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Chambers Mountain - Clyde, NC

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
4.8 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

2 hours and 15 minutes with 20 minutes of breaks
1,594 ft
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Park on the shoulder at the Y-junction of Lookout Point. 35.55038, -82.91176

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins

Chambers Mountain is home to one of the few remaining accessible lookout towers in North Carolina. The peak at 4,509 feet, is located in the south central Newfound Mountains immediately north of Waynesville and the Pigeon River Valley. The communications towers on the peak can be seen from I-40 as you drive by the U.S. 74 exit to Waynesville. The hike is straightforward, follow the gravel and gated Lookout Point from Chambers Mountain Rd to the summit in 2.4 miles. The grade of this forest road will surprise you. Halfway to the summit is a cleared meadow for cattle grazing where there are good views west and south of the Great Balsam Mountains around Waynesville.

Chambers Mountain is one of two actively staffed lookout towers in the state. The tower is 45 feet high, and although the top cab is closed you can still climb the stairs to get views. If you have a clear day you will see the Newfound and Bald Mountains to the north, the Great Smoky Mountains to the west, the Plott Balsam Mountains to the southwest, and the Great Balsam Mountains to the south. Since the tower caretaker lives in the house beside the tower, be mindful of his privacy and the time of day you visit. His dog will most certainly wake everyone up with his loud barking.

Parking – The best place to park is on the wide right shoulder at the Y-junction of Lookout Point and Chambers Mountain Road. Lookout Point is gated 0.6-mi up the road, however it is very difficult to fit more than 1 car near this gate without blocking the road. It is a better idea to take the longer hike beginning from Chambers Mountain Rd.

  • Mile 2.4 – Reach the summit of Chambers Mountain (4,509 feet). The caretaker’s house is beside the lookout tower. His dog is outside and barks a lot, but is locked away safely. The steel Aermotor tower was built in 1934 and is 45 feet high. Although the top cab is locked you can still climb the stairs to get views. The mountain summit is dotted with many large communications towers, somewhat obscuring an open 360° panorama. On a clear day you will see the Newfound and Bald Mountains surrounding you from the north to the east. The Great Smoky Mountains are due west and northwest with the Plott Balsam Mountains to the southwest. The Great Balsam Mountains rise immediately above Waynesville and the Pigeon River Valley to the south and southeast.

  • Mile 4.8 – Hike ends at Chambers Mountain Rd.

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Mid February
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