Scaly Mountain via Hickory Knut Trail Nantahala National Forest, NC
miles
LENGTH 3.3 MILES
DIFFICULTY 3.9 Easy
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
590
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Scaly Mountain via Hickory Knut Trail

Explore multiple views as you hike to the summit of Scaly Mountain in the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina. At just over 3 miles and with significantly less elevation gain than other routes, this is the easy way up to amazing views. This is a great hike for the whole family.

To summit Scaly Mountain, you can take the Bartram via Osage Overlook, but the easier route is from Hickory Knut Gap Road (Google lists as Hickory Nut Rd). This route walks along a gravel road for .3 miles, then splits to the right and continues along a blue-blazed trail that intersects the Bartram at 1.1 miles. The sign at the trailhead says Hickory Knut Trail, but Trails Illustrated calls the section from the cell tower road to the Bartram the Scaly Mountain Trail.

Along the way, a few winter views peak out, but nothing spectacular. Much of the trail after the gravel road is comprised of rhododendron tunnels. When you hit the yellow-blazed Bartram Trail, turn right. A posted sign for Scaly Mountain leads the way.

Near the top, a side trail splits to the left, reconnecting immediatly after. At 1.5 miles, a side trail to the left does the same, but with a great view of Rabun Bald to the south. Another to the right shortly after afford a view. This is near the actual summit, but continue on. At just over 1.6 miles you'll see a side trail on the left to a wide open view along a large section of bare rock. If you start going downhill, you missed it. With almost 180° views to the southwest, this short hike is definitely worth the effort.

In winter, ice can make the bare rock sections of this trail a bit treacherous. Hiking poles are recommended, or maybe a sled.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.9 mi
78 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.4 mi
158 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.3 mi
193 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.2 mi
131 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
230 ft
52 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length3.3 miles
difficulty3.9 Easy
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeBlue (Hickory Knut), Yellow (Bartram)
elevation gain590 ft.
park/forestNantahala National Forest
ranger districtNantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.039514, -83.26977 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°2.37, W 83°16.19 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°2'22'', N 35°2'22'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.039514, -83.26977 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°2.37, W 83°16.19 most GPS units use this one
N 35°2'22'', N 35°2'22'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Google lists the the road name as Hickory Nut Rd, but road signs list it as Hickory Knut Gap Road. Look for the Bartram Trail sign. Parking is on the right and the trail begins behind the gate along the gravel road to the left.
Parking Capacity
5-6 vehicles.
Notes
The bare rock sections can be very slick when wet so take your time. This is especially true in winter when covered in ice.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-3 weeks ago
Easy Hike that Brings the Views
Great easy hike. Views are fantastic. Multiple views with final one a 180-degree view at an open rock face.
Easy | Hiked Winter 2019
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