles

Elevation Gain

677 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Adam Welch

The Appalachian Trail is widely considered to be at its most grand and awe inspiring as it passes through the Roan Highlands on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. In winter, the mountains morph into a transitive expression of emptiness that is hauntingly beautiful and vast with few distractions. This is a great cold-weather destination for those seeking solitude or those in search of a different landscape than can be found in the warmer seasons.

Highway 19E bisects the Appalachian Trail at Carvers Gap and it is here that you will begin your trek. There is a small parking area and bathroom as well as multiple springs for water located here. The elevation at Carver's Gasp is approximately 5,212 feet. From here , cross the highway and mount the AT heading north. This will immediately take you over Round Top Bald by way of a beautiful alpine forest, then over Jane Bald, and finally to Grassy Ridge(my camp on this trip). The forest isn't readily seen from the highway so don't be fooled into thinking you're going the wrong way. The hike comes in at just under five miles round trip making it suitable for most trail goers. The total elevation change is only around 700 feet but the trail rises and dips significantly during the hike.Keep in mind also the increased solitude of winter hiking brings with it a whole new set of challenges and dangers. Be prepared for winter weather trail conditions such as ice and sudden snow showers.That being said, if you're looking for a great winter hike, this is your ticket. Though very popular in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, the cold weather tends to thin out the majority of the crowds. During snowy conditions balds and surrounding peaks present themselves in a spectacular blanket of winter white. Astrophotographers and star gazers will also fall in love with the skies on clear nights.

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Know for

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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