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Wesser Bald Fire Tower from NOC (part of a planned 25 hike series)

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina   Hike: Wesser Bald Fire Tower from NOC (part of a planned 25 hike series)  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jan 25 2020  6:30 am >> Sat, Jan 25 2020 8:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Jan 10 2020 2:11 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jan 24 2020 4:20 pm
Event Duration:13 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:15.8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Gary E
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 10 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes



The 25 Hike Series 

This "in and out" is one in a planned series of 25 weekend "in and outs" that will run in an ongoing rotation over a long number of months.  I am not saying an AT "in and out" will happen every weekend or every month but I will work these treks into the AOC schedule when I can.  The rotation affords one the opportunity to cover the entire 175 miles of the Appalachian trail south end from the AT south gate of Smoky Mountains National Park to the AT archway of Amicalola State Park.  That's a total of 350 miles of "in and outs".  This series gives a hiker yet another goal to set.  Come enjoy!  

These hikes also offer the option of staying in low-cost hiker hostels (just ask Gary about his experiences with them) at the end of the day and make the weekend into two day hikes.

This Hike 

This is a 7.9 mile hike in each direction for a total of 15.8 miles from the Nantahala River at the NOC (elev. only 1723 feet), over 4627 foot Wesser Bald, down to Tellico Gap (elev. 3850 feet) and return.  We will start with a long climb out of Nantahala Gorge.  This will be a 2904 foot, 6.5 mile ascent of Wesser Bald.  Near the middle of the section is the Jump-up, a rocky outcrop boasting outstanding, extensive views of Cheoah Bald to the west, the Smokies to the north, and Balsam Mountains to the east.  Wesser Bald offers a superb view from the open platform of a former lookout tower where you can see mountain ranges in all directions.  From Tellico, the return ascent to Wesser Bald will be another 727 feet. For the roundtrip, our total climb will be over 4300 feet.

Required Items to Bring:

2-3 liters of water

layered synthetic clothing 

rain jacket for wind and because you never know about mountain weather

lunch and trail snacks

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.


compact umbrella

hat and gloves

shoes that already have miles on them

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Here is a link to Google Maps that will take you to the trailhead:

If you were facing the mountain with your back to the river, the Appalachian Trail crosses the road between the NOC General Store on the right and the outfitter on the left.  We will use the free parking spaces on the south side of the road which the NOC allows hikers to use.

Plan to be ready to meet at 9:15am at the trail crossing.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):276Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $110.40 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.