Iron Mountain Gap to Carver's Gap

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Iron Mountain Gap to Carver's Gap

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Trail System Appalachian Trail
Land Owner Cherokee National Forest
Located Erwin, Tennessee
Trail Marking White
Trail UseThings allowed to do on or near the trail


FeaturesThings to see on or near the trail


Difficulty Rating Medium
Hiking TimeTime from car and back. Includes any time hiking to access this trail. 15.25 hrs915 Min <br />0.953 Days <br /> round trip
Distance: 15.4 mi24.784 km <br /> trailStrict non-repeating trail length / 30.830.8 mi <br />49.568 km <br /> round tripTypical or shortest length from the car, hike the trail, and return to car
Trail Type In-and-Out
Low / High Point 3,705 ft1,235 Yards <br />1,129.284 Meters <br />6,202 ft2,067.333 Yards <br />1,890.37 Meters <br />
Elev. Gain/LossSee link for details of calculation. Gain/Loss is direction dependent. 4,862 ft1,481.938 Meters <br /> / (3,059 ft932.383 Meters <br />) – South-to-North
Parking 36° 8' 35.20" N, 82° 14' 0.24" W Map
Trailhead 36° 8' 35.20" N, 82° 14' 0.24" W Map
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Trail Overview[edit]

How to get there[edit]

Route Description[edit]

(Trail South > North)

Iron Mountain Gap[edit]

The Trail crosses TN107/NC226. Recent relocations have moved the Trail away from the Forest Service road that is frequented by backcountry horsemen. There is a small parking area along the road where the Forest Service road meets the highway.

Weedy Gap[edit]

Water sources on the east and west sides of the Trail. Apple orchard nearby along the Trail.

Clyde Smith Shelter[edit]

Clyde Smith Shelter (4400') is a wooden shelter built in 1977 by the United States Forest Service. The shelter resides 200 yards west of the Trail on a blue blaze. Named for Clyde Smith, who is well-known along the Trail for his handmade signs.

Little Rock Knob[edit]

Little Rock Knob (4918') is between Clyde Smith Shelter and Hughes Gap. Great views to the north from a rock outcropping near the summit along the Trail.

Hughes Gap[edit]

First road crossing south of Roan Mountain. Accessible via TN143 and Cove Creek Road from the town of Roan Mountain or from Buladean, NC via NC1330. Overnight parking is not advised here.

Ash Gap[edit]

Campsite before steep ascent of Roan Mountain. Water is down short blue blaze trail to the east.

Roan High Bluff Side Trail[edit]

Side trail to Roan High Bluff (6267') at the Cloudland Hotel site. Roan High Bluff is a part of the South Beyond 6000 challenge. It is approximately 0.75 miles from the AT to Roan High Bluff. The official summit is a rock outcropping next to the viewing platform. Hikers are not allowed to climb these rocks due to the danger.

Cloudland Hotel Site[edit]

After ascending Roan Mountain from Ash & Hughes Gaps, the Trail passes by the site where Cloudland Hotel once stood. The hotel straddled the NC/TN state line and was considered a premier report destination. The wealthy relaxed atop the mountain in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The site is now an open area that has magnificent eastward views of North Carolina.

Roan High Knob Shelter[edit]

Roan High Knob Shelter (6285') is the highest shelter on the Appalachian Trail. Renovated in 1980 from an old fire warden cabin that was at the base of the Roan High Knob Fire Tower. Foundations of the fire tower can be found in front of the shelter. The USGS marker for Roan High Knob is on a large rock about 30 yards in front of the shelter door. Roan High Knob is a part of the South Beyond 6000 challenge.

Carvers Gap[edit]

Carvers Gap (5512') is the primary road access for the Roan Highlands. TN143 comes from Roan Mountain, TN and NC261 comes from Bakersville, NC. Large parking area with restrooms. The road to the top of Roan Mountain is open from approximately May-October.


TEHCC Maintained Portion of the Appalachian Trail
Spivey Gap to Nolichucky RiverNolichucky River to Indian Grave GapIndian Grave Gap to Iron Mountain GapIron Mountain Gap to Carver's GapCarver's Gap to US19EUS19E to Dennis Cove RdDennis Cove Rd to Wilbur Dam RdWilbur Dam Rd to TN91TN91 to US421US421 to Damascus