360 degree view of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Cowee Bald Fire Tower is located in the Nantahala National Forest near Bryson City North Carolina. To get there you can either drive almost all the way to the top about .2 miles from the top but to get there you will need to have a 4WD or a higher clearance vehicle to cross a small stream. However, if you do not have a a 4WD you can park at an area close to the river and hike the rest of the 2.2 miles up to the top. Since the hike up is on a road it is quite an easy hike with a very wide trail. The trail can be steep in some parts. When you get to the top of the mountains you will see a lot of other communication towers past all of those towers is the fire tower. Once you get to the fire tower it is about a 30 stair walk to the top where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and of Bryson City.   

Pack List

  • Water 
  • Snacks
  • Camera 
  • Chacos
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RT Distance 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 400 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Yoga, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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