Roan Mountain

Bakersville, North Carolina 28705

Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Roan Mountain has two major summits, both just under 6,290 feet, but the massive ridge that extends to the northeast comprises a massif known as the Roan Highlands. Roan Mountain State Park, just below the peak, is a wonderful resource for hikers. The park has a tent/RV campground, rustic cabins, a pool, picnic sites, and natural history programming that culminates during the rhododendron festival and spring and fall naturalists’ rallies.

Through the 1980s the park maintained a cross-country ski center that eventually closed. Nevertheless, Roan averages about 120 inches of annual snowfall and easily offers the Deep South’s best cross-country skiing and snow camping (hikers, and snowshoers, please don’t walk in ski tracks). With an eye on the weather, it isn’t difficult to go cross-country skiing in Dixie. This guide includes Rhododendron Gardens National Recreation Trail and Cloudland Trail."

More Roan Mountain Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
View more trails from this guide book
"Roan Mountain, with its spruce-and-fir-covered summits, is the destination of this day hike. Roan High Bluff, a summit of Roan Mountain, has an elevation of 6,267 feet; Roan High Knob has an elevation of 6,285 feet. In late June, when the rhododendrons are blooming, the nearby Cloudland Rhododendron Garden is definitely worth the short side trip. Here you will find Catawba rhododendrons growing in such profusion that it seems as if surely they must have been planted on purpose. But many balds in the southern Appalachians—such as Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Grayson Highlands near Mount Rogers in Virginia—also boast magnificent concentrations of rhododendrons."

Roan Mountain Trip Reports

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We hiked out over the balds twice this past month. 3.8 miles RT from Carvers Gap. Views are outstanding. The goats were still there for the first hike and it was neat to see their handywork on the briars. Be prepared for wind and cool weather - even in summer. Temps are much cooler at that altitude than stated on weather sites for Roan Mtn.
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My first experience with any part of the AT and it was a good one. A crowded trail at first, but get at least 3/4 of a mile in and the tourists clear out. Then you are in for awe inspiring views. Keep going past the peak of Roan Mountain for the best parts of the trail.
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We hiked at Carver's gap on a warm and sunny day. The hike was easy and the view spectacular as you could see for miles and miles in every direction. The open air feeling almost led me to burst out in a rendition from the Sound of Music but my children stopped me. We saw several hikers who were physically challenged but they seemed to be able to reach the summit in fairly good shape. Well recommended for the views and ease of hike.
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Easy walking trail. Unfortunately, the rhododenrons were not yet in bloom. Still a peaceful and easy walk. Next week end the blooms should be out and looking spectacular! Blooms are Carver's Gap were beatiful.

Roan Mountain Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1-7.5 miles
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
Appalachian Ranger District, 632 Manor Rd., Mars Hill 28754; (828) 689-9694; e-mail:
Local Contacts
USGS Carvers Gap and Bakersville
Local Maps

Trail Log