Appalachian Trail: Carver's Gap to Yellow Mountain Gap

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Cherokee National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Carver's Gap to Yellow Mountain Gap is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Roan Mountain, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,477 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The trail is marked with the AT white blaze and easy to follow. Begin at Carver's Gap and climb Round Bald. Descend into Engine Gap and then climb Jane Bald. After descending Jane Bald the AT turns left, there is a .5 mile side trail here to the summit of Grassy Ridge. Continue on the AT through the forest, there will be some switch backs, and the Stan Murray shelter will be reached at 3.7 miles. Continue down into Yellow Mountain Gap where the AT intersects with the Overmountain Victory Trail. Take the Overmountain Victory Trail to the right and you will arrive at The Overmountain Shelter in 0.3 miles. Once you're at the shelter you can stay the night or enjoy the hike back out to the trail head!

hiking
18 days ago

Favorite hike year round- beautiful views, great sunrise spot, great for dogs

hiking
muddy
snow
22 days ago

A beautiful trail. Was not expecting it to be as cold as it was (about 35 degrees in May) Steep in some places but overall not a tough hike. Encountered some wild boars along the trail, make sure to always be aware of your surroundings!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike in the snow today! I would definitely rate this on the difficult end of the scale when hiking it after a good snowfall and with temperatures in the single digits. Shouldn’t be as hard during spring, summer, or fall. One of my all time favorites because of the aforementioned snowfall and ice!

hiking
icy
muddy
6 months ago

Great hike with amazing views. Route is more accurate at 12 miles based on my recording. Started at Carvers Gap to Over Mountain Shelter and back. Some iced over spots and muddy areas. Trekking poles are very helpful for those areas. Ran across a couple deer which was really fun. They let us get surprising close. Over Mountain Shelter is now closed so you cannot go inside. We sat on the steps and had our lunch before returning. This is a challenging hike but well worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

it was awesome

backpacking
rocky
8 months ago

We did this trail in reverse starting at the Over Mountain shelter trail head and discovered the shelter was closed for repairs. Made our way all uphill to the Stan Murray shelter and camped out one night. The spring is dryed up at the shelter and had to hike about 30 minutes south to the next spring. Hiked from Stan Murray shelter up to Grassy Ridge Bald for the day. Was beautiful to see the Balds with clear skies. Lots of other hikers and backpackers. This was a good hike to get too and hang out on top. Look forward to one day starting at Carvers Gap and seeing the other Balds up close. Would recommend this trail. Very busy though.

backpacking
8 months ago

Great overnight hike. The barn is closed as of 9/9/2019, sign says it will reopen in two years, Sept. 2021. Plenty of tent and hammock space around it though. It was 90+ degrees when I left Nashville and 48 degrees at Carvers Gap! Mid 30's at the Barn that night. Great break from the heat for a few days. The stream at Stan Murray Shelter was dry. Overmountain Shelter had a great water supply. I planned on staying at one of the beautiful camp sites on top of Round Bald night two. Unfortunately, these three sites are only a half mile from parking lot and they have been trashed by day hikers. Someone actually managed to haul a WWII style trunk full of junk up there; broken beer bottles and food trash everywhere. Other two sites had toilet paper (in the site area) and food trash (great way to meet Mr. Bear!). I went on back to my truck and came home a day early.

hiking
8 months ago

gorgeous views!!!!

hiking
10 months ago

The best time to do this trail is in the dead of winter with lots of snow on the ground and temperatures below 10 degrees. No crowds.

hiking
10 months ago

Do this. Ya'll welcome.

hiking
11 months ago

I love this scenic trail! Great place for photos and the variety of plants is amazing! When you enter the woods it reminds me of a scene from Lord of the Rings! A great place to cool off before you emerge to long range views for miles on a clear day!

hiking
Thu May 30 2019

This trail is so pretty. I started hiking at 6am and when I was done at 1230 I had done 9.5 miles. I did it in Chacos or I would have been able to do much more in that time. The views are amazing! Some idiot had a drone at the trail head when I returned, they were made aware of how annoying it was.

Mon May 27 2019

Great trail! The balds have gorgeous views. Several campsites and a small shelter before you get to the overmountain shelter. Went Memorial Day weekend. Perfect weather- lots of hikers on the trail. The shelter looks like an old barn with a hay loft, and has a good bit of space above and below, including a picnic table in the space below. Open field held more than 53 tents when we were there- this is a very popular place! Took us 3 1/2 hours pretty steady hiking in with packs- one short break, and 4 1/2 hrs back at a more leisurely pace. Rhododendrons were just starting to bloom. Highly recommend!

blowdown
over grown
Sat Jan 05 2019

I kill lols get da XX DC c CFC by ca ted day

This is one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in my life. Walking along the top of the balds is like something out of a movie.

Sat Aug 18 2018

Description of this trail is a bit misleading. I was expecting it to be 10 miles round trip but it is actually 6.6 miles one way from Carver's Gap to the Stan Murray shelter. Went a little ways past that shelter before realizing we had definitely gone more than 5 miles and had to turn around. Never made it to the Overmountain shelter but it was almost all uphill on the way back and we were so exhausted we barely made it. Even so, we loved the views on the balds and the forest is also beautiful so once I have built up enough stamina for such a long hike I want to go back and do the whole 22 miles.

hiking
Fri Aug 03 2018

I did this hike in October with my dog. it was in the 40's and very windy, there was still a little ice on higher elevations so I'm glad I had his boots to tgo on him. It's one of the best hikes I've done as far as scenic views and lesser difficulty. It can get crowded with other day hikers but be selective in the day of week you go and that will help. I loved this hike and will do it again, with my dog of course. only 4 stars because of the number of day hikers.

backpacking
Sat Jul 21 2018

The trail markings were excellent and so was trail condition (some thinning was needed and was being done). We went out in the fog, we hit all the balds, but visibility was next to nothing. Not the hikes fault, all Mother Nature. We started at Carvers Gap and went to Yellow Mountain Gap (the barn camping area). We tented in the field with a few other hikers. Best tent area I have been to in a while. Water was nearby, but don’t forget your filter, you have to get it out of a creek. The hike out the next day was spectacular! Very little clouds. We even crossed paths with a very large and curious black bear.

backpacking
Tue Jun 26 2018

one of the most beautiful backpacking trips ever!

hiking
Sun Jun 24 2018

Great 360 degree views from the balds. Three unique surroundings- balds, thick wooded areas, and old forest.

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