Adventures in the Southern Appalachians & Beyond!  






June 23rd, 2009 - Shannon and I drove up to the Rhododendron Gardens for a nice evening walk.  We started at a wonderful little overlook called "Sunset Rock" where we witnessed awesome views and a beautiful sunset.    


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View from Sunset Rock

  Sunset at Sunset Rock

Following the sunset, we drove the car a short distance on over to the Rhododendron Gardens main parking area and walked down the path to the overlook deck.  The Rhododendrons were blooming everywhere, making this a very pleasant and scenic walk.  We took a few photos and returned to the car.  If you get a chance, this is really a beautiful place to visit in the month of June.     

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Sunset Through the Rhodies  

Shannon at the Overlook Deck

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Shannon and Bill   Masses of Rhododendrons

Total Miles Hiked:  0.2 


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.  From the gap turn right and follow the signs to the top of the mountain. There will be a toll station for $3 per car.  After that, stay right with signs directing you to the old Cloudland Hotel site. You pull into a parking lot, and the trailhead to Sunset Rock is immediately on your left as you enter this lot.  The trail is called the "Cloudland Trail."  Park here. 


Trails - To get to Sunset Rock..

After parking you'll walk up the Cloudland Trail until it forks.  Take the right fork to Sunset Rock.  It's a very short hike... less than 0.1 mile.


Following the sunset we drove to the Rhododendron Gardens (follow signs) and walked down the asphalt trail to the overlook deck.          


Hike Rating -


Bill's Overall Rating:

Distance:  0.2 miles

Difficulty:  VERY EASY

Type: OUT & BACK

Vista Rating: 

Waterfall Rating:  none

Water Crossings:  none

Scrambling/Climbing:  NONE

Hazards:  none

Significance:   Catawba Rhododendrons bloom everywhere in June.    

Recommendation:  family/beginner


Click here for hike rating reference guide.



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