AT Indian Grave Gap/Unaka Mountain Trail is a 8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Unicoi, TN that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Breath taking views along TN/NC! Your hike begins at Indian Grave Gap, this is a great day hike or you may want to pitch a tent at Beauty Spot Gap or Unaka Mtn and turn this into a easy backpack. You'll ascend 1100' over the next 2.3 miles following the white blazes of the AT. Once you emerge from the new growth forest the AT empties into a open grass bald you will see a old fence bridge that once climbed over a barbed wire fence. Your blazes are now found on green fence post through the open terrain. There are 360-degree views here including Roan Mtn and Grandfather Mtn with Unaka Mtn straight ahead. There is a white blaze on a fence post to your right at the base of Beauty Spot Gap follow this back into the forest for your ascend to Unaka. This is the only strenuous part of the hike as you will dig over 1100' in just over 1.5 miles. The summit lies just ahead 1/2 mile past the rock outcrop. This is a great hike year round especially late summer when the blueberries are in bloom.
Beautiful views, enjoyed this section of the AT. Easy to find, clearly marked parking areas.
Beauty spot has become my favorite place for views. The first time I went we hiked because the service road is closed during the winter months. I'm probably not in the best shape but the hike was difficult for me, I had to make many rests, but in the end it was more than worth it! The views were breath taking and we made a new friend on the balds as well. Coming back down was a breeze.
Great challenging hike. It was foggy the entire way. I hoped there was a survey marker at the top since there were no views but I didn't find one. There was a very green pine area at the top. Views at Beauty Spot are normally spectacular but it was foggy today. Once I reached the top a cold front came in that left frost and a lot of weeds and twigs which made for some awesome pics on the way back to the car.
Gorgeous hike with the light snow on the trail! Ice on the laurel and rhododendron made for fantasy type décor. The Beauty Spot was just that beautiful. I'm a novice hiker but I conquered the Unaka Mountain.
Beauty Spot along this hike is one of my favorite places in the area, with scenery and views comparable to the balds at Carver's gap along the AT. From there, continue along to the crest of Unaka Mountain. The hike from Indian Grave Gap to Beauty Spot was fairly easy, with only a few areas of moderately steep ascent. Beauty Spot was quite crowded with hikers as well as those who had driven up. After that, the hike gets steeper and more challenging up to the Emerald Forest, an area of almost nothing but dark green, almost black spruce trees that I'm told is unique to this area. The Emerald Forest was incredibly still and quiet, and we didn't encounter anyone on the trail after Beauty Spot. The Emerald Forest is also accessible from a couple of side trials that come in from Unaka Mountain Road. One thing, the map appears to show the hike from Indian Grave Gap back down to Erwin, you would need to head the opposite direction to get to Beauty Spot, Unaka Mountain, and Iron Mountain if you keep going.
Indian Grave Gap to iron mountain is a great section hike of the AT. You go over unaka mountain and experience some great views along the way. There is a shelter about 1 mile from iron mountain that makes for a good spot to camp out to make this a nice overnight trip if you so desire.