Appalachian Trail: Carvers Gap to US 19E

HARD 96 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Appalachian Trail: Carvers Gap to US 19E is a 13.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13.3 miles
2060 feet
Point to Point

dogs on leash




cross country skiing


nature trips

trail running




wild flowers




This trail is great for backpacking and normally would make an overnight backpacking trip. This hike begins at Carver's Gap parking lot. You can either take the AT trail at the Carver's Gap parking lot or walk up the road 2 miles to get to the parking area near Roan High Knob.

11 days ago

Awesome trip, shuttled up to carvers gap and hiked back to the hostel. plan 15-17 actual miles if you are going to explore, check out the red barn, etc. makes a great overnight.

22 days ago

Definitely an amazing trail. Well worth going to. It had beautiful sunsets and amazing view because there were very few trees. It was an amazing place to bring a drone or backpack. Just has ridges that go on for miles and allow for good areas to have camp and fire pits in the rocks while besides it in a tent on soft grasses. Awesome place.

30 days ago

I’ve hiked this section quite a few times and it never gets old. One of the most beautiful hikes in Eastern US in my opinion. Be prepared for any kind of weather.

1 month ago

Spent the night at the shelter and had some challenging weather on our hike out to 19. Harbor hostel folks took great care of us with a fairly priced shuttle back to carvers. Should have at least a couple overnighters in before attempting this one IMO.

2 months ago

Beautiful views , diversified terrain with some pretty strenuous climbs .... 50 mile an hour winds on one of the peaks .... significant downhill section near end ... if you are looking for a hostel / bar / food at the end of this section try The Station at 19E , they really take care of hikers .

4 months ago

The Sound of Music will be what you are thinking of when you get up on the balds. Spectacular! I hike a small section of this in the summer. Going back this fall to camp. Prepare to be WOW'D!

5 months ago

One of the more scenic hikes I have ever been on. We shuttled up from Mountain Harbor and hiked to Overmountain Shelter on day 1. We heard weather was going to move in the next day, so we hiked the remaining portion on Day 2. Not a bad hike on day 2, until you get to Doll Flats and then the remaining 3-4 miles is a pretty steep drop. We were glad to get out on Day 2, because the next day it snowed!! The views from the balds are well worth the hike.

6 months ago

Looking for information about this hike. I am planning a 2 night trip to make it a little easier. Can you camp anywhere of does it have to be at the shelters? Water sources? e-mail me please at

9 months ago

Loved this section! We hiked from carvers to Hump and camped there. Then continued on the next day down to 19e. There is a little place for 2 hammocks if your lucky and get there first! Sunset was amazing! Parked our car at Mountain Harbour and they shuttled us up.

9 months ago

We hiked to all 3 balds with our 10 & 15 yo. We were sunburned but other than that, awesome place, worth the sunburn, just have to wear a sunscreen next trip.

9 months ago

Simply stunning hike. It's about 15 miles from the trailhead to Mountain Harbour Hostel. They run a shuttle up to the trailhead for about 40 bucks. The hike is intense. The climbs are tough and the final descent is over very treacherous terrain. Regardless, it is 100% worth every bit of struggle. The views are unparalleled in the Eastern US.

You won't regret it.

9 months ago

View from the highlands are amazing. The little hump and big hump are challenging. Trails are well maintained, camp sites have water sources available. We hiked from carvers gap at 9:45am and arrived to camp at doll flats at 7pm. This is not a hike for the beginner so pack lightly with basic essentials. I was lucky to have someone in the group to carry my overloaded pack. I'm forever grateful!

9 months ago

started at carvers gap and hiked to Stan Murry shelter. Beautiful weather all day with some flame azalea and grays lily blooming. Will definitely be back in the future to hike again.

