Backpack the Roan Highlands (A.T.)

14 miles  - Point-to-Point Trail

Added by Steve Yocom

Traverse six grassy balds along the Appalachian Trail, all above five thousand feet. On the way you will meet thru-hikers, all the while enjoying 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp on a mountain overlooking North Carolina and Tennessee, and enjoy breathtaking views of the night sky.

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 either leave a car at Highway 19E or arrange for a shuttle with Mountain Harbour Hostel.

Head North on the A.T. Climbing Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald. Be sure to do some exploring or the extra 1 mile out and back on Grassy Ridge Bald. It makes for a great spot to have lunch too!

Descending your way into Yellow Mountain gap, there is a side trail to the overmountain shelter and a great spot to refill your water. If the weather is bad take shelter in the barn for the night or push on to big yellow mountain, and camp in the grassy fields for some great sunset and sunrise views. In the morning ascend little hump and big hump mountain before doing the long descent down to 19E.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

#1 Hike on the Entire AT

Come enjoy the #1 section on the entire AT. Park at The Station at 19e, book your shuttle with http://www.roanmountainshuttle.com free parking, free pick up at the end of your hike at 19e trailhead just 1/2 mile away, no road walking. Best of all have a beer and some food.

🥇Top Contributor

over 3 years ago

Best Hike On The AT, Hands-Down

The views from the mountain balds will take your breath away if the 15-mile hike doesn't first. I've lived in Tennessee practically my entire life and have thoroughly explored the surrounding area and have yet to find a better day-hike. I would highly advise calling the shuttle service ahead of time to give them advanced notice. Leave at 7 am or earlier to give you enough time to reach the shuttle service before it stops at 4.

🥇Top Contributor

about 4 years ago

Best Backpacking Experience Yet

I took Labor Day Weekend 2016 and spent 3 days hiking 38 miles, going out and back from Carvers Gap. I can't say enough about this destination and the experience. I've heard abut the Roan Highlands for years, but now I truly understand why its one of the most popular backpacking destinations not only on the Appalachian Trail, but in the Eastern United State overall. If you haven't hiked it yet, find the time to do it; it's worth it.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Stunning Views

I spent 4 days backpacking the AT starting at Indian Grave Gap through Yellow Mountain and spent nights at epic shelts Roan High Knob and Overmountain Shelter, The Barn. It was an incredible experience and stunning views through the balds. A place I wouldn't mind revisiting!

Top Ten

Backpacked the first 7 miles with a couple of buddies, set up camp, then around 9:30 pm decided to finish the last 7 miles in the dark under the full moon. Can't wait to get back out there and do it again.

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

  • Backpack to Overmountain Shelter 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 ...

    5.5 miles 900 ft gain

  • 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

  • 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