Snowbird Gap (via Wayah Gap)

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: NC 1310 (Wayah Gap)
Trip Ends: NC 1310 (Wayah Gap)
Total Distance: 3.6 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Trails Used: Appalachian Trail/4×4 Road
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

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

Snowbird Gap

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 elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along the Hiwassee River.

Siler Bald at 5,216 feet was named for William Siler whose great grandson, Reverend A. Rufus Morgan, helped establish the A.T. in North Carolina. The U.S. Forest Service clears and maintains the bald which has a grassy summit with spectacular (and nearly 360 degree) views from Tray Mountain to the Great Smoky Mountains. Wayah Bald, about six trail miles north, can also be seen to the north.

This is a loop hike that starts at Wayah Gap on NC 1013 and follows the Appalachian Trail on a southbound ascent of ~1000 feet to Snowbird Gap 4,998 feet at the base of the mountain. From there, follow the blue blazed Siler Bald Shelter trail to a 4×4 road that returns to Wayah Gap.

GPS Coordinates:

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