Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

5.5 miles 900 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jess Fischer

Normally a popular shelter for through-hikers on the AT, this shelter is also a great location for a quick overnight backpacking trip in the Roan Highlands. 

Starting from the Carver Gap Parking area (do not leave belongings visible in your vehicle) head North on the Appalachian Trail (cross the road and head up the hill past the kiosk). Stay on the Appalachian Trail for 5.5 miles climbing across open balds and treking through forests and wildflower patches. You will come to an intersection where you'll notice a lot of little signs; this is Yellow Mountain Gap and where the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail intersects with the AT. At this point take a RIGHT and follow the very well beaten trail down to the Overmountain Shelter. You will come to a clearing before reaching the barn- there are fire pits and room for a lot of tents. There is also a natural spring right before reaching the clearing- marked by a blue blazed trail. 

The barn located on the far end of the clearing is a two story building that was built in the 1970s for farming but was eventually converted into an AT shelter a decade or so later. It has a loft for sleeping, outdoor areas where you can throw up hammocks, picnic tables, a fire ring and a privy. We opted to camp in the field but we did walk over and walk around in the barn to check it out. 

To return to Carvers Gap, leave the campsite the same way you came in; follow the side trail up to the Appalachian Trail and take a LEFT. Hike the 5.5 miles back to your car.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Unreal

Just did this trip in early November and we had snow. I was worried at first but the snow made everything look incredible. One piece of advice- don’t use apple maps. It took me through this neighborhood and up onto a muddy road that is impassable. The road up to Carvers Gap (Hwy 143) is in fact a normal paved road. All in all, one of the coolest places I’ve been to especially when it was snow covered.

Stay Nearby

Hampton, Tennessee

Dennis Cove Campground

Overview Dennis Cove Campground will close for the season on Monday, October 14, 2019. Dennis Cove Campground is a secluded campground along Laurel Fork Creek at an elevation of 2,650 feet in Cart...

37692

Rock Creek Recreation Area

Overview Rock Creek Recreation Area is named for the small creek that runs alongside this recreation site. The facilities, creek-fed concrete pond and bathhouse were originally built by the Civil...

Newland, North Carolina

Linville Falls Campground

Overview Located in a dense pine canopy, within hiking distance of Linville Gorge and along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls Campground is an ideal location for your next family campin...

Burnsville, North Carolina

Carolina Hemlocks Rec Area

Overview Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area sits in the scenic mountains of Pisgah National Forest. This is a great place for small to medium-sized groups to swim, fish, tube, hike, camp, picnic and...

Nearby Adventures

  • Camp at Round Bald

    This super easy hike to the campsites near Round Bald is the perfect intro to backpacking for kids or newbies, but serves just as well for the more experienced backpackers who can't squeeze a longer trip in over the weekend.This short (.5 mile) hi...

  • Hike to Grassy Ridge Bald in the Roan Highlands

    Once you've parked at Carver's Gap (5500'), the trailhead is pretty easy to find. Simply cross the highway and jump onto the Appalachian Trail, right on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Head north on the AT as you head through the Roan ...

    5.3 miles 700 ft gain

  • Backpack the Roan Highlands (A.T.)

    The Roan highlands, possibly one of the best sections of the Appalachian Trail, is a section of grassy balds that range from 5000-6000 feet following the A.T.Start at Carvers Gap ( Highway 261 NC / Highway 143 TN) on the TN/NC border. You can eith...

    14 miles

  • Hike to Janes Bald

    This journey begins at Carvers Gap, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. At a beginning elevation of 5512 ft. you will cross the road from the parking area to the trailhead, on the Appalachian Trail, northbound. The trail climbs gentl...

    3 miles 308 ft gain