Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald via Appalachian Trail

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Franklin, North Carolina

Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald via Appalachian Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franklin, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,994 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
5 days ago

Great easy trail. The elevation gain is very gradual and the trail is well maintained and clearly marked. It was a fun fast out and back. The views at the top are amazing! The only people we saw were 2 trail runners, great peace and quiet. Shame on the last people who camped at Siler Bald. We packed out your trash

hiking
11 days ago

Fun hike from Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald and onward to Wayah Road. My daughter and I staged cars at the start and end. Moderate elevation gain from Murphy Highway past Panther Gap. Gradually increased to fairly steep and straight up for the last .3 off the AT to the top of the Bald. The last 2.5 miles from the Bald to Wayah Road was a gradual downhill that we sped through. Approximately 6.5 miles in total with about a 3 hour hike time. We are in fair to decent condition. Most avid hikers will enjoy the views and the trail. Great places to camp while backpacking. This would not be the best choice in my opinion for a first hiking trip for most people. Traveling north from Wayah Road to the Wayah Bald fire tower is a hard 2+ mile climb. A public toilet is at the top and the next shelter is not far beyond the fire tower. Definitely doable from Murphy Highway in 5-6 hours for those in good hiking condition. Parking wasn't a problem at either end. We parked at the Wayah Crest trailhead which is a gravel road just past the turnoff for the Wayah Bald fire tower on the left coming from Franklin direction. It is not well marked. If you go more than .2 mile past the fire tower turnoff, you have gone too far. Most people will go up and down from one direction but we enjoyed the straight through. It took and extra 40 minutes to stage cars. Happy trails.

Elevation gain is gradual. Trail conditions are great so the miles fly. Awesome view from the top. Good look off from Panther gap 2 miles in as well.

hiking
1 month ago

Damn good day hike. Give yourself 4-6 hours depending on your condition. The view at the top is worth the effort

Great trail! Clearly marked, a really solid climb heading up (be careful if you’re not used to big elevation climbs), and absolutely stunning views at the top.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful trail with plenty of views, and worth every bit. The view at Siler Bald was spectacular. I was there when it was covered with snow and temps in the 40s and couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Awesome trail on the AT, some mud and snow but nothing too bad and probably from all the snow the night before. Rest of the trail was in great shape and provided awesome views of the surrounding mountains. This section of hiking wasn’t too difficult, but is a workout going up so if you’re looking for a real hard hike this trail is not it. Very fun tho!

3 months ago

Great hike or a run. Give it a couple of weeks, and the AT thru hikers will be coming.

hiking
icy
muddy
4 months ago

Seems like a very good trail. Started too late but did about 30 minutes up until I ran into a downed tree over the trail. I’ll start early and on a day when it’s not 25• and icy. First time out on the AT. I look forward to getting to the summit!

hiking
4 months ago

A cold, windy, wet morning tested my tolerance for bad weather. But a great trail to view the App mountains and a fantastic finish...Siler mtn. was a "stairway to heaven" in the clouds. Several hills to climb but great switch-backs. A challenging and fun hike. Highly recommend.

hiking
4 months ago

Lovely walk, went on a warm day in December with my mom (50), brother (25), and dog. The beginning and end are the steepest parts, but not too bad. I would say it’s moderate. Started drizzling in the middle of the hike and it was beautiful!

backpacking
6 months ago

good hike. not very scenic on the way up. top is beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Made it into an overnight trip and enjoyed the 360 views at the summit. Beautiful sunrise and sunset up there! We lucked into having the summit to ourselves, but it wouldn't have been quite as enjoyable/peaceful if there had there been other people up there. So if you're hoping for a summit stay, cross your fingers that you're the only one!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, plenty of water along the trail.

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

Great trail, views at the Summit were amazing - keep going, don't give up!!!

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

overall great hike! uphill out of the gate but tolerable. Met a couple of fellow hikers at the marker, assumed they were father and daughter and had them pose for an awkward picture. Great 360 views at the top! Cruised down pretty quick with only a few slips and trips. 2hrs in 1.5hrs out. Base of the summit was the kicker! But totally worth it at the top.

Full review shortly. Trail is clear from fallen trees. Fantastic trail conditions.

hiking
bugs
muddy
9 months ago

Great hike back down today will not be backing water in next trip and deff bring an extra pair of shoes. over love it for your first hike on the AT.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

trail is great downed tree at about 1/2 mile in hard to get around had to go threw the tree ..lost my glass if you see them tell them I said HI ! weather has been amazing rain has held out all day. Enjoyed hike deff challenge but well worth it for our first time on the AT. no sing for the sumit. when you see the sign for shelter the summit is to you left.

hiking
9 months ago

I actually went from a further location along the AT: Rock Gap, which ended up being around 18-20 miles round trip out and back. It was my first overnight hike alone, I experienced a thunderstorm! Pretty crazy. Here are recaps: https://youtu.be/WN58up73AgY https://youtu.be/HACTJqdTObE https://youtu.be/ut2aluYQd6o The top of Siler Bald was absolutely gorgeous, but I found the rest of the hike a little boring, very "woodsy" same same everywhere.

hiking
Thu May 16 2019

Moderate hike but not too bad. The last section up to Siler’s bald might be a little intense if you didn’t pace yourself. We parked on the lot across the road since parking near the trail is limited. You’ll have to cross over the road and go up the gravel road. You’ll follow the gravel and the trail entrance will be on the right (you’ll see the white markings for the AT). We didn’t make a stop at the Siler Bald Shelter but you can just get back on track from there. Once you get closer to the top you’ll run into an open field, and you’ll want to go up the steep hill to the left in the field to get to Siler Bald (there’s no signage pointing you in that direction). You’ll pass a campsite on the way up the hill and at the top there will be another campsite and granite marker for Siler Bald. There were a few creek crossings and some spots did have a little mud but not bad at all. It took us 3ish hours going up and we stopped a few times, it’s much quicker going down. Happy trails!

Sun Apr 07 2019

great trail.

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