Albert Mountain Nantahala National Forest, NC
There And
Back Again
Albert Mountain

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

Short and steep, this 1-mile round trip hike summits Albert Mountain in the Nantahala National Forest and scores epic views in all directions from the fire lookout tower at the top. Great for families with smaller children or those that don't want a long hike, this is one of the best effort vs. payoff hikes around.

From the parking area at the end of the road, head around the metal gate and down the wide blue-blazed trail. This connector trail is flat and easy. Pass a smaller side trail on the left before you connect to the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Turn right to head southbound. From here the hike gains elevation fast, taking you straight up to the summit. Watch for rocks and roots.

As you approach the summit you'll see the fire tower peaking out from above the trees. While the top section is closed, you can climb the tower to just below the platform. From here you'll get long range views in all directions. If you're not good with heights, there's still a view at the base of the tower. If you're looking for something with more difficulty, check out Albert Mountain via Mooney Gap.

Read More

Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.3 mi
18 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
360 ft
23 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
157 ft
18 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
238 ft
41 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.1 mi
143 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead Take the wide, blue-blazed path behind the metal gate.
0.28 mi
0.28 mi - Turn Right Turn right on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, heading southbound toward the summit.
0.48 mi
0.48 mi - Summit Albert Mountain summit and fire tower.
length1 mile
difficulty2.4 Easy
duration1 hour
features Dog Friendly  History  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeBlue (Albert Mtn Connector), White (AT)
elevation gain210 ft.
park/forestNantahala National Forest
ranger districtNantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.052604, -83.480219 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°3.16, W 83°28.81 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°3'09'', N 35°3'09'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.052604, -83.480219 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°3.16, W 83°28.81 most GPS units use this one
N 35°3'09'', N 35°3'09'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
From the US-64 side you will have to cross a concrete slab ford. I was able to make it in a sedan but after heavy rain a 4WD vehicle may be necessary. The Forest Service roads in general are fine for 2WD low ground clearance vehicles but coming from the US-23 side may be a little rougher as it is steeper and can get washed out.
Parking Capacity
8-10 vehicles at the trailhead, overflow down the side of the road.
A bit rocky and rooty on the final ascent along the Appalachian Trail, but not too bad.
Nearby Hikes
Similar Hikes
Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-1 year ago
One of the Best Views Around
You really can't beat the views for such a short hike. Steep at the end but the 360-degree views from atop the fire tower at the summit are amazing. This is a must hike.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2019
New Comment
Email will only be used to send a verification link for first time use with this username and to authenticate the username for further reviews/comments.
Comments   2000
New Review
Email will only be used to send a verification link for first time use with this username and to authenticate the username for further reviews/comments.
Last Hiked
Review Title
Review   2000