Cheoah Bald

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: Wayah Bald
Trip Ends: U.S. 19
Total Distance: 34.6 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Difficult
Trails Used: Appalachian, Bartram
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: Multi-Day Hike
More Information:

Nantahala National Forest
Wayah Ranger District
Franklin, NC 28734


The Nantahala National Forest is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina and is the the second wettest region in the country – after the Pacific Northwest. The word “Nantahala” is a Cherokee word meaning “Land of the Noonday Sun.” In some spots, the sun only reaches the floors of the deep gorges in the middle of the day. The National Forest has 531,270 acres with elevation ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along the Hiwassee River.

Cheoah Bald at 5062 feet is the northern terminus of the Bartram Trail and it shares the summit with the Appalachian Trail. The views from here are spectacular from a grassy meadow that looks south over the Nantahala Gorge and from a small clearing that looks north to the Smoky Mountains. We hiked a thirty mile route over Cheoah Bald that included ascents of Wayah and Wesser Balds. The route climbs over 3000 feet from the Nantahala Outdoor Center (N.O.C.) to Cheoah Bald and it is a long and challenging ascent. We finished this shuttle hike by descending Cheoah on the Bartram Trail for five miles to U.S. 19.

GPS Coordinates:

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