Appalachian Trail - Wayah Gap - Siler Bald - NC

August 21, 2012

TRAIL INFO. - We accessed the Appalachian Trail at the Wayah Crest Picnic Area at Wayah Gap. It is a 2 mile hike to the summit of 5,216 ft. Siler Bald including the walk up the grassy slope side-trail off of the Appalachian Trail.

The views at the summit are spectacular! After coming back down the slope, we took the shelter loop trail down to the Siler Bald shelter for lunch. This portion is a little more than 2 miles if walked as a loop back up to the base of the grassy slope. Then back to Wayah Crest for a 6 mile total hike. Most of the uphill is on the way up making it an easy hike back to the parking lot.

Total hiking distance today - 6 miles with considerable elevation gain. We rate the hike difficulty as moderate.

Directions:: From Franklin, travel west on US 64 for 3 miles to Old Murphy Road where there is a Wayah Bald sign. Turn right and drive .2 mile to Wayah Road (SR 1310). Turn left and continue for 9 miles to Wayah Gap and FR 69. There is an Appalachian Trail crossing sign. (Wayah Crest Picnic Area is on the left.)

Another great day for a hike! Partly Cloudy with temperatures ranging from 60 to 68 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Yellow Star Grass, Wreath Goldenrod, Tall Goldenrod, Silver- rod, White Woods Aster, Woodland Sunflower, Whorled Coreopsis, Indian Plantain, False Foxglove, Southern Harebells, Angelica, Wild Parsley, Joe Pye Weed, Featherbells, White Snakeroot, Heal All, Starry Campion, Squawroot, Pale Jewelweed, Spotted Jewelweed, Indian Tobacco, White Yarrow, Virgin's Bower, Phlox, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Daisy Fleabane, Oxeye Daisy, Bergamot, Northern Agriculum, Mountain Mint, Stiff Gentian, Horse Balm, Dodder, Black-eyed-Susan, Beggar's Lice, Turtlehead, Bee Balm, Hog Peanut and Tall Sunflower.

Birds Identified: Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue Jay, Pine Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo, Towhee, Junco, Nuthatch .

scroll down for photos and video from today.......

Parking at the Wayah Crest Picnic Area.
Forest Service Sign.
Headed up the Appalachian Trail!
Fungus of the week!
Climbing the grassy slope at Siler Bald.
Nearing the summit!
Great 360 degree views!
Looking over to Wayah Bald
Butterfly enjoying the Mountain Mint blossoms.
Stiff Gentian (Gentiana quinquefolia)
We head back down the slope.
Next, we take the Siler Bald Shelter loop trail.
It was a great day for mushrooms!
Lunchtime at the Siler Bald Shelter!
The OFHC gang for today's hike (l-r) Tony Presley, Jack Jacobi, John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Don Preece, Vic Robson, Donna Presley, Pom Sinnock, Dan Ross, Bob Magee, Phil Brownrigg, Dave Hinson, Bill Hunt, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker and Carole Wintle

See below for video and more photos!

click below for more photos!

Appalachian Trail - Siler Bald Wayah Gap 8-21-12

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