Rufus Morgan Shelter

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: NOC (Wesser)
Trip Ends: Rufus Morgan Shelter
Total Distance: 1.6 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Appalachian Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

Nantahala National Forest
Cheoah District, Route 1, Box 16A
Robbinsville, NC 28771


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.

This short hike starts at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) at Wesser, NC and climbs 500 feet heading southbound on the Appalachian Trail to the Rufus Morgan Shelter. For the most part, it is a steep grade of switchbacks until the last few hundred yards before the shelter. The structure sits about 50 yards off the trail to the east and looks to sleep roughly 6-8 people.

GPS Coordinates:

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