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Hello! I'm looking to hike/camp on this trail soon and was wondering if it's necessary to have a bear canister? I currently don't own one, so if you know of a place close by that you can rent one, that would also be helpful!

thank you!
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hiked this trail at 730am and it was beautiful and peaceful. The only strenuous part was the stairs coming back up from the falls, very rocky.

Loved this section of the AT! So beautiful. Took my girls (age 7 & 10) backpacking for the weekend and this was great for them as well. They are pretty tough kiddos and did great. We stayed at the Mountain Harbour B&B, and after an awesome, huge breakfast, we were shuttled to Carvers Gap and started our hike back to 19E. Big Bald was intense but we loved every minute of it. This is defiantly a section I would love to repeat.

As others have said, you have to cross under hwy 26 and follow the markers up the hill toward the cemetery, the trail is on the left hand side of the road as you walk up. About 3/4 of the way into the trail there is a sign that says “high rock” - this is the only look out/view available on this hike.

this is a fantastic trail with views to compete with some of the best. difficult but well worth it

Highly recommend. Beautiful 360 degree views. Areas of open fields with wildflowers. Areas for camping/shelter and water sources. Would make for a great hike in, overnight stay. It rained on us all day which made for some very wet terrain. Even areas of standing water. Difficult at times but never a regret.

beautiful, even when it's a torrential downpour.

This hike will make you feel alive again!!

One of the best backpacking trips I’ve done. We chose the campsite on the top of Big Hump, and although it got super windy at one point and we were clouded in most of the time that night, we woke up in the morning to clear skies and a spectacular view of the mountains in every direction, and it was so worth the trek up there.

My first time backpacking with my ASU class and had a great experience! And the sunset from the top of the little hump was so beautiful!

Beautiful views and very worth it. There were too many babies when I went. Do not take babies passed the first bald. It becomes much more strenuous and easier to slip. Also the change in elevation will make them cry

This is a pretty extensive hike. It should actually be placed in the hard column. Especially if you start on the Watauga Dam side. If you do this point to point start on the Hwy 91 side. Did see a bear and a cub so beware.

Great hike and amazing views. We actually went farther then the Grassy Ridge spot. Trail goes about a mile farther then dead ends.

Heads up: the map here actually shows the trail that goes from Sam’s knob to big bald. To hike to hogback Ridge shelter you actually go under I 26 and then up a big hill to the left following the white marked signs. I did not do it correctly and took the uphill portion toward big bald. I was not disappointed however as you come out along a long ridge with awesome views. The hike to get there was completely shaded on a well-maintained trail. Beautiful day!

This trail has great potential for views and camping... but it is crowded which made this trail less enjoyable. As mentioned there are 3 Balds on this trail. Most of the load and obnoxious people stop after the first one, but a few continue on. It’s enough to ruin a hike.

The views are amazing though. It was pretty foggy on my hike but dissipated enough for me to catch a glimpse of the beautiful views .

This trail is not difficult, and that is why it stays very crowded .

A nice walk in the woods. The overnight rain left the rocky descent to the falls a little slippery. Overall, a good out and back trail making the falls very accessible. I was concerned that the warning signs about swimming near the falls had been removed. As a local, I am all too familiar with the drownings that have occurred here and this review is more to caution users of the trail to this fact than to add to what others have said.

I just hiked this trail all the way to the N.O.C. Did it in two days my first time hiking any off the Appalachian trail. It was amazing

This is a lovely trail - minimal roots/rocks and mostly shaded so a good hike for hot days. We just finished! That said, the hike shown on this map actually goes away from the Hogback Shelter towards . To reach the shelter you would cross back under Hwy 26 (watch for the white trail markers) and continue up and to the left. I felt I was going the wrong way and yet I was following the trail outlined on my map as shown. It was actually going towards Big Bald. That said, a day on the trail is always worthwhile - even when it's not exactly what you had planned!

Great balds with fantastic views. The most beautiful place I have been so far.

Absolutely beautiful! Will repeat again soon.

My wife and I hiked this today and absolutely loved it. Our hike was actually a little over 6 miles, but the views were sooooo worth it. GREAT HIKE!!! Will repeat in fall.

Busy on a summer Saturday.

I hiked most of this section back in April '16. Parked my car in Hot Springs NC and got dropped off at I-40 Waterville exit to pick up the AT. It was a late start, but made it to the Patch right at sundown. Just before crossing the road for the ascent to the top, there was a friendly sort parked with a hospitality cooler full of beer and soda for any hikers passing through. I took him up on a very unexpected but welcome IPA. It was Saturday, so the place was full of campers as well as thru hikers staying the night. It was like being in college again....only this time, I was that geezer laying low to rest up for the longer section to Hot Springs. If you make it in early enough, or if its not a weekend, there's a great camping area just into the woods on the north-bound side of the bald.

Absolutely beautiful hike but it POURED on us!! And it rained for a good 45 minutes. If you are lucky enough to not hit rain, definitely go for it!

Best hike I've ever done in 40 plus years of being alive.
Time this hike around rhododendron and azalea season in mid June and you'll say the same thing. From the start at Carver's Gap, the AT wastes little time in the WOW factor as the trail ascends the incredible Round Bald which is a haven for Catawba Rhodo's and azaleas. After a brief dip at Engine Gap, the AT ascends the smaller ,but equally beautiful Jane Bald. By the time you reach Grassy Ridge Bald your senses will be in overdrive.

After a section through wooded areas, the AT comes near the Overmountain Shelter, which is a must to check out, then a steep ascent Yellow Mountain, and then the grand finale-the awesome ascent up Little Hump and Big Hump mountains. Both are vast balds that have awesome, grand views from the top. The AT, after the Humps, descends the Roans down to Doll Flats through a knee shredder of steep rock steps and rooty surfaces.

It's just an epic hike that we plan on doing every June, and probably October. Wonderful views of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain and countless other peaks and ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We did it twice. First day was gorgeous. Today was cool and rainy! Take rain coats or wind breakers because the weather is not always predictable! Great hike.

Very nice out and back trail.

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