Wesser Bald (via Appalachian Trail)

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: NC 1365 (Tellico Gap)
Trip Ends: NC 1365 (Tellico Gap)
Total Distance: 4.4 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Trails Used: Appalachian Trail
Trail Traffic: Heavy
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.

Wesser Bald at 4,627 feet has an observation tower converted from the base of a former fire tower and is located 1.4 miles northbound on the Appalachian Trail from Tellico Gap on NC 1365. The 360 degree views of the surrounding Nantahala National Forest are excellent from this platform, but you must climb 763 feet to get to there. To reach Wesser Bald Shelter, continue on the A.T. for another 0.8 miles. You will pass a boxed spring to the right of the trail which is the water source for the area. The shelter has a covered table and bench in front of the small sleeping area. A fire pit and campsites are also located nearby.

GPS Coordinates:

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