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Former Admin
09-10-2002, 05:24
Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Roan High Knob Shelter

Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

Future hikers - any questions?

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Stats: ?

Jumpstart
09-26-2002, 20:55
Incredible trail magic in the form of pizza and a 12-pack at this shelter, to be split among just four of us for the night! However, the shetler was small, claustrophobic, becuase it is enclosed on all sides, and if you are NOBO, it will most likely be FREEZING cold and windy here, as it was when we were there. Windows banged in the wind all night and we didn't sleep well.

Lugnut
10-19-2002, 15:33
I'll second what Jumpstart says; COLD! This is the highest shelter on the trail in altitude. I think the fontana hilton is supposed to have the highest hikers. Go figure.:D

stranger
12-11-2002, 23:49
Arrived there and found about 6 dead mice in traps that someone must have left there...the spring was very slow but did the trick. Was windy and chilly but not too bad. Restrooms were locked when I went through in late March...old firewardens cabin I think.

Hillbilly
07-25-2003, 13:18
The place just sounds great....it's the starting point for my son and I in June 04 on a section all the way through (hopefully) to Mt. Rogers.

Question - We are going to be dropped off at Cloudland, and are planning on our first night at Roan Bald. Is it okay in the protocol of the AT to take a night in a shelter, even though we havent' logged any appreciable miles? - Thanks in advance - hillbilly

Lone Wolf
07-25-2003, 13:26
All shelters are first come, first served whether you hiked 1/4 mile or 23 miles to it. Thru-hikers and long distance hikers should never count on a shelter having space.

mikethulin
02-08-2004, 20:35
ive been to this shelter in the summer and winter and its always cold and dark it has no views and no light gets inside this shelter the shelter even on a clear day the trees are very thick in the area
can have alot of snow in the winter ive had waist deep snow drifts on the approach trail so look out
thanx mike :) :)

Jack Tarlin
02-08-2004, 20:43
Another great thing about staying here---it puts you in great shape the next day to have an easy hike and short day to Overmountain Shelter, one of the prettiest places to spend the night on the entire Trail.

Patco
02-08-2004, 21:03
Great info from the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club site. They maintain that section.

http://www.tehcc.org/RoanHighKnobShelter.htm :welcome

If you're hiking northbound (NOBO) up Roan Mountain, you will have climbed for several hours upon reaching this shelter. From the road crossing just after Clyde Smith shelter (Dad and I enjoyed watermellon there) you start to climb and it doesn't level off a bit. Several places where you have to grab trees and pull yourself up on big rock steps. Dad climbed this on a cold rainy April day on his long distance hike and did not enjoy it much at the time.

Brushy Sage
02-08-2004, 22:56
When Patco and I arrived at this shelter in 2003, we found that a group from Kincora hostel had been there helping the maintaining club make renovations on this shelter. It is improved over the 2002 conditions -- more light gets in -- still no privy (unless added in the past six months or so). A local family who had hiked up there on an outing watched me cook on the whisperlite, and the son said he had never seen anything like that. Then they hiked back down to their car.

Moon Monster
02-09-2004, 23:08
The High Knob highpoint is marked by a USGS benchmark on a rock just (<100 yards) beyond the shelter (to the left as you leave the shelter).

Reportedly, it can snow here even when the other two summits of Roan have just rain (even though they are only 1-2 miles away and only 20-30 feet lower than the High Knob)!

There are pit toilets next to the Carver Gap parking lot a mile + north of the shelter. There is also a piped spring there and some campsites, if you want to be off the summit and a tad warmer.

abales01
04-20-2006, 17:04
I enjoyed screwing with the flies as they slept in their little clusters. The things were everywhere. Cloudland was very mystical at dusk.

COLD COLD COLD

bertcourson
04-20-2006, 18:34
It was raining for the last two miles as I approached from the south. The trail did not wash out as it was well maintained with rock. Upon arrival the view was, well, not very good. I did not know I was on top of anything. The shelter was ok and we slept well. The walk north was down the hill and feeling was that I was leaving an arboreal forest and returning to civilization.

