Hiking Project Logo

AT: Winding Stair Gap to Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC)

Difficult

Trail

27.8 mile 44.8 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 5,316' 1,620 m
Descent: -7,280' -2,219 m
High: 5,336' 1,626 m
Low: 1,722' 525 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Mike W

A great point-to-point hike along the Appalachian Trail.

Mike W

Features Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

We set out on a three-day outing from Winding Stair Gap to Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). This hike was challenging but enjoyable. Keep your pack weight low, and get your mind right!

Need to Know

Known water sources were all available during this hike, but they were spaced just when we needed them. I wouldn't pass any up.

Description

Day 1 - We started out at Winding Stair Gap and ended at Wayah Bald Shelter (MM 109.8 to 120.8). The starting elevation was 3,690 feet, and we finished at 4,712 feet. The peak elevation for this section was 5,342 with lots of ups and downs along the way.

Day 2 - We left Wayah Bald and made our way to Wesser Bald Shelter (MM 120.8 to 131.4). The ending elevation was 4,092 feet, and the elevation was more consistent with the climbs and descents over the last section.

Day 3 - The last leg of our hike took us from Wesser Bald Shelter to the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) (MM 131.4 to 137.3). There was a consistent descent all the way back to 2,051 feet. While this was the shortest leg of our hike, it was challenging because of the downhill grade.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Apr 4, 2019
Kaushal Gokare
27.8mi — 12h 14m
Jun 17, 2018
Mike Joyce
3 or 4 Bears spotted on the decent into the NOC. Looked like cubs, didn't see mama bear
Apr 3, 2018
Garrick Smith
Wayah Bald to Tellico Gap 10.2mi
Mar 19, 2018
Scott Palmer
Otter Creek Rd to Wesser Bald Fire Tower 2mi
Nov 10, 2017
JC N
Great section hike! Wayah Tower and Wesser Tower are some of the best views in NC! Wesser Shelter has very few flat areas for tents though. 27.8mi
Sep 4, 2017
Andrew Spurgeon
Aug 24, 2017
Katie Brekke
Night 1 - wayah shelter Night 2 - Wesser shelter hiking out to NOC tomorrow then on to TN 22mi
Nov 12, 2016
Tommy Buck
With this being my first overnight hike, first time in North Carolina, first time on the AT and really first everything, I've come to learn that kn… 40mi — 40h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 7 votes

#527

Overall
  4.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Hike Rankings

#527

Overall
374 Views Last Month
11,408 Since Feb 13, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%

Photos

Wayah Bald Fire Tower stands watch over dense forests and clouded skies.
Jan 28, 2017 near Franklin, NC
Clouds broke for a great view!
Feb 28, 2018 near Robbins…, NC
The everchanging view didn't change so much this weekend.
Feb 28, 2018 near Franklin, NC