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Waterrock Knob

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 451.2, Waterrock Knob is Plott Balsam Mountain Range's tallest peak.


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Map Key

1.0

Miles

1.5

KM

Out and Back

6,266' 1,910 m

High

5,829' 1,777 m

Low

437' 133 m

Up

437' 133 m

Down

17%

Avg Grade (10°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Spring · Views

Overview

Waterrock Knob is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 18.0 miles from the southern end of the Parkway. At an elevation of 6,292 feet, Waterrock Knob is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States.

Need to Know

The Waterrock Knob Visitor Center and Park Store is located here and open seasonally. Restrooms are available and wheelchair accessible. There are no fees required to visit Waterrock Knob.

Description

The hike to the summit is a 1.2-mile round-trip. It is a very steep climb and gains 412 feet in elevation. Great views are available along the way to the summit. Don't let the paved first 0.25 miles of the trail fool you—it is steep but smooth and temporarily provides a respite from the climb with a small rock-walled viewing area overlook where you can catch your breath.

The rest of the climb is steep and rocky. At the summit, there are various spots where you can get long-distance views, but not a total, 360 degree one. If it is a clear day, you can probably see 50 miles to the highest peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains. Between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains is the Plott Balsams Mountains.

Contacts

Land Manager: Blue Ridge Parkway

Shared By:

Victor Stephenson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#2723

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#108

in North Carolina

#2,723

Overall
15 Views Last Month
1,395 Since Nov 20, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Rays and ridges from Waterrock Knob. Photo by Robert Stephens.
Mar 24, 2016 near Maggie…, NC
sunrise at Waterrock Knob
Mar 23, 2020 near Maggie…, NC
Sunrise on the top of Waterrock Knob
Mar 2, 2019 near Maggie…, NC
Top of Waterrock Knob
Jun 10, 2019 near Maggie…, NC
View from summit looking back down at parking lot.
Nov 21, 2018 near Maggie…, NC
View from summit.
Nov 21, 2018 near Maggie…, NC

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Check-Ins

May 15, 2022
Ryan Lanci
Jun 17, 2021
Nicholas Carter
Sunrise hike this morning. Quick ascent to beat sunrise and capture a time lapse. Always a great hike. 1mi
Jun 5, 2021
Matt Hudson
Ellory's first hike 1.2mi — 1h 20m
May 28, 2021
Gene Rush
Hike with the sis, beautiful views!
Aug 9, 2020
Mitch Benner
1mi — 0h 45m
Nov 7, 2019
Meggie Tran
Shown round trip.
Sep 13, 2019
Ryan Joseph
0h 50m
Sep 8, 2019
Kristin Sanders
Easy hike with Anna 2.2mi — 1h 48m