Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service
Activities & Interests
Roan Mountain, near Bakersville, North Carolina, is famous for its spectacular annual display of rhododendron blooms. Every June, thousands of visitors flock to the area to view the showy blooms, which range from white at lower elevations to deep rosy reds and purples higher on the ridge.
Part of the Pisgah National Forest, Roan Mountain is actually a high ridge about five miles long ridge ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation. Roan Mountain supports a rich diversity of plant life, from spruce-fir forests to large grassy balds, which visitors can access from well developed trails and attractive campgrounds.
An easy, paved trail starts at the information cabin and winds through rhododendrons to an overlook. From there, it is an easy walk along a short 0.3-mile loop or on a longer, figure-eight loop. The Cloudland Trail is a moderate, 1.2-mile hike from the end of the Cloudland parking area to Roan High Bluff Overlook. A ten-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail also passes through Roan Mountain with a trailhead at Carver's Gap.
Hours of Operation
The two-mile road from Carver's Gap to the gardens is open from May until late October.
$3 per car per day; $15 seasonal pass available.
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
From the junction of NC 226 and NC 261 in Bakersville, take NC 261 north almost 13 miles to Carver's Gap on the North Carolina-Tennessee line. Follow SR 1348, a two-mile spur road from Carver's Gap, to the Roan summit parking and trails. The two-mile road from Carver's Gap to the gardens is open from May until late October. Even after the road is gated, cross-country skiers and hikers are welcome to explore the winter beauty of Roan Mountain.
For more information, contact:
US Forest Service/National Forests in North Carolina
Appalachian Ranger District
30 East Hwy., 19 Bypass
Burnsville, NC 28714
On US 19-E bypass in Burnsville.
- Nolichucky River (12 miles)
North Carolina's Nolichucky River is considered one of the most spectacular whitewater rafting destinations in the eastern U.S.
- Penland School of Crafts (12 miles)
Penland School of Crafts, in Penland, NC, is a national center for education in contemporary and traditional craft.
- Avery County Historical Museum (13 miles)
The Avery County Historical Museum, in Newland, NC, features exhibits on railroads, Civil War history, and Lulu Belle and Scotty.