Pennsylvania Rose
04-20-2006, 19:38
My kids and I spent the night of April 5th in the shelter. We were thankful for the enclosed walls. The wind never stopped for the three days we had been out to that point, gusting enough to push us sideways on Little Hump. Overmountain Shelter was especially bad the night before. Wind blew through the barn even though we put our tarp over the loft window and our ground cloth on the floor. We had had enough of cold windswept views at that point. Snow and trees were OK by us. And, living in Kentucky, the boreal forest on top of Roan Mtn. is a novelty we enjoy. The mountain has replaced Mt. Rogers as my son's favorite place.

joel137
04-20-2006, 23:01
If you are being dropped off at Cloudland, early in the day, you might consider your first night at Overland Shelter.

I've been there twice, in June and it was coldish, the first time the trail register warned of huge rats infesteing the shelter.

They actually were flying squirrels, which could've been confused for rats, only they are much cuter than rats. Its a unique shelter and probably worth the stay for that reason.

kyhipo
04-21-2006, 09:03
One of my best days hiking the AT was hiking southbound to Roan shelter,man from the barn to their was great just awesome views it was in late march little chilly,but it was wonderful then coming down into those mt.laurels my goodness the tunnels were just great!little scarey going down that hill after roan on ice:eek: ky

brz
06-07-2006, 21:04
i should mention that i know of 3 people that missed the sign to
roan high when i was there. 1 by himself the day before and two out of a party of three that day. the latter caused a lot of grief. they said they missed sign because they were looking at ground. sign is dark brown. it is above eye level on a tree with a BLUE blaze. it has "Appalacian Trail" in big letters and under that "Roan high shelter" in tiny letters. its quite easy for a SoBo to entirely miss sign.

given the extreme altitude and very bad weather in Roan highlands, the sign really needs to be changed. all of the 17 folks I meet about this shelter AGREE. I knew of problem in advance by asking passing hikers about problems ahead.

p.s, i had ice form on my hammock up there over night in JUNE! indicated low overnight was 22 degrees f.

also, there is NO EXCUSE for no privy at this shelter! road access is only .5 miles away. such a tragedy for this spectacular place to be littered with tp and feces.

wilconow
06-21-2006, 16:47
also, there is NO EXCUSE for no privy at this shelter! road access is only .5 miles away. such a tragedy for this spectacular place to be littered with tp and feces.

Doesn't this have to do with Tennessee?

Gray Blazer
06-21-2006, 17:04
It's an easy hike from Carver's Gap to the 1st Shelter South (Clyde Smith ?) anyway, Overmountain Shelter is just a little beyond that and easy to reach in less than a day. And......if you like to tent, Big Hump is a great spot to camp and can be reached from Carver's Gap in less than a day. Camping out on Big Hump can be fun if you have a good tent that won't blow away. It can get windy and cold even in July. have fun!

SawnieRobertson
06-21-2006, 17:20
The High Knob highpoint is marked by a USGS benchmark on a rock just (<100 yards) beyond the shelter (to the left as you leave the shelter).

Reportedly, it can snow here even when the other two summits of Roan have just rain (even though they are only 1-2 miles away and only 20-30 feet lower than the High Knob)!

There are pit toilets next to the Carver Gap parking lot a mile + north of the shelter. There is also a piped spring there and some campsites, if you want to be off the summit and a tad warmer.

Good information. When I went came out into Carvers Gap, it was so socked in that the person I was meeting there was invisible until he was within a couple of feet of me. Sure am glad I wasn't looking for those privies.--Kinnickinic

Gray Blazer
06-21-2006, 17:25
Ummmm....That should read 1st shelter North....bad gray blazer (slaps own hand):rolleyes:


It's an easy hike from Carver's Gap to the 1st Shelter South (Clyde Smith ?) anyway, Overmountain Shelter is just a little beyond that and easy to reach in less than a day. And......if you like to tent, Big Hump is a great spot to camp and can be reached from Carver's Gap in less than a day. Camping out on Big Hump can be fun if you have a good tent that won't blow away. It can get windy and cold even in July. have fun!

karo
12-22-2006, 20:45
How can I get info on the web about local weather around Roan?:sun I am leading a trip to Roan High Shelter for a winter trip and need to find current info.

mweinstone
12-22-2006, 22:37
cold, inhospitable, and a sheltar to avoid in a freeze.

