I previously gave an overview of Iron Mountain, which sits between Unaka Mountain and Roan Mountain. Pictured here is thru-hiker "Sockless" and the view from a cliff near the high point of Iron Mountain, Little Rock Knob (elev. 4918 ft.). The nearly 180 degree views to the west are spectacular. To the southwest is the looming Unaka Mountain, easily identified by its dark spruce forest at the summit (see photo below). Further out and due west is Pinnacle Mountain, with its fire tower barely identifiable with my zoom lens from this distance. And to the right of Pinnacle far on the horizon is Buffalo Mountain which overlooks Johnson City, TN. Click panoramic image below to enlarge.
View of Unaka Mountain in the distance
The hike to the overlook is only 2.5 miles from Hughes Gap. It's an enjoyable walk with moderate elevation gains. There are two very small springs along the way which my dog "Blue" appreciated on a hot day -- from the maps, it appears Doe River originates in this area. I'd say the best times to do this hike would be either mid-May as the wildflowers would be at their peak or fall when the autumn views would be amazing. I enjoyed meeting all the thru-hikers moving through our area, many stopping at the overlook to catch their breath and take in the sights. In all, this overlook is easily accessible for those of us who enjoy day hikes along the AT -- go on a clear day and you won't be disappointed with the views. :) Click here for more photos and discussion.
Click here for a map of the area. Take There's parking available at both Hughes Gap and Iron Mountain Gap.