Backpack the Roan Highlands (A.T.)

Details

Distance

14 miles

Route Type

Point-to-Point

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

Know for

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

Nearby

Reviews

Leave a Review

#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

over 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

almost 5 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.

669 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Grassy Ridge Bald in the Roan Highlands

5.0
5.3 mi / 700 ft gain

Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

5.0
5.5 mi / 900 ft gain

Camp at Round Bald

4.0

Hiking from Carver's Gap to Hwy. 19 on the AT

5.0
20.7 mi
More Nearby Adventures