Ascent of Satulah Mountain on 2014-03-21

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Friday, March 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Satulah Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4543 ft / 1384 m

Ascent Trip Report

Satulah is a distinctive peak that barely misses on an important distinction. The Eastern Continental Divide follows the northern half of the summit ridge but does not cross the actual high point.

The hike begins in downtown Highlands NC. The peak is on public land protected by the Highlands Land Trust, but the access roads are private and there is no parking allowed at the top. So you park on NC28 a couple of blocks south of downtown and walk a steep mile up Satulah Road and Worley Road to a cul-de-sac at the north end of the summit ridge. From here there are two signed routes--a path on the left that winds through twisted azaleas, or an old road on the right that used to access the fire tower. You'll need to take the path if you want to touch the high point on the continental divide, which is just a few feet shorter than the outcropping on the marked summit.

The summit ridge on Satulah is nearly level for 0.4 miles but falls off steeply on both sides, especially on the southwest side where cliffs tower 800 feet above NC28.

The summit BM is NCGS Horizontal Control, stamped Satulah Mtn 1994.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:703 ft / 214 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:Satulah Rd, Worley Rd, summit trail
    Trailhead:NC28  3840 ft / 1170 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail

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