Bartram Trail: Jones Gap to Whiterock Mountain

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Nantahala National Forest

Bartram Trail: Jones Gap to Whiterock Mountain is a 7.4 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.4 km Elevation Gain: 287 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

snow

6 days ago

Great hike to make an easy day out of. A handful of great view spots to sit and enjoy. There were sporadic storms in the area so we sat at the top of Jones and watched them go by before heading over to Whiterock. The hike was fun, in the easy side, and full of different plants. Whiterock's views were breathtaking. And plenty of space to spread out away from others. While enjoying lunch, we took in the sights and sounds and at one point heard a pack of coyotes in the distance. Saw another couple bring a bottle of wine to the top and I definitely think that'll be our plan next trip. Hike was easy enough for our two small pups to manage but also decent workout. Definitely want to come back to camp on the Bartram trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike. The drive up was also very beautiful. 4 wheel drive isn’t necessary but always nice to have. The gravel road is nicely graded and maintained. The trail is spectacular. Loved the educational signs about the native vegetation. The view at White Rock was magnificent. We stayed and had a nice lunch soaking up the amazing view. Easy out and back

hiking
over grown
19 days ago

Beautiful view... would recommend 4 wheel drive to drive up to the trail head.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on April 29th out-&-back to Jones Knob for the panoramic view. Beautiful drive there was a bonus! Gravel road to trailhead is well maintained.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Great trail through woods to an amazing 360 view from white rock.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike. The more strenuous was the .6 jones knob, since it was a consistent incline. The 2 miles to the view of White Mountain was beautiful. The ridge trail was lined with Laurel and Rhodies in many places and there was a two day old blanket of snow. While sitting on the large granite slab at the top, three black hogs walked up behind us. Once we heard them and turned around to see them, we stood up and they left promptly. Careful if there is ice, especially up around the large exposed granite. Offering that advice based on a spill

hiking
5 months ago

We really appreciate the reviews about the ride up. Some of the pointers coming off Goldmine helped out a lot. We didn’t have a problem at all on those final 2 miles up. We have a Toyota 4runner TRD and this was exactly why we bought this type of truck. We hiked Christmas Day and We only ran into one family coming off Jones Gap and when we got back to the trailhead we were the only car in the lot. One thing to take note of is at the trailhead, the signs confused us a little bit. There wasn’t a sign that said Jones Gap or Whiterock so It took us a few minutes to figure it out. TAKE THE TRAIL TO THE RIGHT OF THE SIGN Once on the trail it was a perfectly marked trail and there was no way to get lost on it. The views were spectacular and well worth the hike. It wasn’t a strenuous hike but a few up hills did get the hamstrings and calf’s igniting The drive in from Bryson City was well worth the drive. It was a perfect Christmas Day. Our dog had a blast as well.

hiking
5 months ago

A little cold but stunning views..beautiful trail. definitely will be back

Great trail with a beautiful view

Go back in spring. Great wildflower labels.

Pleasantly surprised by this trail and the spectacular view at the end! Two mile drive to trailhead was a bit hairy but doable. Will definitely return!

hiking
8 months ago

The road leading to the trailhead is the hardest part about this trail. I made it up with a front wheel drive Nissan Rogue Select but I wouldn't recommend trying to get to the trailhead with anything smaller. The trail itself is beautiful and an easy hike. The overlook at Jones Knob is beautiful but the overlook at Whiterock is even better.

Great trail, well maintained, definitely in my top tier. Jones Knob, the first viewpoint is best. Whiterock Mt, make sure you go over the top to the bald and go down a bit past the trees--the view is amazing. Took us 2 1/2 hours with a lot of time at the top. Dirt road to trail head is a challenge- recommend high clearance vehicle. Our F150 did fine.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! The views are amazing. I would say (at least on the day we visited) that it is moderately visited. We saw many people while we were on the trail. By the time we completed our hike, the parking area was filled down the road.

Good trail. Beautiful views from White Rock.

9 months ago

Not much to add to the consensus that I see in the reviews here... good hike with nice views at Jones Knob and Whiterock Mtn. I like that it's a pretty remote section of trail... which leads me to - As some have pointed out, the most nerve wracking part of this is getting to the trailhead. We made it in a 2wheel drive suv but we came in from Goldmine road side, so I'd go with that (as someone else mentioned) - just don't miss the (right, from the Goldmine side) turn onto the final section up to the trailhead.

