Ascent of Pond Mountain on 2012-08-04

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, August 4, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pond Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4960 ft / 1511 m

Ascent Trip Report

The access road to Pond Mountain was greatly improved in 2013 and is now passable for cars. The main challenge is to schedule your hike around hunting season, as the land is managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. There are three gates that are closed seasonly, making Pond Mtn an easy stroll in the fall but a hefty hike in the winter.

January-March: The road is closed. There is a parking area outside the gate along Rock Fence Road. From here, the summit is a 5-mile round trip.
April-August: The road is open 1.5 miles to the second gate. This eliminates most of the climbing and leaves a 2-mile round trip walk to the top of Pond Mtn.
September-December: The second gate is open, and you can drive to a parking area within 200 yards of the top.
My experience has been that these dates are not absolute. Take what you get.

It's easier to approach Pond Mtn from Mountain City TN rather than Jefferson NC. From US421, take TN167 (Forge Creek Rd) northeast. As you cross into NC, this becomes Big Laurel Rd. One-third of a mile into NC, turn left onto South Flatwoods Rd. Follow this paved road to its end, about 6 miles, as it winds and changes names (Flatwoods Post Office Rd, Flatwoods School Rd, North Flatwoods Rd). It ends in a T intersection with Rock Fence Road. Turn R and drive this good gravel road about a mile up to a gap, where the entrance to Pond Mtn is on the left.

I don't have a precise street address for car GPS, but this will get you close: 781 Rock Fence Road, Creston NC. If your GPS tries to take you up Burnt School Road or Denny Road, ignore it, because those roads are dead-ends.

Read the story of Pond Mountain in the January 2012 issue of Our State magazine.

Great views all the way up, as the summit ridge is mostly bald except for the Christmas trees that are being harvested and will not be replaced. I don't know if the state plans to maintain the bald.

Peakbaggers may also be interested in adjacent Stone Mtn/Glenn BM, a P1K which is on the TN4.5K list; as well as the NC-TN-VA tri-corner. See my Glenn BM trip report for details.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1260 ft / 383 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:Pond Mountain GMA road
    Trailhead:Rock Fence Rd trailhead  3900 ft / 1188 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Drizzle, Windy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes

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