Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap

HARD 35 reviews

Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cosby, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.1 miles
1,935 feet
Out & Back




horseback riding

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



no dogs

It is definitely worth the trip! The most beautiful view on the top!
Remember a worm shirt for the top, then you can enjoy the view a bit more!

6 months ago

I loved this hike, the challenge of it, and the views! I would definitely recommend ♥

7 months ago

You earn this one! Climb about 2.5 miles to get to fire tower. Views great of course.

8 months ago

This trail is a little difficult but take it easy and the view from the tower is unbelievable!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Steady incline the whole way but it's over before you know it. Cool trail in winter and summer, but only go when there's a clear sky or you will be very disappointed putting in the effort for a foggy views. Tower is creaky, but stable and the view is incredible! Campsite at the top, but you need a permit.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Challenging but once you reach the top....WOW

Friday, May 05, 2017

Tough hike, but gorgeous! The fire tower is very wobbly and a bit terrifying to climb if you're afraid of heights. Climb it anyway though! The views are outstanding!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

It's best you brace yourself for this climb. I went with a group in early March 2017, and we were all extremely winded and sore after. The view at the top was well worth it though.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hiked on 10-29-16. This was a great short hike, moderate not difficult. Fall colors at there peak on a beautiful day. I would recommend clear day for this hike because the views are spectacular from the tower, yes you have to climb it to see them. Steady constant climb but never extreme. Road condition to trailhead is gravel but good.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tough trail; all uphill yet if you want to get to the fire tower this is a great option over the Baxter creek trail length. No water though at top you must go .4 past the fire tower to water. Fire tower views are breathtaking on a clear day. Going back down use caution on rocks; roots. Trail also used by horses and Mtn bikes. Pace yourself going up if u aren't a seasoned hiker; you don't want to run out of steam before you get to the top.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Definitely one of (if not the) toughest short hikes in the Smokies. Although it's only 5.4 miles round-trip, it is extremely steep, with few breaks until you reach the top. On the plus side, if you can do this then you're ready to tackle some of the more advanced hikes in the park (Charlie's Bunion, Rich Mountain, et al). Also, the views from the fire tower are spectacular! Having hiked up to Shuckstack as well, I would say the views from Shuckstack are a little prettier because of Fontana, but the Sterling fire tower is less rickety and in slightly better shape

Couple of things to note. One, the road leading to the trailhead is a rough gravel road, so be careful. Second, try to go either in the morning or late afternoon in the summer, since much of the trail is exposed to the elements

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pretty hike. Uphill. Pack and dress appropriately! Rewarding hike for sure. Good for trail running.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Beautiful hike! Uphill the entire way, downhill back with a rocky terrain. Wear your best shoes and take your time, youll feel amazing after this hike!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Starts out pretty standard but becomes gorgeous about .8mi in. Views from fire tower are spectacular. Would love to incorporate the fire tower area into a backpacking trip.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

This trail was out of the way for us and involved a long drive up a narrow, rocky road on the side of the mountain - but it was totally worth it! Trail is a little difficult, especially if you are not experienced. It's also a little bland in scenery at first but just wait and it gets so much more beautiful! View from fire tower is amazing if you can summon the courage to climb up! There's also a small campsite near the area where you can tie up your horses that we stopped to eat lunch at. Awesome day and awesome trail. So worth it.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

This was a beautiful trail. It is rated moderate but it is demanding in places. Lots of elevation gain. We saw a lot of flowers and wildlife.

2 months ago

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

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