Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Little Hump Mountain

When I first open my eyes upon the morning meadows and look out upon the beautiful world, I thank God I am alive.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American writer and philosopher.

Here's the view from the top of Little Hump Mountain in the Roan Highlands. This beautiful grassy bald doesn't get nearly the visits that the other balds closer to Carvers Gap do.... which, is perhaps, its greatest allure. :) The day we visited we only saw two other people the entire time we were up on the mountain. It was a foggy, windy day and the 'feel' of the place was constantly changing -- alternating from brilliant sunshine to thick fog.  My edits to the top photo above are a bit over the top, but I wanted to convey the drama of being on this gorgeous summit. This expansive mountain-top meadow, filled with summer wildflowers, offers spectacular views in every direction. Little Hump Mountain is really a magical place.

Getting to this magic can be tough. This place is remote! You feel really isolated (in a good way) when you're standing on its 5440' summit. Of course, the AT through the Roan Highlands is wildly popular with section hikers, who often will be dropped off at Highway 19E near the TN/NC border, and then take two days to hike to Carvers Gap -- or if a longer section hike is desired, they hike until picked up at Uncle Johnny's Hostel next to the Nolichucky River in Erwin. (Read Hiking Bill's account of hiking from Carver's Gap to 19E). I've had many thru-hikers tell me that the section from Roan Mountain to Grayson Highlands in VA is their favorite section of the entire Appalachian Trail. The Roan Highlands are indeed spectacular.

See my post with directions to the Overmountain Shelter to see your options for getting here. To hike in from Carvers Gap or 19E is really too far and demanding for most day hikers. (Click here to read Hiking Bill's account of his one day, out-and-back 14.2 mile trek from 19E to Little Hump). We got there driving to the end of Roaring Creek Road on the NC side of the mountain. From there we hiked up to Yellow Mountain Gap (after peaking in on the Overmountain Shelter), turned right and headed north on the AT to Little Hump. It's a climb! Grueling at times - but always beautiful. Unfortunately we didn't make it all the way to Big Hump Mountain -- so that will have to be another day.  Click here for a topo Map of Little Hump and vicinity. The photo to the left was taken on our way back to Yellow Mountain Gap, if you click and enlarge it, look closely and you'll see the Overmountain Shelter in the distance.

1 comment:

  1. I keep telling you I have the short cut for a Hump Mtn trip... just saying...


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