Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Appalachian Trail: Indian Grave Gap to Chestoa

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(27)
Unaka Mountain Recreation Area

Appalachian Trail: Indian Grave Gap to Chestoa is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Unicoi, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.8 mi Elevation gain 639 ft Route type Point to Point

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

The hike begins at Indian Grave Gap, this is a great day hike or you may want to pitch a tent at Beauty Spot Gap or Unaka Mtn and turn this into a easy backpack. You'll ascend 1100' over the next 2.3 miles following the white blazes of the AT. Once you emerge from the new growth forest the AT empties into a open grass bald you will see a old fence bridge that once climbed over a barbed wire fence. Your blazes are now found on green fence post through the open terrain. There are 360-degree views here including Roan Mtn and Grandfather Mtn with Unaka Mtn straight ahead. There is a white blaze on a fence post to your right at the base of Beauty Spot Gap follow this back into the forest for your ascend to Unaka. This is the only strenuous part of the hike as you will dig over 1100' in just over 1.5 miles. The summit lies just ahead 1/2 mile past the rock outcrop. This is a great hike year round especially late summer when the blueberries are in bloom.

N/A

From Knoxville; I-40 East to I-81 then to I-26 Exit 57A(Johnson City) then to Exit 19( Main St) Erwin, left at stop sign, follow sign to 107. Turn right at stop sign 107W then left @ traffic light 395E (Rock Creek Rd) follow this road to TN/NC state line trailhead on left.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (27)
Photos (104)
Recordings (24)
Completed (107)
Jim Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Lots of climbs. Water is getting harder to find.

View Jim's Recording
Zeke Riddle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking

Hiked this route yesterday with a group and had a great time! The trail was in good shape - Nice day hike

Davis Harmon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 21 2019
Rocky

Description appears to describe the hike going NOBO from IGG, but IGG to Chestoa is south on the AT. Really a nice hike. some decent views to be had especially in cooler months. Curley maple is a nice shelter and there are several spots to camp scattered along the trail. We stayed about a mile south of CMGS right near the creek

Dan P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 02 2018

took this hike Saturday march 31 fantastic weather and very clear. it's a pretty strenuous hike hike but it was worth the effort and the views at beauty spot were Incredible. l will be doing this one again in the near future

Istvan Karsai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 23 2017
Hiking

If you go to the other direction (see my recording) you will see a very unique forest on the top of the mountain.

B Pittman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 03 2016

Beautiful views, enjoyed this section of the AT. Easy to find, clearly marked parking areas.

Christy Oaks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Mar 29 2016
Hiking

Beauty spot has become my favorite place for views. The first time I went we hiked because the service road is closed during the winter months. I'm probably not in the best shape but the hike was difficult for me, I had to make many rests, but in the end it was more than worth it! The views were breath taking and we made a new friend on the balds as well. Coming back down was a breeze.

Robert Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 17 2016
Hiking

Great challenging hike. It was foggy the entire way. I hoped there was a survey marker at the top since there were no views but I didn't find one. There was a very green pine area at the top. Views at Beauty Spot are normally spectacular but it was foggy today. Once I reached the top a cold front came in that left frost and a lot of weeds and twigs which made for some awesome pics on the way back to the car.

Miriam S F.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 01 2015
Hiking

Gorgeous hike with the light snow on the trail! Ice on the laurel and rhododendron made for fantasy type décor. The Beauty Spot was just that beautiful. I'm a novice hiker but I conquered the Unaka Mountain.

Billy Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 26 2015

Beauty Spot along this hike is one of my favorite places in the area, with scenery and views comparable to the balds at Carver's gap along the AT. From there, continue along to the crest of Unaka Mountain. The hike from Indian Grave Gap to Beauty Spot was fairly easy, with only a few areas of moderately steep ascent. Beauty Spot was quite crowded with hikers as well as those who had driven up. After that, the hike gets steeper and more challenging up to the Emerald Forest, an area of almost nothing but dark green, almost black spruce trees that I'm told is unique to this area. The Emerald Forest was incredibly still and quiet, and we didn't encounter anyone on the trail after Beauty Spot. The Emerald Forest is also accessible from a couple of side trials that come in from Unaka Mountain Road. One thing, the map appears to show the hike from Indian Grave Gap back down to Erwin, you would need to head the opposite direction to get to Beauty Spot, Unaka Mountain, and Iron Mountain if you keep going.

justin montgomery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 02 2015

Indian Grave Gap to iron mountain is a great section hike of the AT. You go over unaka mountain and experience some great views along the way. There is a shelter about 1 mile from iron mountain that makes for a good spot to camp out to make this a nice overnight trip if you so desire.

robert Shelton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking
View robert's Recording
Oscar Rueff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 26 2020
Hiking
View Oscar's Recording
Hanna Sydorova
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu May 07 2020
Hiking
View Hanna's Recording
David Lowery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 27 2020
Hiking
View David's Recording
Wyatt H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 15 2020
Hiking
View Wyatt's Recording
Anna Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 16 2019
Walking
View Anna's Recording
Ricky Bobby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Nov 28 2019
Hiking
View Ricky's Recording
Karen Tipton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 12 2019
Hiking
View Karen's Recording
Mason Yates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 28 2019
Hiking
View Mason 's Recording
Teresa Hicks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 26 2019
Hiking
View Teresa's Recording
Sheila McNabb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jan 01 2019
Hiking
View Sheila's Recording
Istvan Karsai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 03 2018
Hiking
View Istvan's Recording
Eddie Berry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 29 2017
Hiking
View Eddie's Recording
Matt Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 28 2017
Eric Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 25 2017
Hiking
Jennifer Commons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Sep 06 2016