Hyatt Ridge Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,305' 702 m
Descent: -215' -65 m
High: 5,122' 1,561 m
Low: 2,939' 896 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)
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“A steep and sustained climb leading to a pleasant stroll through open forests.”— Ken Wise
After crossing the stream, the trail continues for nearly a mile before reaching the spine of Hyatt Ridge. Here, the Hyatt Ridge Trail intersects the western terminus of the Enloe Creek Trail, then turns right, and climbs out of the gap. After about a half-mile, the grade eases to a pleasant hike along the ridgeline before proceeding into a long drop to another gap. The hiking, nevertheless, remains easy. The woods are fairly open with boles of fallen American chestnut trees scattered across the forest floor.
After a moderate half-mile climb, the trail enters a level bench that marks the southern reach of Hyatt Bald. Here, it intersects the upper terminus of Beech Gap Trail (West). From there the Hyatt Ridge Trail circles around the east flank of the bald and into a gentle gradient overrun with weeds and shaded by thin stands of chestnut oak, yellow birch, American beech, and red maple. The trail winds through the gradient for a hundred yards or so before dropping into a shallow basin that harbors Backcountry Camp 44, McGee Spring.
This content was contributed by author Ken Wise. For a comprehensive hiking guide to the Great Smoky Mountains and to see more by Ken, click here.
During the growing season, be on the lookout for a virulent strain of stinging nettle that crowds the trail.
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Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park