Carter County High Point Trip Report

Roan High Knob (6,286 ft)

Date: April 10, 2002
Author: John Garner

Trailhead: Carver's Gap (5,520 ft). Get there from the TN side by driving to the town of Roan Mountain on US 19E, then driving up TN 143 to the gap (about 11 miles). Park in the large lot on the right side of the road. There is a road that continues up to a parking area beyond Roan High Knob, but it is gated much of the year (and was during my visit).

Trail: The entire trail is the Appalachian Trail. Other trip reports noted trouble finding the starting point - the base of the trail was recently rerouted by the Tennessee Eastman folks. To reach the base of the trail from the parking lot, go back out to the road, and go slightly downhill to the left. There, on the left (westW) side of the road, the trail picks up at the end of a split rail fence, and there are white AT markers. Signs say that the summit is 1.3 miles.

The first quarter-mile of the hike is the re-routed part. At about 0.75 mile past that junction, there is a junction with a blazed trail on the left, with a sign noting Roan Mountain shelter. Go up this trail 0.1 mile; the hp is about 100 yards above the AT shelter, on a large rock outcrop. There is a benchmark on top of the rock. You will pass heavily overgrown concrete foundations of an old fire tower that had to have been removed 15+ years ago.

There are little or no views on this hike. For better views, continue on to the parking area about 0.5 mile past the summit side trail, or better yet climb up to Grassy Ridge Bald [Avery County highpoint] on the other side of the road.

Distance is 2.2 miles with 750 ft of gain.

Alternative route: You can still pick up the old trail; it's easier to find going downhill but more difficult up. At the junction where the recently relocated trail tread turns sharply to the right and meets the old trail (about 0.25 mile from the base), the original tread goes straight downhill and meets the Roan Mountain Road about 100 yards uphill from the gate. Going straight down the old trail then down the road will save about a tenth of a mile.