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Mount Sterling Trail

 3.8 (5)

Length


2.3 Miles 3.8 Kilometers


1,763' 537 m

Ascent

0' 0 m

Descent

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

5,668' 1,728 m

High

3,905' 1,190 m

Low

Shared By Max Willner

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A short trail leading from a gravel service road directly to Mt. Sterling.

Max Willner

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers

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 be purchased online.

Description

There's a fairly long gravel road that leads from the Big Creek Ranger Station southbound towards the Cataloochee Campground. Just about halfway along the gravel road is the trailhead for Mount Sterling Trail. It connects to Mount Sterling Ridge Trail and ascends to the summit.

About a third of the way in from the gravel service road is Long Bunk Trail, which heads south and connects to Little Cataloochee Trail.

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). The flame azaleas atop Gregory Bald are especially beautiful, and can be found in full bloom from mid- to late June.

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).

Contacts

You & This Trail


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Apr 19, 2018
David Bell
Sep 24, 2017
Claire Humston
Jul 29, 2017
Cheryl Dillin
Very rocky and washed out, but effective to add to the Baxter Creek Trail if you have two cars or a drop-off/pick-up options.
Jul 3, 2017
Brian Carpenter
started from long bunk and hit the road and back adding an additional .5 mile. did not hike to the tower this time (camped there previously) 2.3mi
Jun 2, 2017
Zach Nichols
Scenic trail! Used it as a connector to get to the Mount Sterling fire tower. 5.6mi — 3h 00m
Sep 17, 2016
Kara Ivey
Heck of a climb
Jan 1, 2016
stef Nemeth
Great hike and scenery. 5.6 miles includes going to the fire lookout. 5.6mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#8

in Cataloochee

#8520

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
20%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#8

in Cataloochee

#330

in North Carolina

#8,520

Overall
39 Views Last Month
437 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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17%
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