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Wolf Ridge Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

6.4 mile 10.3 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,310' 1,009 m
Descent: -126' -39 m
High: 4,729' 1,442 m
Low: 1,466' 447 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Max Willner

Wolf Ridge Trail leads over 3,000 feet up to Gregory Bald Trail in a challenging but rewarding climb

Max Willner

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Reservations must be made for backcountry campsites. For more information, the GSMNP backcountry office can be contacted at (865) 436-1297 between the hours of 8 and 5 Eastern Time. Backcountry permits can also be purchased online.

Description

The best way to access this trail is to leave from the Twentymile Ranger Station, and make your way up a short section of the Twentymile Trail.

From the fork that connects to Twentymile Trail, the trail is broad and will lead to the Twentymile Loop Trail in 1.1 miles. Visitors can opt to switch over, or continue northbound towards Campsite 95. From the campsite, it's all uphill through the woods and mountain laurels for roughly 5.2 miles until reaching Campsite 13 (Sheep Pen Gap). Many choose to stay at the site, where they can take a much shorter, roughly half a mile trail to Gregory Bald to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

Be wary of several fallen trees along the way. It's a bit of a challenging trail with a frequently steep incline, but both the campsite and Gregory Bald are well worth the effort.

Flora & Fauna

Flowering plants bloom between March and July. In the fall, leaves begin to change color around September and continue through November. Two of the most common trees in this area are the mountain laurels (Kalmia latinfolia) and umbrella magnolias (Magnolia tripetala).

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders.

For more information on black bears in the Smokies, refer to this webpage.

Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus).

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Check-Ins

Oct 17, 2019
Tracie Michalski
Water source at campsite #13 dry due to drought.
Jul 6, 2019
buddy beavers
2 bear 1 had 4 Cubs
Jun 1, 2019
MICHAEL SMITH
from Backcountry campsite#95, 5.2m, with full backpack — 5h 00m
Jan 8, 2019
Robert McDaniel
Nov 21, 2017
Amelia Wilkeson
Aug 5, 2017
Mishelle Williams
Aug 4, 2017
Mishelle Williams
May 27, 2017
Kendrick Kirk
Dalton campsite is about 200 yards past the marker on the map.

Trail Ratings

  3.2 from 5 votes

#3

in Twentymile

#19080

Overall
  3.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
20%
3 Star
80%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Twentymile

#768

in North Carolina

#19,080

Overall
26 Views Last Month
1,404 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Backcountry campsite #13. A short walk to the bald.
Feb 23, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
It's a relatively easy hike to campsite 95, with a long winding trail through the forest.
Mar 24, 2016 near Robbins…, NC
Campsite 13 - Sheep Pen Gap. Great elevation, not a far hike from Gregory Bald. Hikers can stay here for the night, and catch a sunset/sunrise from atop the bald. Ample firewood. Also accumulates a decent amount of snow in the winter (by TN/NC standards).
Mar 24, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Campsite 95 on 06/11/16
Jun 14, 2016 near Robbins…, NC
Wolf Ridge Trail Vista. with permission from Mike Lerch
Mar 25, 2016 near Robbins…, NC

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