Explore the most popular Camping trails in Southern Nantahala Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice trail and good view. The weather was different on the top of mountain than the lower part of the mountain, it was very cold, windy, rainy, when I got down to lower part, it looked nothing has happened. I totally enjoyed hiking this part.

Hiked this trail 5 years ago and loved it, so my son and I went last weekend (10/5/2019) for some bonding. We knew the weather forecast was crappy but decided to do it anyway. We basically hiked in a cloud both days so there were no views, but that's not the trails fault. The good news is that the temperatures had dropped. Normally I would not write a review, but I wanted to give a water update and talk about our experience doing the hike in only a day and a half. We have a 5 hour drive and he could not get off work to get there before dark on Friday and did not want to get home too late on Sunday, so our plan was to set ourselves up for a short hike on Sunday. We started our hike at 7:30am on Saturday going clockwise from the campground. There are water sources along the Long Branch trail, but since that is only the first two miles it's only helpful if you want to top off often. Normally I would have stopped for a long break at Albert but there was nothing to see, so we took a quick break and moved on. The last time I hiked this trail there was water everywhere and I only carried a liter at a time, but a lot of sources were very dry. so I carried two liters. This allowed me to easily make it to Betty Creek, where we stopped for a break and to load up on water. You have to go down the Betty Creek trail, but not too far and it's a good source. We had lunch at the Carter Gap shelter around 1:30 and since we were making good time we took a long break to rest and make some coffee. We were told that there was a good water source crossing the trail just before Beech Gap, which turned out to be true (you can't miss it). If the weather had been nice we would have continued to Standing Indian to see sunrise the next day as we still had several hours of daylight left. With nothing to see, tired old legs (I'll be 60 in a couple of months), and the prospect of a long uphill we decided to camp at Beech Gap. It was a good thing we had loaded up on water because the water source there was dry, which was sort of ironic because it rained on us all night. On Sunday we decided to take the shorter Lower Ridge trail back. Having gathered extra water the day before we had a liter and a half left after breakfast, which tuned out to be enough to get almost back to the campground before filtering more water. Even though this was my second time, the path through the campground back to the information center was still confusing. Two takeaways: 1.As of last weekend, you still needed to be aware of the water situation and plan accordingly. 2.This trail can be done in a day and a half by someone in reasonably good shape. In fact, I want to come back next summer when the days are a bit longer and try to do it as a day hike. I figure with a sub- 4 pound pack and more time for rest breaks it might not be much harder than what we did. .

We parked at the Standing Indian Backpacker's Information stand (a sign with little to no information) and got on the trail at 4:30 PM. We made it to Albert Mountain at 7:15 PM. 2 tents fit at the base of the fire tower and there was room nearby for another 3-4. The sunrise from Albert Mountain was amazing. The next day we set out for Carter Gap. The only water between Albert Mountain and Carter Gap was at Betty Creek. Carter Gap has a small stream nearby and ample camping space. On day 3 we went from Carter Gap to Standing Indian Mountain. The only water source was at Kilby Creek. Standing Indian Mountain has a campsite at the very top that we almost missed. It provided the best sunset I've ever seen. We woke up on day 4 and hiked out. All in all a great trip.

This trail offers an opportunity to experience the Appalachian trail without having to backtrack. Expect two to three days depending on your pace. [Counter clockwise] If you want to extend it about 30 miles park at Rock Gap and take Standing Indian road to Kimsey Creek Trail an on to the AT back to Rock Gap parking.

stock up on water at broad Creek, Betty Creek, and north side of Albert mountain. The trail is currently pretty dry. It is a beautiful hike. Enjoyed it alot

My husband and I did this hike with the Nantahala Hiking Club. It’s is a slow steady incline with some flat areas, shaded almost the whole way up, with some nice lookouts with lovely views as you get closer to the top. The trail is well marked and maintained, but with lots of tree roots and small rocks...definitely need to watch your steps most the way up. The view up top is just gorgeous and well worth the effort. I would rate the hike as moderate, though wouldn’t bring our dogs due to the rocky path.

8/30/19 - AT to Longbranch to Kimsey mileage is 25.9. Parked at Deep Gap and headed counter clockwise. No camping at deep gap due to environmental damage. Standing Indian AT shelter closed - bear activity. Only 3 full flowing water sources between deep gap and Albert mountain. 2 other workable sources. Camped 1st night on summit of standing Indian. Amazing sunset views. Next day hard 13.2 miles to mount Albert. Some sections of trail overgrown with tall wildflowers, hard to see roots, rocks etc on trail. Approach to Albert as hard as they say. Camped 2nd night at base of Albert fire tower. Bit crowded. More amazing views from tower. When leaving Albert plenty of water after mile 3. Long branch in good condition. At end of long branch when you get to road turn right and trail continues on left to right of information board. When you hit next road turn left, cross bridge and Kimsey creek trail on right. Kimsey is lovely trail. Muddy. Steep in sections. I lost the trail about 1:5 miles from end and followed forest road back to car. Feel free to ask me questions matt dot ward at live dot com.