10 months ago

As with most trail reviews, a lot depends on the weather, your physical condition, and your mental condition. Unfortunately when we did this hike it had rained hard the previous night which made the trail very wet and muddy. And it was raining on and off all day that we hiked it. At the balds we were in the clouds so couldn't enjoy the sweeping vistas and when the sun was out we were in the woods making everything steamy and sticky. We had good insect repellant fortunately so the bugs didn't bother us. We started from 19E and hiked to Carvers Gap (left car at Carvers Gap the night before and it was fine), which meant we had a gross elevation gain of about 2500 ft. However, AllTrails pegged the gain at 4800+ ft. Quite the workout over 14.3 miles. First 5 miles pretty much straight up to Hump Mtn. Tough sections with mud and slick rocks. The trail over the Hump is very narrow, deep, and hidden by overgrown grass, which when combined with a muddy track made for a treacherous downhill trek. We had thought about making it to overmountain shelter for lunch but the side path to it leads down. Not what we wanted at that point in our hike since it meant an uphill return so we ate along the trail. Lots of flowers in bloom, which was a little surprising and some rhododendrons in bloom still too which made for a pretty hike since we couldn't enjoy the vistas. Last 3.7 miles from Stan Murray shelter to Carvers Gap in the rain, wind, fog, and mud. And of course mostly uphill. All in all, very tough hike without the rewards due to the weather.

11 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Camped on top of Hump Mountain with a few groups of friendly hikers and enjoyed an unbelievable sunset and sunrise from the peak. Challenging hike as well, great weekend backpacking trip!

11 months ago

ugh ... damn, hump and little hump... wow were they impressive, and quite the ass-kickers!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Parked at Mountain Harbor B&B/Hiker Hostel on HY 19E NC-TN line approximately 4hrs from Raleigh NC. shuttle up to carvers gap started at 10 am from there, at Jane's bald the trail goes left. there is water about 100 yards down from the split if you need it (piped) was setting up tent at the red barn by 2:30 about a 9 mile day . Awesome night with a bunch of good people to sit around camp fire with and good water source there. From the red barn to E19 is a tough hike but is the best part well worth it . You don't have to be a season hiker for this but will help if your in shape. I will do this again but will start at Iron Mt for a three day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

This is by far my favorite place to backpack. I have lost count of how many times I have hiked here! Beautiful views and well worth the elevation changes! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My first time Hiking- We got lost on the trail and couldn't find the shelter or springs and had to spend the night out in open with no food, water or shelter. Make sure to bring a MAP with you since the shelter is off trail a bit(we never found it). Views the next day were AMAZING-
Check out my video from this hike-

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Did an overnight starting at Carver's Gap. This trail had it all! Perfect for an overnight trip.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

One of the best trails I've ever done. Loved it from start to end. I wish I had 3 days to be on this trail. A lot of wildlife during Summer. Little Bald got down to 50 degrees during the middle of Summer with high winds. Mountain Harbor will let you park for $5 per night and $10 for lift to Carvers. 19E is right next to Mountain Harbor. Fyi, watch out for Grassy Ridge. It's a dead end, keep an eye out for the AT sign pole near Jane Bald.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Help! Lost a Rainbow Tarptent in the fist 1.5 miles of the climb up from Carvers Gap heading to 19E on Friday, 30 Sep at around 10:00-1130 a.m. Somehow the tent came off my pack.......its not marked with my name, address or phone number. If found I will pay for shipping to retrieve it (please text 423-598-8422, Randy). This hike has to be one of the prettier sections on the lower half of the AT. It's absolutely surreal up on top, indescribable!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Incredible gorgeous hike. At ~ 2 miles you can turn right and climb to the top of Grassy Ridge for a 360 degree panorama and a modest respite from the "Black Friday at Walmart" crowds down on the AT. Is there water near Grassy Ridge? This ancient rhyme gives a hint:

In ancient times ’twas story told,
From travelers who ventured to the dry crest
Of Grassy Ridge, whose autumn grass turns gold
And beckons the weary to lie down and rest.

A story of treasure to be found
In the reaches of this sun-bleached land,
A treasure hidden beneath the hallowed ground,
A balm to reward a waterless band.

For surely where the rhododendron blooms
In hues so vivid and intense,
There must be water coursing subterranean flumes
To support such life, but whence?

If the tales be true, then cross the peak,
And descend into the saddle next.
Then turn to your left hand cheek,
Breath deep and remain unvexed.

A brief foray downward from the gap
Will lead you to the aqua vitae free.
Drink deep, for few have from this tap,
Then count your blessings on bended knee.