Lone Wolf
12-22-2006, 22:39
cold, inhospitable, and a sheltar to avoid in a freeze.

yup. needs to be torn down.

RAT
12-22-2006, 22:44
I have been there many many times all times during the yr. It is always colder there than anywhere else around. The shelter is an old fire wardens cabin located deep inside the pines so is very closed in but a welcome refuge during really cold and/or windy weather. The last time I was there I camped in the grass on the high knob where the old cloudland hotel once sat and it was a full moon. Lied on my back and watched the moon and clouds racing overhead. Most awesome beautiful place under any conditions. Very nice hike north to the overmountain barn as Jack mentioned and agreed does have incredible views from the barn however saying it is the best on the trail must be a personal preference as I am sure there are better. I have delivered trail magic to the Roan high knob shelter mnay times and was always a welcome thing to any who were there :) The climb up from Hughes Gap is a GRoan but the scenery takes your breath away while doing it.Getting dropped off there sure makes it easier !

RAT

RAT

RAT
12-22-2006, 23:27
Here's a pic: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=9145&catid=565

veteran
12-22-2006, 23:57
How can I get info on the web about local weather around Roan?:sun I am leading a trip to Roan High Shelter for a winter trip and need to find current info.

Try this Link (http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/local/USTN0429?from=search_current).

rafe
12-23-2006, 00:17
Here's a pic: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=9145&catid=565


I've seen far worse... I thought it was gonna be one of those awful stone shelters like Blood Mtn or Chestnut Knob.

RAT
12-23-2006, 00:46
No it is actually very aesthetic. I always sleep upstairs in the loft. I first stayed at Blood Mtn in the late 80`s early 90`s when it had the original resident wood rat (as written about in the original Philosophers guides) and let me tell you, the nest was HUGE (in rafters overhead) and the RAT was HUGE too, very brave, come right out on ya, fearless and get right in your stuff with you right there, was scary at the time, I bonked him on the head with my hiking stick, didnt phase him. I would prefer Roan High Knob shelter to there anyday other than the wonderful views from Blood Mtn.

RAT

ed bell
12-23-2006, 01:11
No it is actually very aesthetic. I always sleep upstairs in the loft.RATI stayed up in the loft on a 0DegF overnight. I enjoyed my stay. Mostly cause I had it easy for camp chores. Snow everywhere in Feb. I'll be back.:sun

orangebug
12-23-2006, 09:34
Only shelter where I've been bitten by mice at night. The place was nasty with litter and food.

karo
12-23-2006, 11:16
Try this Link (http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/local/USTN0429?from=search_current).
Thanks Veteran, I have that link. :) I was just wondering if any of the local mountain areas have a weather station. Just something to give me an idea of the weather situation up at that altitude. Roan Mountain, TN, the town is at the bottom of the mt. and doesn't have the same weather extremes as Roan mastif. I thought that nearby Mt. Mitchell or Grandfather Mtn. had a weather station or at least a camera. Something to give me an idea of what that area has weather wise as I am in middle TN.

rafe
12-23-2006, 11:23
Roan Mountain, TN, the town is at the bottom of the mt. and doesn't have the same weather extremes as Roan mastif.

Well, you prolly know this, but being a big, high bald, the weather can be all over the map. I went over on a beautiful day and spent the next day in town. The folks that came over following day walked through a blizzard, and were a bit freaked when they showed up at the motel.

