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Albert Mountain Lookout Tower – Nantahala National Forest, NC

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
5.8 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
3 hours and 45 minutes with 1 hour of breaks
1,635 ft
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Park at the pullout on FR 67. 35.04242, -83.50585

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach)

Albert Mountain, located outside of Franklin in the southeastern Nantahala Mountains, is the second tallest peak the Appalachian Trail crosses in its first 100 miles from Springer Mountain, GA. The 5,223-foot summit holds a 43-foot lookout tower, originally constructed in 1951 to overlook the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory to the east. The moderate day hike described here begins at FR 67 deep in the Nantahala River Basin and follows the Bearpen Gap Trail to its endpoint at the Appalachian Trail. Once you reach the Appalachian Trail it is a short but very steep 0.3-mile climb to the summit. Although the top cab is normally locked, you have great views from the stairs in three directions. To the southwest, the high peaks of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness closely surround the region. The land drops suddenly from northeast to southeast towards the Little Tennessee River Valley and the Highlands Plateau, with peaks such as Rabun Bald, Whiteside Mountain, and Yellow Mountain plainly visible. On clearer days, you can see the Great Balsam Mountains in the distant northeast. The tower supports block clear views of Wayah Bald and Wine Spring Bald due north, but that is the only drawback when the top cab is closed.

Mile  Summary and Highlights
0.5 - Bearpen Gap Trail leaves FR 67K
2.6 - Bearpen Gap Trail ends at FR 67, follow Appalachian Trail north
2.9 - Albert Mountain summit (5,223 feet) and lookout tower
Late May
View from the Albert Mountain Lookout Tower
Albert Mountain Lookout Tower Hike Comments
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