Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap

HARD 24 reviews

Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap is a 5.3 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.

5.3 miles
1961 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

trail running


horseback riding



wild flowers



no dogs

1 month ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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

4 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

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!!!

6 months ago

7 months ago

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.

9 months ago

11 months ago

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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

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 25, 2016

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!