Grampie
12-23-2006, 11:47
Good memorys of my stay in "01". We arrived at the shelter to find two "00"thry-hikers there. They were Fluff Head and Shakey Legs. They said that they had some trail magic, in their car at Carvers Gap and left to get it. After waiting some time and they did not return we felt that it was just a lot of bull. To our suprise they returned bringing a large load of stuff. Soda, beer, fresh fruit, fresh vegitables , home made breads and a lot of snack stuff. What a party we had. It was the birthday of " Orion" so we celebrated. Spent the night in my tent. Woke to a very cold morning. Just packed up and hiked down to Carvers Gap and had a breakfast of oranges, coffee and home made bread.:p

MOWGLI
12-23-2006, 12:03
I came close to hypothermia at Roan High Knob Shelter. It was a day with heavy rain along with temps in the 30s. I was shaking and chattering to the point where I was frightened. I ended up doing some jumping jacks, and headed out of the shelter waving my arms and doing whatever I could to warm up. I ended up hiking to Overmountain Shelter. In retrospect, it was a great day.

WILLIAM HAYES
12-23-2006, 14:32
Very cold when I hiked through this section an d the shelter is cramped. No views either
Hillbilly:banana

mountain squid
12-23-2006, 14:46
Using the link Veteran provided, I'd subtract at least 10F. If the forecast calls for cold and rain at Roan Mt, TN, there is probably snow at Carvers Gap (5512'). The drive up there can be treacherous in the snow (there aren't many places to turnaround). Also, everytime I have been there it has been windy. It might be warm and sunny, but the wind will be blowing...

See you on the trail,
mt squid

Marta
12-23-2006, 15:29
I was there the night of Dec. 7th this year. Zero degrees with 25 mph wind. A couple of inches of fresh snow. One of the most memorable nights of my hike so far. Oddly enough, the shelter was not crowded at all...just Endos (the hiker formerly know as Snapshot) and me that night.

RAT
12-23-2006, 19:14
The following links may be of help:

http://ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/weather.html

http://www.ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/webcam.html

http://www.weather.com/weather/local/28805?y=12&x=11

RAT

ed bell
12-23-2006, 19:42
The following links may be of help:

http://ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/weather.html

http://www.ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/webcam.html

http://www.weather.com/weather/local/28805?y=12&x=11

RATThanks for the links RAT. I've seen the Mitchell weather station before, but the anomometer had been out of service for quite a while. Glad they fixed it.:cool:

karo
12-27-2006, 23:49
The following links may be of help:

http://ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/weather.html

http://www.ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/webcam.html

http://www.weather.com/weather/local/28805?y=12&x=11

RAT
Yeah thanks for those links. I have been watching Mt. Mitchell and Grandfather Mtn sites as I fugured they were the only ones in the area with weather stations. I have also been following the weather in the Smokies, esp. the road to Newfound Gap. I think we will be just fine get to Carver's Gap. I just hope there is snow from there up to the peaks of Roan mastif.

RAT
12-27-2006, 23:55
You are welcome. It is a short hike from Carvers up to the high knob, little over a mile I think, and it is thru dense pine forest. Normally you could drive on up to the top at the old Cloudland Hotel site and walk basically level over to the shelter but pretty sure the road is closed during the winter. Good luck and enjoy your hike !

RAT

karo
12-31-2006, 21:57
We had a great trip to Roan on Fri/Sat Dec. 29-30.2006. We got there early in the afternoon and there was already a crowd at Carver's Gap. The weather was perfect with sunshine and 2-3 inches of snow on the north sides of the peaks. By the time we arrived at Roan High, the cabin was crowded with 15-16 people and a few in tents. We had a great night around a fire and my coleman heater took the chill off up in the loft. It got down pretty cold that night but warmed up the next morning to the low 40's with a light mist blowing when we got back down to Carver's Gap. Several of us hiked out to Roan High Bluff in the snow on Friday. There had been some X-country skiiers there earlier by their tracks. A wonderful winter trip overall.

RAT
01-03-2007, 00:48
Sounds like a great time. Thanks for posting your trip report ;) Coleman heater ? Hairdryer ? Pineapple ? LOL


RAT

MedicineMan
01-03-2007, 04:29
that you slept within 2 miles of where John Muir slept when he stayed at the motel on top of Roan Mountain.

kyhipo
01-03-2007, 07:35
I really enjoyed my hike in the roans,shelter was a nice one but boy it was feezing in their.:D ky

karo
06-06-2007, 22:12
that you slept within 2 miles of where John Muir slept when he stayed at the motel on top of Roan Mountain.
:-?
DK that, I guess I'll have to read more about him, John Muir that is.

