Wesser Bald via Tellico Gap Nantahala National Forest, NC
miles
LENGTH 2.9 MILES
DIFFICULTY 5.8 Easy
Medium
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
760
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Wesser Bald via Tellico Gap

Rise above the trees for 360-degree views from Wesser Bald's fire tower on this beautiful section of the Appalachian Trail within the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. Not a difficult hike by any stretch but constant elevation gain nonetheless, any trouble you have up this trail will be well worth the effort. This is definitely one of the best views along the southern AT.

Several 2-car alcoves line the road at Tellico Gap underneath less than scenic power lines. The AT crosses Tellico Gap so make sure you're going the right way as there are no north or south markers. Look for the trail next to the road with the metal gate within one of the parking spaces.

Steadily climb at a 500 ft/mile rate as you make your way up to Wesser Bald. The trail is easy to follow with no side trails until the summit. Rocky and rooty like most of the AT, there are a few steeper drop offs along the way so watch kids and dogs.

Once you summit the mountain, a small view opens up directly in front of you. From here, the AT continues to the left, but instead, turn right down the short side trail to the Wesser Bald fire tower. Climb the narrow steps up to stunning views from above the trees. Bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy 360-degree views of the Nantahala National Forest.

Read More

Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.3 mi
14 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.5 mi
182 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.5 mi
300 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.2 mi
163 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
442 ft
137 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
Navigation
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead Begin by taking the AT northbound next to the road with the metal gate.
1.38 mi
1.38 mi - View, Then Turn Right When you summit Wesser Bald, a view opens directly in front of you. The AT continues to the left, but take the side trail to the right for the fire tower.
1.41 mi
1.41 mi - Wesser Bald Fire Tower
Details
length2.9 miles
difficulty5.8 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeWhite
elevation gain760 ft.
park/forestNantahala National Forest
ranger districtNantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.26821, -83.572332 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°16.09, W 83°34.34 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°16'06'', N 35°16'06'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.26821, -83.572332 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°16.09, W 83°34.34 most GPS units use this one
N 35°16'06'', N 35°16'06'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Coming from US-74 and Wayah Rd, the last mile is gravel road, but fine for low ground clearance vehicles. Coming from NC-28/Bryson City Rd, more is gravel but should be in the same condition. Both directions are closer to a single lane and get twisty, so take it slow on corners.
Parking Capacity
10-12 vehicles with overflow along road.
Notes
Rocky and rooty with a few steep drop offs along the way.
The steps up to the fire tower are steep and narrow. Take your time and use the handrail.
Nearby Hikes
Similar Hikes
Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-2 weeks ago
Epic Views
Some of the best views along the southern AT can be had at the top of Wesser Bald's fire tower. Epic views in all directions. For a short trail that's not too difficult, this should be on everyone's to-hike list.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Spring 2019
New Comment
Username   
Email
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
Username
Email
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.
Rating
Difficulty
Last Hiked
Review Title
Review   2000