Parked at the Backcountry Info Booth at Standing Indian Campground. Took Long Branch Loop to AT, and then on to Albert Mountain. The view from the fire tower is great! Going clockwise on this route let's you hike down the very rocky descent, rather than do a hard rock climb going up. A good number of hiker's were on the trail, but it was Labor Day weekend. Camped at Betty's Creek Gap, then on day 2 continued on the AT up to Standing Indian Mountain. Some very overgrown areas where you could barely see the trail under the tall weeds as you pushed through. But nothing too bad. On top of Standing Indian Mountain I was blessed with a very clear day -you could see forever. Wish I had camped on the mountain, but was running low on water and thought there might be a source at Standing Indian shelter, so I hiked down. There wasn't a water source at the shelter, but I spent the night there anyway. That's when my phone died, and so did my battery backup! So the map doesn't show that I hiked about a mile the next morning and caught Kimsey Creek Trail. It was really wet and only got wetter as I got closer to Standing Indian RV Campground. But the creek was beautiful the entire length of the trail, and the upside was that there was plenty of water for filtering! All told, great trip and great trail. Definitely recommend it and I will probably do it again sooner rather than later.

Wonderful hike and moderate is a good rating. The trail head at the Deep Gap parking lot is confusing. As you drive in take the Ap. Trail to the left and you are all set. Nice views on the way up with a thin layer in the forest floor so you have somewhat of an expansive view. The trail up is a steady climb just stay with it. There are some interesting burned out trees near the trail and lots of flowers. Enjoy!

good trail. I would rate trail as moderate. good view at the top. but one must look for the blue blaze and follow it for about 100 yards to get to small bald with good view

Great, well keep trial. Intermetiate with a few good inclines to break a sweat.

Great trail and experience. A little overgrown in spots, but overall a good time for beginners.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Definitely wouldn't say this is hard. Take AT north from the parking lot. We followed Maddie directions and found the overlook no problem. It's a little steep in some parts. Very rocky and rooty. The last section before the camping spots/overlook is very overgrown and full of more bees than I've ever seen. Just remained calm while walking through and they didn't bother us at all.

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

great hike. trails need some weed maintenance badly

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

great hike. needs trail maintenance bad. weeds over taking trails.

hiking
3 months ago

View worth the climb.

A good trail with many ups and downs. Bly Gap is a worthy destination with many campsites. No great views along the trail, mostly in the “green tunnel”. At plumorchard Gap there are two waters sources. The one in the direction of the shelter (east) is far better as there is a pvc pipe to concentrate the flow. The other is just a trickle.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Great loop trail. We started at backcountry parking area and hit the soft ascent to the Mt Albert Firetower. Great views, lots of water, and nice niche campsites. Saw lots of wildflowers and snails. Hike rounds the ridges 280 degrees from Mt Albert to Standing Indian (watch sunset if you can! Beautiful western views into Georgia). The last drop into Kimsey Creek is a terrific descent along the creek with streams converging every couple hundred yards.

One of my favorites. Great summit to watch the sunset!

Great little trail and very "Appalachiany". Trail is in great shape and well marked once you figure out which of the five to take from the parking lot. When you reach the summit (the app will only take you near the summit) find a poorly marked trail that goes another 100 yards or so to a rocky outcrop that will give you a great place to sit and enjoy 180-degree views of the valley below.

I loved Standing Indian. Beautiful views, the terrain changed several times giving you a lot of visual interest, and even though the ascent is pretty high, the switchbacks make it a breeze.

It's a nice hike. They cleaned up parts of the trail but more need to be done in the upper sections few down trees that we had to climb over. They replaced some of the boards on one of the bridges but it's still a little sketchy. I would definitely bring your trekking poles.

Deep gap opened April 1. I too tried to get there n February to no avail. I was there April 15. It was windy as hell. Left the parking lot at 9:20 and got to the top at 10:40. the 50-60 mph gusts at the top combined with the frosty temps we didn’t stay long. We were back at the car by noon. It was an easy gradual slope. The last half mile with the most difficult terrain but i definitely would not rate it hard. There is a shelter half way so don’t get excited and think ur near the top. If u like views there is only one good spot that looks west. There is no 360 degree view at the top. I’d definitely do it again. Ps there is a lot of deadfall so keep ur eyes and ears open

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