Monday, August 29, 2016

This section is truely one of the best sections of the entire AT. Outstanding views and wildflowers dominate the senses on this moderate hike. Be aware of the weather up there. It changes in an instant.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

We camped at a site right at the AT and Overmountain shelter intersection the first night. Planned to camp at Bradley Gap the second night, but noticed the water source there was dry. Continued our hike up to Hump Mountain instead and then back to Overmountain shelter for the night and camped at the grassy overlook area where the water was reliable. Views are extremely beautiful and hiking through the balds felt surreal. Solitude is not something you will find here, but conversations with other backpackers were very nice. We had such a great time and even experienced our first AT "trail magic"! Thank you to the solo hiker who found my GoPro and all the other hikers who gave us leads on his whereabouts! What an adventure it was!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Absolutely stunning views. Stay on Hump Mt. if you can.

Monday, May 16, 2016

This section is amazing. It's exactly 15 miles. We completed the entire trail in 8 hours, used the shuttle service at Mountain Harbour. Bring a pump filter, plenty of springs. Buy the official AT guidebook if you need info on this trail.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hiking Carvers Gap to 19e in one day
April 18, 2016
This past Saturday, my roommate from college and I hiked the 15 mile section of the AT from Carvers Gap to 19e. If you are relatively active, you can do it in one day too! My roommate and I are 49 and 51 years old, with kids and we work full time. We don’t go to the gym, but I try to walk a few miles at least 2 days a week and she walks when she can….which is rarely.

Here’s what to do! Call ahead to Mountain Harbour B& B, and schedule a shuttle to take you back to Carvers Gap at 5:00 that afternoon, or whenever you think you might finish. We finished at 4:30, but scheduled a 5:00 shuttle back to our car. Cost is $40 a carload.

We started with one car at Carvers Gap at 6:30am Saturday morning, and got to enjoy a spectacular sunrise at 7:00 at the first summit, Round Bald. To say this event was the highlight of our hike that day is an understatement. It was an inspirational experience, proving God’s faithfulness of a new day, and it was evidence of the unsurpassing greatness of the Creator’s artistic hand.
Next, we headed over Jane Bald, then met a group of scouts waiting for their leaders at the junction to the Overmountain Shelter (aka The Barn), which is 5.5 miles from the trailhead. We were told that the previous night, there were about 40 people sleeping at the Barn. At this point, my stomach was growling. Time to find a place to eat! Just before the summit of Little Hump, we stopped at 11:30 for a delicious picnic at some nice boulders with a 360 degree view of the mountains surrounding us.

We climbed Little Hump Mountain, thinking to ourselves, surely this is Big Hump Mountain, because this thing is not little! But we discovered Big Hump once we got to the summit of Little Hump! MUCH bigger! It was awesome to view from below the little specks of people trekking up to the top, knowing we were going up next. My roommate Angie was simply amazed that we were doing this! It was a smooth hike, with few rocks or roots up to this point.

Coming down from Big Hump, we got into the forest again, and the trail down had the rocks and roots we typically have to navigate when hiking in the Smokies. We were glad we had chosen to travel north on the this section of the AT, because we thought if we had had to come up this section, we would not have wanted to go this far. It is roughly a 5.5 mile descent from the top of Hump Mountain to 19e, but there are a lot of switch backs and while I have 2 bad knees, they handled it fine with my Walmart knee braces on.

All along the hike, we saw these beautiful wildflowers that dotted the landscape like snow. We were told by some other hikers that they are called Spring Beauties. They were a highlight to our day.

At 19e, turn left for about a quarter mile, and the Mountain Harbour B&B will be on your right. They have a little general store there and a hostel that accommodates thru hikers. We were lucky to meet a few thru hikers while waiting for our ride back to our car at Carvers and talk to them about their hikes thus far. All of them had started at Springer Mountain in Georgia, and were headed to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. We were thrilled to share some of our extra goodies in our packs with them! Oranges were a big hit, next to the airline bottle size whiskeys we shared!
We were blessed with a beautiful day! Would not dream of doing it again without the sunrise. I also highly recommend taking along the map of the AT-Maps 1&2 of Tenn and NC . We both drank over 2.5 quarts of water that day + a coke!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We went over Easter and it was beautiful! not too many people out but we met a couple through hikers who were about a month in! My husband and I got the shuttle from Mountain Harbor Inn and made a weekend of it. it could have been a day hike but we wanted to take our time and really enjoyed Over mountain shelter (red barn)! there's a wonderful cafe in Newland that we visited Sunday morning called Kaye's Kitchen and it hit the spot! water sources were a bit dried up so maybe take some extra with you!

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