Hike and Camp the Sam Knob Loop

North Carolina Sam Knob Trailhead

Added by Steve Yocom

  • This trail is a 3.2 mile loop
  • Two summits facing East and West for amazing sunrises and sunsets
  • Hike along waterfalls and swimming holes
  • Excellent wild brook trout fishing
  • Bag a 6000 footer
  • Great for star gazing from your campsite

This is one of my favorite quick "getaway" loops in the Pisgah Ranger District. Turn onto Black Balsam Knob Road (Mile Marker 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway) go until you reach a dead end and park at the parking lot. You'll see the Sam Knob trail to the right of the public bathrooms. From there, it's 1.8 miles to the summit of the 6050 foot Sam Knob.

I love setting up camp in the middle or closer to the western summit to see the sunset in the west and then have a quick walk from my tent in the morning for sunrise! Being up this high and far from town makes this a great spot for star gazing! When you wake up in the morning and get down to the base of Sam Knob make a right instead of crossing over the big field again to the parking lot. This will take you to Flat laurel creek. There will be a stream crossing, but you can do it the majority of the time without getting wet. Head left to go back to the car.

For the fly fishermen out there, be sure to pack some small dries for the beautiful wild brook trout found here. If it's hot, make a right on the trail for some excellent swimming holes and waterfalls to cool off in!

For a more lengthy trip, start at Flat Laurel Creek Trail head off Highway 215 right before the parkway and loop back around using the Mountains to Sea trail!

Pack List

  • Back Packing Gear
  • Food
  • Bear Bag/Can
  • Fishing rod (3-4wt)
  • Camera
  • Waterproof shoes or Sandals
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Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3.2 Miles



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

17 days ago

Weekday Getaway

This was one of the best spots to catch a sunset in WNC. The trail to the summit doesn't take long at all and made for a perfect getaway during the week!

17 days ago

10 months ago

Great Spot

Had the knob all to ourselves, great little secluded area. Certainly recommend catching the sunset here.

10 months ago

almost 2 years ago

Good work! Visited North Carolina, sure is beautiful! I only was there for a college visit, but hopefully I'll be back some day to experience the more scenic side of the state.

almost 2 years ago

Added by Steve Yocom

25 years young. Burst at the seems, be what you dream. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Adventuring whenever I can!

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