Adventures in the Southern Appalachians & Beyond!  






June 14th, 2009 - I got up about 4:00 a.m. and drove to Carver's Gap on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  I then set out northbound on the A.T. and hiked about one mile to get to Jane Bald, where I was able to see one of the most beautiful sunrises of my life.  Looking east, the sun came up almost directly over the summit of Little Hump mountain, which I felt made for some nice photos.   



Sunrise from Jane Bald

  Rhododendron Sunrise

Following the sunrise, I photographed more and considered hiking up to Grassy Ridge, but the clouds rolled in leaving almost no visibility.  It's strange how quickly it can go from a crystal-clear morning, to no visibility when you are on these grass covered peaks at high elevation. 

Vista from Round Bald  

Looking Back at Roan Mountain from

Jane Bald


After getting back to the car, it was still early in the morning so I drove up to Hughes Gap and did a little Appalachian Trail maintenance by cutting some weeds in that area.  That added another 0.3 tenths of a mile to my overall distance for the day.  If you just go to Jane Bald however, it's about exactly a 2.0 mile round-trip trek.    

Self Portrait, Looking Into the Mountains of NC

Total Miles Hiked:  2.3 


Getting There :  


Driving - From Elizabethton take Rte. 19E to the town of Roan Mountain.  Turn right onto Rte. 143 and proceed 12.8 miles to the TN/NC state line.  This is Carver's Gap.  There's a parking lot on your right.     


Trails - To get to Jane Bald...

After parking you'll need to cross the road.  Look for the white blazes near the steps and follow the well defined trail.  This puts you northbound on the A.T.  In .5 miles you'll reach the first summit, which is Round Bald.  In another .5 miles you'll reach the summit of Jane Bald.      


Hike Rating -


Bill's Overall Rating:

Distance:  2.0 miles

Difficulty:  EASY

Type: OUT & BACK

Vista Rating: 

Waterfall Rating:  none

Water Crossings:  none

Scrambling/Climbing:  EASY

Hazards:  slippery slopes, steep slope

Significance:  grass-covered bald mountain summits (over 5500'), hike through some of the oldest rocks in the United States (Cranberry gneiss and Roan gneiss), Catawba Rhododendrons and Flame Azaleas bloom everywhere in June.    

Recommendation:  family/beginner, average


Click here for hike rating reference guide.



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