DavidNH
06-06-2007, 23:03
I regret staying here. I did tent right near by. Too close to a road and thus beer parties.But be yone that the place was god awful cold..one of my coldest nights on entire trail..well it was/is 6200 or so feet up!

There is a beatiful place to camp 3000 feet lower that I wish I stopped at (I forget the name but I think it is in data book). And I wish I had gotten to OVermountain Shelter. But that was too early to stop next day.

David

Yahtzee
06-06-2007, 23:25
Stayed there once and it totally freaked me out. Very Stephen King.

karo
06-12-2007, 13:15
Anyone been there lately (In the last two weeks) that can report on the water situation on Roan at the High Knob shelter, Carvers Gap at the spring, or Grassy Ridge at the spring near the top??

John B
06-12-2007, 13:56
I was there in May 16 and the water at Roan was VERY poor -- the spring below the shelter was little more than a puddle. I tried to pump but it was so muddy that it quickly clogged my filter.

If I were doing it again, I'd tent at Ash Gap, camel up there, hike over Roan the next morning and maybe stop at Mountaineeer Shelter -- I stopped there for lunch and it's easily the best shelter I've ever seen.

I didn't find water at Carver's, either, but I heard later than there was a spring downhill from the privy (which means that I personally wouldn't have gotten water there, either). There is a trash can at Carver's, so it was a good place to get rid of garbage. However, there was spring water flowing on the balds just NOBO from Carver's. There was also a good stream and a piped spring at Apple House shelter.

I tented at Roan Mt. and I'll join the chorus saying it was cold as Hades.

karo
06-15-2007, 00:04
The spring at Carver's Gap is around the hill from the privy and is a piped spring comiing out of the ground. It isn't directly down from the privy, but I personally haven't gotten water from it, but I would definetly treat it if I were to drink it.

mweinstone
06-15-2007, 00:26
i felt like eating my lunch at the little sign that marks the shelter trail. i heard drunken drinkers drinking drink up there and wanted to be alone. the snow was deep and the rain was frozen and the temp was 20. i desided to see how good all my gear was when taken to the limit so i ploped down in the slushy snowy cold and stopped cold for lunch. i decided i would be leisurely about eating and see if i could remaine unfrozen long enough to do so. it worked. just. after a good 40 min lunch sitting directly on wetness, i rose shaking slightly and hiked up some heat on the way down.i was dry by the time i had walked an hour. what makes the trees so dense there ? the question is for anyone.why? and why is it so creepy on thet mountain? is it the closed in ness? the dark? isnt it creepy?

smokymtnsteve
06-15-2007, 00:30
Have U ever seen the devil
with his ole iron shovel
when he's scartching up the gravel
on the old roan road?

have you never seen the devil
with his pitch fork and ladle
serving soup to the hikers
ina creepy shelter zone?

mweinstone
06-15-2007, 00:38
thats a creepy good poem.

sweetpeastu
09-10-2007, 10:12
Howdy, does anyone know what the water situation is like now? I dunno if Roans rec'd any rain since the last time I checked.

karo
09-12-2007, 14:58
Howdy, does anyone know what the water situation is like now? I dunno if Roans rec'd any rain since the last time I checked.
I will call over there and ask the rangers I talked to last time, but to be honest with you they weren't too helpful. It is not their fault, they are too busy chasing after meth labs and drunks.
Maybe someone will post here before the trip with more up to date info. If we tank up when we leave Carver's Gap and try to check for water along the trail around Grassy ridge and Stan Murray we should be ok till. Overmountain and the Barn. I dunno from there, but maybe if we get enough at the barn we can make it to Apple House which is near the end of that stretch.

