At 6,285 feet, the Roan High Knob Shelter is the highest shelter found along the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. It is also known as Fire Warden Cabin as it was originally built to house the fire warden who manned a nearby fire tower (long since removed). Built in 1933, the shelter underwent renovations in 1980 and again in 2003. As AT shelters go, this one is unique (some might even say luxurious) with its two stories and 15 person capacity. Most of the more than 250 back country AT shelters located along the length of the trail are much smaller (usually accommodating only 6 people) and more primitive (with one side open to the elements). To see a map with photographs of AT shelters in this region, click here. To the right are the views of the interior of the cabin (click to enlarge).
UPDATE: For summer photos of the shelter, click here!
Directions: Take Route 19E to the town of Roan Mountain, turn
onto Route 143 and travel 12.8 miles to the TN/NC state line (Carver's
Gap). On your way up the mountain, you'll pass through the Roan Mountain State Park.
Eventually, you leave the state park and enter the national forest. Option 1:
Park at Carver's Gap and take the AT approx. 1.5 miles up (heading south
on the AT, away from the Balds) -- or (Option 2) turn right at Carver's Gap and
continue driving to the Old Cloudland Hotel Site
(this road is closed
during the winter months). Park at the end of the lot nearest the
bathrooms, climb the stairs and venture to your left. You'll soon run
into the AT. Turn right to hike north on the AT (toward the balds) for a
short distance (approx. 1/2 mile) -- on the way you'll pass by an old chimney. The shelter is located one tenth of a
mile off the AT on well-marked, blue-blazed trail. Click here for the Google map of the Roan Mountain area.