Ascent of Buck Knob on 2020-01-01

Climber: William Sanderson

Date:Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Buck Knob
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5560 ft / 1694 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the MST crosses in Haywood Gap. Followed MST to Wet Camp Gap. (Note that if you need to hike Rough Butt the MST passes just below the summit on its southern flank. I've already done Rough Butt, so I gave it a miss.)
From Wet Camp the MST turns across the ridge and down to the north, but a very clear and well used trail (which was a road in the past) leads SW along the ridge to Gage Bald. The road ends just below the summit of Gage. From there the trail becomes a single track, very faint, but discernible. I strongly recommend doing this route in the winter when the track is easier to see and the briars are down. As you move along the narrow ridge keep to the southern edge, detouring around the blowdowns and briar patches as needed. The forest is fairly open, dominated by beech and hawthorn, and the going is actually not that bad, but I would still recommend briar-resistant top and bottom and leather gloves.
The "trail" leads right across the summit of Charley Bald and then continues on to the top of Buck Knob. Out-and-back this hike took me about 5 hours, with some time spent taking photos.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Rock cairn at Buck Knob high point (2020-01-01). Photo by William Sanderson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack

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