Peak by Peak


Daily Notes


Day 1 — Wed, June 10 – 46 miles

The Smokies

Clingman’s Dome to Tri-Corner Shelter (37 miles)

Clingman’s Dome – 6643 ft.  Begin at the summit.  Start the watch and The Challenge.

Mt. Collins – 6188 ft.  Take the AT through Collins Gap

Mt. Kephart6217 ft.  AT to the Boulevard Trail.

Mt. Le Conte – 6593 ft. Continue on Boulevard Trail.

Mt. Sequoya – 6003 ft. Take the Boulevard Trail back to the AT and head North

Mt. Chapman – 6417 ft.  Take the AT toward Mt. Chapman.

Mt. Guyot – 6621 ft.  Take the AT through the TriCorner Shelter to Mt. Guyot. 

Old Black – 6370 ft.  Continue on the AT for a mile to Old Black.  Return to Tri-Corner Shelter

            Eat and sleep at Tri-Corner Shelter.


Day 2 — Thurs, June 11 – 45 miles

The Plott Balsams

Tri-Corner Shelter to Balsam Gap

Mark’s Knob – 6169 ft.  Continue on the Balsam Mt. Trail

Tricorner Knob/Mt. Yonaguska – 6120 ft.  on the Balsam Mt. Trail   

Luftee Knob – 6234 ft. Continue on the Balsam Mt. Trail to Luftee Knob on the left.  Keep going down the Balsam Mt. Trail to Mt. Sterling Trail Jct.  

Big Cataloochie – 6155 ft. Take the Mt. Sterling Trail.  Descend and head to the Laurel Gap Shelter.   Head down Balsam Mtn Trail to Pin Oak Gap. 

            Make a left and head down Balsam Mt. Road (nice gravel) to Heintooga Overlook. At Heintooga, head right onto the Flat Creek Trail. 

            Come back to Heintooga Ridge Road.  Go right to the Blue Ridge Pkwy.  Take the BRP through Soco Gap to Waterrock Knob Parking Area. 

Mt. Yellow Face – 6032 ft. off BRP

Waterrock Knob– 6292 ft. access from parking area

Lyn Lowry – 6240 ft. take a manway (private land)

Plott Balsam – 6088 ft. take a manway (private land) Follow the manway back down to the gravel road (Hood Rd.) down between Plott Balsam and Lyn Lowry. Keep down the gravel road to end up at Balsam Gap.

            Eat and Sleep at Moonshine Campground near Balsam Gap.


Day 3 – Fri, June 12 — 41 miles?

The Plott and Great Balsams

Balsam Gap to Rt 215

                        Start at Balsam Gap and head up the MST.  Get off MST at Old Bald Access Trail and run BRP prior to Richland Balsam.

Richland Balsam – 6410 ft.  The summit can be reached by climbing the summit trail from the Parkway.   

Reinhart Knob – 6080 ft.  Take the BRP to mile 429.8.  Climb the chute.

Mt. Hardy6110 ft.  Follow MST through Haywood Gap to Mt. Hardy. 

                        Take the MST toward NC 215. 

                        Stop at Rt 215.  Eat and Sleep.  Roadside camping along 215.


Day 4 – Sat, June 13 — 37 miles

The Great Balsams

Rt. 215 to Pisgah Inn

Chestnut Bald – 6040 ft. Continue on the MST toward Chestnut Bald Summit. 

Sam Knob – 6040 ft. Descend Chestnut Bald and take Little Sam Trail, cross Flat Laurel to Sam Knob Trail. 

Black Balsam Knob – 6214 ft.  Descend Sam Knob to Sam Knob Parking Lot and get on Art Loeb. 

Mt. Tennent6040 ft.  Take Art Loeb Trail.

Grassy Cove Top – 6040 ft. Follow the ALT. 

Shining Rock – 6040 ft.  Follow ALT through Flower Gap and Shining Rock Gap and take Old Butt Knob Trail. 

Cold Mountain6030 ft. Continue on ALT over Stairs to Deep Gap

            Retrace your steps back on the badly overgrown Art Loeb Trail.  At Shining Rock Gap, take the Shining Creek Trail to the Big East Fork Parking Lot

            From the Big East Fork Parking lot head up 276 to the BRP. Pick up the MST and follow it to the Pisgah Inn.

            Eat and Sleep at the Pisgah Campground.


Day 5 – 48 miles

The Asheville Area

Pisgah Inn to Craggy Gardens

Good vehicle access for this section.  No peak bagging today even though we are up very high in the mountains.

Continue on the MST to French Broad River Crossing (18.7 miles)

Continue on the MST to the Folk Art Center (13.7 miles)

Continue to Rattlesnake Lodge

Head past Rattlesnake Lodge and ascend over Rich Knob. (overgrown), Lane Pinnacle, and Craggy Gardens Picnic Area. About 1.5 miles beyond, near junction with Douglas Falls Trail.  15 miles (no vehicular access between Rattlesnake and Craggy Gardens)

Catch a ride back down from Craggy Gardens and sleep at Dixie’s cat den.


Day 6 – 36 miles

The Black Mountains

Craggy Gardens to Beyond Burnsville (Green Mountain or Red Hill)

Craggy Dome – 6080 ft.  – Take the MST

Blackstock Knob – 6320 ft. – on the MST

Mt. Gibbes6560 ft.  – Continue on the MST

Mt. Hallback – 6320 ft. take the Old Mitchell Trail (no longer on maps) across Stepps Gap.  Bushwhack up Hallback.

Mt. Mitchell6684 ft. – take MST

Mt. Craig – 6647 ft. Come off of Mt. Mitchell and take the Black Mountain Crest Trail to Mt. Craig. 

Balsam Cone – 6611 ft. – Continue on the Black Mountain Crest Trail

Potato Hill – 6475 ft – Continue on the Black Mountain Crest Trail.

Winter Star Mtn – 6212 ft. – Continue on the BMCT.

Gibbs Mtn – 6224 ft. – Take the Black Mountain Crest Trail.  Gibbs

Celo Knob – 6327 ft. – Use the Black Mtn Crest Trail.

            Descend Celo Knob and head down Bowlin Creek Trail to Bowlin Creek Road.  Cross the North Toe River.  Head on to Burnsville.  Run to where 197N leaves 19E. 

            Head toward Green Mountain and Red Hill moving in the direction of the town of Buladean on 226.  Stay at High Pastures in a log cabin.


Day 7 – 24 to 31 miles

The Roans

Green Mountain to the End

            In Red Hill pick up 226 North toward Buladean.  1.5 miles before Buladean turn East (right) on Broad Branch Road. 

Roan High Bluff – 6267 ft. Head up Broad Branch Road to ascend Roan High Bluff.  Follow Cloudland trail.

Roan High Knob – 6285 ft. Retrace the route to the AT and continue north 0.7 mi. to Roan High Knob Shelter and 0.1 mi. to the summit of Roan High Knob

Grassy Ridge Bald – 6160 ft. Hike north on the AT through Carvers Gap crossing Round Bald, Engine Gap, and Jane Bald for 1.9 miles.  Leave the AT ascending the ridge ½ mile to Grassy Ridge Bald.  The challenge is over at the summit.




SB6K includes some of the best trails in WNC.  Additionally it includes climbing the 40 peaks over 6000 ft.  Our attempt will follow Cave Dog’s itinerary beginning at Clingmans Dome, through the Smokies, across the Plott Balsams, along largely the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Mt. Mitchell, through Burnsville, and finishing at the Roans.

























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