Plan to bring enough water to cover the entire trek. By submitting your name and email address, you agree to our terms and conditions. And while this is one serious workout, the trail’s incredible terrain and far-flung vistas make it well worth the effort. The summit of Yellow Mountain has a fire tower and fantastic views. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Visit Discover Jackson NC on Facebook (opens in a new window), Visit Discover Jackson NC on Twitter (opens in a new window), Visit Discover Jackson NC on Instagram (opens in a new window), Visit Discover Jackson NC on Phone (opens in a new window), Visit Discover Jackson NC on Envelope (opens in a new window). The tower was originally built in the 1930s by the CCC and was restored in the 1990s. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Beautiful, open, old-growth forest predominates the path. This tough adventure rolls over mountaintops, explores lush valleys filled with gnarly-branched mountain laurel, and visits a historic fire lookout tower, scoring a great workout along the way. Marked with blue blazes, the trail ascends around 300 feet, and then descends prior to its first major climb. (you'll need to walk up this part) but the rest should be fun. By far the most popular trail in the Cooper Creek Scenic Area, the Yellow Mountain trailhead is 600 feet north of the Cooper Creek Parking Area. Did you have trouble accessing the trail, or notice some recent trail updates or storm damage? In a corner of the state inundated with undulating mountain chains and punctuated with soaring summits that include a generous number of 6,000-foot peaks, Yellow Mountain is far from western North Carolina’s loftiest summit at 5,127 feet in elevation. All rights reserved. The Hike: To Yellow Mountain Gap For some people, the roughly 3-mile roundtrip up a U.S. Forest Service road doesn’t qualify as a hike. The "River" loop starts with an easy winding single … Departing from a parking area on Buck Creek Road (view maps and driving directions), the trail begins a gradual but steady ascent from Cole Mountain Gap onto the ridge of Cole Mountain. Allow at least a half day for the hike—around 4 to 6 hours—depending on hiking experience and fitness level. Catch some lofty views on our favorite hikes to fire lookout towers near Asheville. With its stunning scenery along the hiking trail and the breathtaking view seen from the peaks, the 1870m Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is a place hiking lovers can not miss. Littered with 100-meter sections of 45+ degree, rock-filled pitches, the final approach to the Yellow summit more closely resembles a staircase than a trail. Additional Information: The distance can be deceiving: The 4.8-mile ascent may not seem staggering, but plan for the rugged terrain to add time to the hike. Hike the Yellow Mountain Trail to a view-packed summit, following a twelve-mile roundtrip journey on one of the most difficult trails in Western NC. There is a side trail on the NC side that leads to an Appalachian Trail shelter known as the Overmountain Shelter, where there is a great view of the mountain range. Touted as one of the most difficult hikes in the South, the Yellow Mountain Trail stands as a formidable goal to even the fittest of adventurers. This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the National Forest Foundation. © 2014 - 2020 Trailful Outdoor Co. // Made in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route. Please always practice good trail etiquette. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Grab your supplies and stride out on a trail that leaves to astonishing views from the top of a mountain. All rights reserved. COVID-19 Safe Travel: Jackson County cares about your well-being - Click here. Part of the Roan Highlands, Big Yellow is a grassy bald, an unusual community type resembling a high-elevation pasture and found between 5,200 and 5,800 feet on dome-shaped summits and ridges. On the descent into the gap, the trail passes a major trail intersection, denoted by a sign indicating the return route to Cole Gap and the direction to head for Yellow Mountain. Some of the finest views in Western North Carolina begin to stretch far and wide. I believe this trail may be part of Chandler Hill Park which connects to Green Hill Park if you cross Belmont Street onto a trailhead on the sidewalk before skyline drive. The Hampton Creek Cove (TN) trailhead has parking available with … It is a scenic area that covers more than 100 square miles (250 square kilometers). The trail starts from the small parking area, marked by a small US Forest Service sign, detailing the Yellow Mountain Trail. Once you reach the top of the cliffs the trail is well cairned and leads you to a location at about the center of Yellow Rocks base. Trailful Outdoor Co. is a registered trademark of Summit19 Studio LLC.Privacy Policy | Terms of Use No photo, illustration, data, or text on this website may be reproduced, published, or distributed without prior written permission and license. Hike the Yellow Mountain Trail to a view-packed summit, following a twelve-mile roundtrip journey on one of the most difficult trails in Western NC. 35.104548, -83.204056     //     N35 06.276 W83 12.245, Nicholas Walsh is a adventure photojournalist from the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The only way to publicly access the tower is by the 6.2-mile Yellow Mountain Trail, which begins at Cole Gap on the east side of the Cullasaja River Gorge in Nantahala National Forest. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions. After carving through switchbacks, the surrounding leaf cover begins to thin noticeably, and the granularity of the trail indicates the summit’s close proximity. At 1.2 miles, the trail starts ascending Shortoff Mountain. Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out. A note regarding a discrepancy I have observed regarding the true summit elevation of Yellow Mountain. From Yellow Mountain Gap, it’s a nearly unrelenting climb of over 1,000 feet to the mountain’s summit, meandering to the northwest as the trail continually climbs. Additional Information: The distance can be deceiving: The 4.8-mile ascent may not seem staggering, but plan for the rugged terrain to add time to the hike. But climbing the highest peak in the Cowee Mountains requires not only summiting Yellow Mountain itself, but three additional peaks as well. Visit Discover Jackson NC on Youtube (opens in a new window), Visit Discover Jackson NC on Tripadvisor (opens in a new window), An Insider’s Guide to Panthertown Valley: The Yosemite of the East, The Best Spots for Camping Under the Stars: Backpacking Your Way through Jackson County. At the summit, climbers are exponentially rewarded with a stunning panorama—an ocean of closely huddled southern Appalachian peaks stretching to the horizon. Yellow Mountain Trail Narrative. Trailhead: The Yellow Mountain Trail is accessible from Cole Gap, off Buck Creek Road, off Route 64 about 8-miles west of Cashiers. Like many of historic towers dotting the Appalachians, the Yellow Mountain fire tower fell into disrepair when it was decommissioned. “This acquisition was a high […] The summit is a fantastic place to soak it all in, rehydrate, and refuel, as the return trip to Cole Gap is equally daunting. USGS quads show a highpoint of 8,966 feet, which is in fact the highest point on the Yellow Mountain massif.However, both J. Gordon Edwards and the popular National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps of Glacier reference a highpoint of 8,766 feet. The trail climbs out of the gap, using switchbacks and some rocky terrain as you make your way to the top. We purchased 70 acres on Big Yellow Mountain in the Highlands of Roan, located just 2,500 ft from the Appalachian Trail. Touted as one of the most difficult hikes in the South, the Yellow Mountain Trail stands as a formidable goal to even the fittest of adventurers. 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