Wesser Bald Fire Tower

May 25-26, 2019

I could have easily driven to Tellico Gap and hiked 1.5 miles up to Wesser Bald. In lieu of the easy route and in search of a weekend adventure, I decided to hike to Wesser from the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) and camp at Cold Springs Gap and hike back the next day.

I got to NOC quite early on a Saturday morning and it was already bustling. NOC has a nice deal; they give you a parking pass for free and allow you to park in one of their lots. By 9:30 am, I was on the trail and hiking upwards. Literally, that was all I did all day. Over the 11.46 mile hike to Cold Spring; I gained 4,521 ft. in elevation. It was a hot Memorial Day weekend, so I stopped at nearly every vista or pretty flower to catch my breath.

Wesser Bald has tremendous views: Cheoah, the Smoky’s, Unicoi, Balsam and Cowee mountain ranges just to name a few. The original “cab” tower has been replaced with an observation platform with a 360 degree panorama.

The toughest hike fo the day was the ascent out of Tellico Gap up to Rocky Bald. I was getting tired and made Cold Spring Shelter around 3:30 pm. Up above the shelter is one of my favorite camping spots in the world. There is a nice hidden grassy spot just above a rock outcropping with outstanding views of Franklin, NC.

Total mileage is 23.63 miles.

Appalachian Trail - trailhead at NOC
Appalachian Trail – trailhead at NOC
Appalachian Trail - tree
Appalachian Trail – tree
Appalchian Trail - view
Appalchian Trail – view
Wesser Bald - tower
Wesser Bald – tower
Wesser Bald - tower
Wesser Bald – tower
Gossamer Gear The One
Gossamer Gear The One
Campsite above Cold Spring Shelter - morning
Campsite above Cold Spring Shelter – morning
Appalachian Trail - early morning hiking
Appalachian Trail – early morning hiking
Rocky Bald - view
Rocky Bald – view
Appalachian Trail - ferns
Appalachian Trail – ferns
Appalachian Trail - Jump Up Rock view
Appalachian Trail – Jump Up Rock view

2 thoughts on “Wesser Bald Fire Tower

  1. The NOC sounds/looks like a good place to start/end an AT section hike. Great photo of the sun filtering through the clouds and over several valleys (Rocky Bald view).

    Liked by 1 person

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