100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina
by Joe Miller (The Mountaineers Books)
© Joe Miller/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
7.21 miles from parking lot in an out-and-back trail that is a difficult hike. My wife and I took our two dogs, and climbed about 3200 feet from the parking area to the top and then back down. A steady average of 17% grade is what you can expect. The first half of the trail is steep, but not very technical. The second half to the top is very technical with many roots, rocks, and areas with treacherous footing. At mile 1.7 and 1.9, you will reach two overlooks that definitely make the trail one worth hiking (or just hiking to those overlooks and back to the car). Rare unobstructed overlooks make the brutal uphill and then downhill worthwhile. There is no water on the trail until mile 3.3, so bring plenty. The trail ends at Deep Gap, which is a nice place to have lunch, or you can continue on to two other peaks. The directions in the guide are spot on for finding the trailhead, but it was pretty easy to find as it will hold 2-3 cars. Yellow blazes are easy to follow, but there are no intersecting trails to distract you until you reach Deep Gap. Overall, we rated it a 4/5 because of the fairly brutal terrain for limited opportunities for good overlooks and lack of water. Definitely not a trail for the novice or those with young children. Consider bringing hiking poles. Would recommend at least 3 L water per person, with extra for dogs.
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