The Solemates
09-12-2007, 15:36
my last post on the 'stan murray' thread was actually for the roan mtn shelter. i didnt check the water source at stan murray...just kept on truckin. its one of the nastiest shelters on the trail. overmtn down the trail though, is awesome.

karo
09-12-2007, 15:57
Yeah it is beautiful, but how's the water situation???

sweetpeastu
09-12-2007, 16:48
we'll be ok so long as we can get water at Carvers Gap....and somewhere in between like Overmountain/Stan any of those really. I mean....whatd I say the milage was..its like 7-8 miles a day? Thats not bad...its having enough water for cooking that concerns me...so yeah I hope it rains so we can have water near where we camp at least.

I don't think Overmountain had a bunch or Bradley's Gap last time I checked....thats not good.

weary
09-12-2007, 18:07
Another great thing about staying here---it puts you in great shape the next day to have an easy hike and short day to Overmountain Shelter, one of the prettiest places to spend the night on the entire Trail.
True. It's one of the few shelters that still stick in my mind as special after 14 years. Well, that and the Roan HIgh Knob shelter, which was very welcome after climbing the mountain.

Weary

Lone Wolf
09-12-2007, 18:08
True. It's one of the few shelters that still stick in my mind as special after 14 years. Well, that and the Roan HIgh shelter.

Weary

why? it's a dark, dingy, dirty box.

Deerleg
09-12-2007, 18:25
It was raining for the last two miles as I approached from the south. The trail did not wash out as it was well maintained with rock. Upon arrival the view was, well, not very good. I did not know I was on top of anything. The shelter was ok and we slept well. The walk north was down the hill and feeling was that I was leaving an arboreal forest and returning to civilization.
I had a similar experience a few years ago too...I had the place all to myself ... I think it was October 02....the place is a rain forest, lots of moss all over, I hung some gear out to dry on the front porch and it was wetter in the morning than when I hung it out. Steady breeze and mist all night. I'm a bit of a weather freak and noticed on Doppler radar that as the clouds pass over Roan they consistently tend to get rung out so you will have rain there and a mile north or south the sun will be out.

Kerosene
11-05-2008, 10:47
Stopped by early on a morning in late October 2008, with about 6" of snow on the ground and a lot of it still adhering to the dense pines covering the entire Knob. I thought it was beautiful and idyllic, but then again, I like snow.

Woke up a guy and his dog who had hiked up from Carvers Gap for the night. There was some snow in the loft, and the first floor is a 20'x20' dark box with a dirt floor. Nothing special there. There's a small bench that can serve as a cooking platform out front under the eave of the loft.

GeoRed
11-05-2013, 10:36
The trail to this shelter is poorly marked. Many NOBO's were missing it and we almost missed it going SOBO in April 2012. It's not really the sign that's hard to spot, it's the way the arrow is pointing that throws you off. It misleads you to think that you have to keep going to arrive at the shelter. You actually need to turn and go up that trail right then and there to arrive at the shelter.

pipsissewa
11-26-2013, 09:50
The trail to this shelter is poorly marked. Many NOBO's were missing it and we almost missed it going SOBO in April 2012. It's not really the sign that's hard to spot, it's the way the arrow is pointing that throws you off. It misleads you to think that you have to keep going to arrive at the shelter. You actually need to turn and go up that trail right then and there to arrive at the shelter.


Not anymore. There's a new 4x4 post along side the trail that's impossible to miss. (unlike the fading sign way up in the tree was!)

doritotex
11-26-2013, 10:14
25037 Picture of the firetower and newly built fire warden's cabin circa 1932/1933.
Great view with the surrounding area cleared of trees.

chelko
11-26-2013, 14:50
Amazing how much of that mountain that nature has recaptured in 80 years.

WingedMonkey
11-26-2013, 15:37
Amazing how much of that mountain that nature has recaptured in 80 years.

If you want some more fun, use the search on the Tennessee State Archives photos. Be creative looking for the trail and trail towns. One of my bookmarks for my genealogy habit.
http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/index.php



25038

A cabin for the fire tower lookout on Roan Mountain. 10/16/1938

SouthMark
11-26-2013, 18:59
Only 1 low that night and a high of 8.

25053

goldbug
02-20-2015, 19:50
Very easily accessable from the Carvers Gap parking lot, so it can be crowded if you're there on a weekend. Also a lot of garbage when I was there! Sometimes the toilets in the parking lot are locked.