Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

Rate this Adventure Carvers Gap, Bakersville, North Carolina, United States

  • Activities:

    Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    900 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp food
  • Stove
  • Hammock
  • Camera
  • Headlamp
  • Bear canister or rope to hang up food
  • Warm jacket for the evenings (we were there in August and we still needed jackets and leggings at night)
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Jess Fischer Explorer

A little adventurer with a big love for the great outdoors.

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