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

this is a great trail for wintertime hiking. I couldn't make it all the way to the top because there were too many large weeds crossing the path. otherwise it's a beautiful outing.

hiking
11 months ago

Great views. I have been coming to Highlands for years and had not done this trail until today. Can’t believe it took me so long.

hiking
11 months ago

We did this hike this past weekend. Tim Warren was actually at the trailhead finishing up some weed eating which meant no brush all the way to Jones Knob! Big thanks! It was a great hike and our first time there. The overlooks are awesome. You have to walk around a bit to find a couple of good spots so don't be afraid to look around. A word about the drive in: Reading some of the reviews concerned us about the turn off to the trail head from Dendy Orchard. That is not where the sketchy part is. If you come in on Turtle Pond Rd. (dirt) and then take Dendy Orchard left (which is paved) the pavement eventually ends and the first 100yds of gravel turns up a bit steep. There are some bumps from wash coming down but there are no deep washouts. Just be aware a car might have some difficulty here. About maybe 1/10th of a mile after you level out the turn to the trail head is on your left. That road was very well groomed, grated, and clear. If you come in on Goldmine Rd you'd probably be fine with any sedan.

hiking
Thu May 30 2019

Incredible views at both Jones Knob and Whiterock. Some parts of trail a little overgrown (some may prefer long pants). At both view spots, may want to leash dogs just before getting there. Steep drops from both areas. About 5 miles total round trip with the Jones Knob spur trail. Great hike!

hiking
Sun May 26 2019

Overall nice trail. The trail itself is pretty narrow and shaded for most of the trek. Little to no water but a few really nice views along the way. We had two dogs with us and they didn’t have a problem. A few inclines but overall pretty moderate. Would recommend for a short day hike.

hiking
Fri May 17 2019

This trail is for most everyone if you can get to the parking lot. We have an suv w/ all wheel drive and adjustable suspension so there was absolutely no problem. When Dendy Orchard Road becomes unpaved which means mud and a little gravel is the worst part. When you get to the gravel steep road that you turn left at when you see Bartram Trail Access sign on your left it is steep but had a lot of thick fresh gravel. When you turn up this road next to the sign you go 2 more miles up the mountain to the parking lot. I wouldn’t do this in a low sitting sedan but if you are careful, take your time and there is not a lot of other vehicles on the road you should be fine. It’s a little scary but overall safe. The hike is one of the best. Beautiful overlooks, lots of wildflowers and more butterflies than I can count. Feels like bear country but we didnt see any. We started late so did not make it to the end because we ran out of daylight. Absolutely will be back. If you only do the main trail with no side spurs then about 4+ miles. Add all the excursions in and you are talking around 7 miles. Skip Jones creek unless you just want a fun workout back up the mountain, otherwise nothing spectacular. We did bring a lunch or late afternoon snack and ate it on a rock overlooking a spectacular view. Not one person or vehicle seen the entire time up the road or on the trail. We will definitely be back! ❤️

Amazing view packed trip. No regrets. If you do not have 4 wheel drive do yourself a favor and look up the entrance through Goldmine road. You have no chance otherwise. So worth it!

Fri Mar 15 2019

We couldn’t get up the gravel road today. Would need a 4 wheel drive to navigate. It’s a great hike though if you can get there.

Great hike in winter. No crowds. Don’t do Fishhawk Mtn unless you are just wanting a total blowout. Will be back!

Sun Jan 06 2019

Great trail with amazing views! The trail starts you off on a ridge line. Take the first .3 mile spur for a fantastic view of Whiterock mtn. Once back on the main trail it will lead you through a tunnel of Rhododendron down to Whiterock gap. Keep on hiking for a big payoff. There will be a second .3 mile spur that leads you to an amazing lookout on the top of Whiterock mtn. We did this hike with 3 kids in January (no snow or ice at the time). It was not very difficult. Trail is well maintained and marked. Just drive a little further up the servoce road that Alltrails takes you. You will then see a sign on your right (Bartram Trail). Follow that road for 2 more miles and you will het to a parking area with a trail map. When facing the map take the trail access to your right. If you like big views without a lot of other people then this is the trail for you.

hiking
Tue Nov 13 2018

Absolutely awesome 5 miles with a first teaser view at Jones Knob, where you can see the cliffs of Whiterock Mtn. Then back down and onward, the trail is pretty level most of the way, then you come to a fork with the Bartram Trail and only .3 miles left to the top and cliffs of Whiterock Mtn. Make sure you go down to the end of the trail for the payoff. Take a picnic lunch. It's a great place for admiring the views. The trailhead has been corrected. Start at Jones Gap at the end of the gravel road at the small parking area and start uphill to the right. Highly recommended.

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

One of the best trails in the area. Spectacular view from Whiterock Mountain. Note that AllTrails has an error on where this trail starts - you need to follow the signs and park at the end of the gravel US Forest Service Rd where there is trailhead parking. The app shows the trail as part of this road and then has the trail bushwhacking up through the woods until it intersects the Bartram.

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