Outbound Collective logo

Round Bald via Carver's Gap

Bakersville, North Carolina

based on 3 reviews



1.72 miles

Elevation Gain

338 ft

Route Type



Added by The Outbound Collective

Quick hike to Round Bald with beautiful views and a camping area along the famous Appalachian Trail.

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) hike in leads to a grassy opening with amazing views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. There are designated campsites right along Round Bald as well as several more up the Appalachain Trail to the Northeast. Among them, the Overmountain Shelter sits 5 miles up the trail and sleeps 40 people comfortably - the largest shelter along the Appalachian Trail.

To get to the trailhead at Carvers Gap from Boone, take NC 105 S out of town for 12 miles before turning right onto NC 184 North. Drive 5 miles then turn left onto NC 194 South. Drive 7 miles and turn right on US-19 East. Drive another 7 miles before a final left onto TN 143 South, which you'll follow for 12 miles before reaching the trailhead parking lot on the left right at the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File


Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Round Bald via Carver's Gap Reviews

I love this hike! It’s not very long, about a mile and a half, and the top has a beautiful view of the mountains. The hike winds in and out of a forest of pine and grassy hills. At the top, it is very open. There are a few patches of trees that are great for hammocking, or grabbing some shade. I have tried camping there twice, and while enjoyable, we ended up soaked in hammocks. It is best with a good tent or something to protect from the fog.

I have hiked along the AT in this area numerous times and love it. I wanted to camp for just a night on the top of the mountain for so long and finally was able to and it was a little disappointing. It may have just been the weather the day we went, but as soon as the sun set there was dense fog that rolled in. We tried sleeping in hammocks and after just an hour or two the fog had everything soaking wet. We were cold, wet, and unable to sleep. One of the things I had been looking forward to was watching the sunrise, but there was not one. The fog was so thick it just kind of lit up with no pretty sunrise. The only good thing about the experience was the people I was with. I would do it again, but would plan for a night it was forecasted to be clear and not foggy in the slightest.

I plan on doing this trip and would love to know where the best campsite would be for a morning view as well as if reservation is needed.

Leave No Trace

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


Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

Grassy Ridge Bald in the Roan Highlands

Appalachian Trail: Carvers Gap to Yellow Mountain Barn

Roan Highlands: Carvers Gap to US 19E via Appalachian Trail

Jane Bald via Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail: Carvers Gap to Roan Mountain