Rattlesnake Lodge Trail

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Elevation Gain720ft
Trailhead Elevation3,331ft
Elevation Min/Max3331/4051ft
Elevation Start/End3331/3331ft

Rattlesnake Lodge Trail

Rattlesnake Lodge Trail is a hiking trail in Buncombe County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a mile long and begins at 3,331 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 720 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. This trail connects with the following: Mountains to Sea Trail.

Rattlesnake Lodge Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"This fun little trek takes the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to the relics of a mountain retreat by the name of Rattlesnake Lodge, built by one of North Carolina’s earliest national park proponents. First, you will leave a mountain gap, then switchback up Bull Mountain, passing open rock slab slopes presenting views of the Swannanoa River valley and adjacent mountains. Reach the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge after a gentle uptick where you can explore this highland retreat that once included a pool, water-driven generator, and even a tennis court!"
Five-Star Trails-Asheville-2nd Edition (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jennifer Pharr Davis
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"More than 100 years ago, Rattlesnake Lodge was a private summer destination for prominent Asheville doctor and conservationist Chase P. Ambler, his family, and friends. Today the rock ruins that remain offer unique appeal for area hikers. The Rattlesnake Lodge route follows the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) to the foundations of Dr. Ambler’s summer home, swimming pool, shed, and reservoir. Pausing at the onetime Ambler property, it’s not hard to imagine the family spending a hot July day soaking in the pool or watching a mountain sunset from their front porch. The rockwork, alone, at the site serves as a reward even when rain or fog hides the mountain views."
Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books)
Karen Chavez
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"This is one of those hikes that holds natural and man-made wonders, making it a special hike for both dogs and their people. The trail is named for the actual Rattlesnake Lodge, which sat tucked away in this hidden mountaintop retreat for about twenty years in the early 1900s. The stone remains of the lodge await at the end of the trail, a treat for history buffs and anyone with a sense of curiosity. The lodge can be accessed from two separate trailheads. Decide at the outset if you (and your dog) prefer a slow and steady ascent or a fast and strenuous one."

Rattlesnake Lodge Trail Trip Reports

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This is a nice trail with some very colorful and pretty wildflowers and cool forests. There aren't really any spectacular views but if you enjoy being in the woods with rocks and water along the way you'll enjoy this one. There are two negatives for me for this one - parking is a pain with only a few spots at the trailhead although you can park further down the road but that just adds to the hike. Second, hasn't happened to me but I know of other people who've encountered bears on the trail that were too close to comfort.
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Took the blue trail the the right. Moderate to difficult and later heard it is the harder of the two trails.

White trail the the right is easier.

Both trails are beautiful and easy to follow. There are no signs to give into on ruins. Lots of natural running water. Trails probably not too good after a recent rain.

Definitely worth the trip there. We visited in June and there is lots of shade.
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We've done this hike several times. Both trails are fun, and extra trails (to reservoir and along the MST) can provide additional hiking experiences. A good place to spend the day!

Rattlesnake Lodge Trail Photos

Trail Information

Blue Ridge Parkway
Nearby City
Blue Ridge Parkway
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Blue Ridge Parkway: 828-298-0398, nps.gov/blri - Mountains-to-Sea Trail: 919-698-9024, mountainstosea.org
Local Contacts
National Geographic #779 Linville Gorge, Mount Mitchell, USGS Craggy Pinnacle
Local Maps

Trail Log