View Full Version : Favorite Mountains on the AT

09-27-2004, 22:48
What is your favorite mountain on the AT? It's hard to pick just one, isn't it? I would say 2 of mine would be Mt. Katahdin (of course!) and South Twin. Bigelow and Guyot would also be on my list.

I haven't hiked in the Smokies yet but hope to do so soon.

Flash Hand
09-28-2004, 08:10
Just hiked 523 miles, so far I liked Bald Mountain, just south of Bald Mountain Shelter, and I have put both Roan Mountain and Unaka Mountain the most favorite.

Flash Hand :jump

09-28-2004, 08:22
the one BEHIND me! :D

09-28-2004, 08:34
What is your favorite mountain on the AT? It's hard to pick just one, isn't it? I would say 2 of mine would be Mt. Katahdin (of course!) and South Twin. Bigelow and Guyot would also be on my list.

I haven't hiked in the Smokies yet but hope to do so soon.

Unaka Mountain (TN), Mt. Rogers (VA), Mt Everett (MA), Moosilauke (NH) are a few that come to mind. In Maine, there are tons of amazing mountains, but the one that comes to mind immediately is um, er, the one that's loaded with blueberries just south of Monson. Dang! Forgot the name!

Ah - Moxie Bald Mountain!

09-28-2004, 08:52
The whole stretch of trail along the Roan Massif is fantastic. Within that area, the grassy balds of Hump Mountain and Little Hump Mountain are the most special places for me! The views are outstanding, and the hiking is great every season of the year!

SGT Rock
09-28-2004, 08:53
Albert Mountain is a hoot.

09-28-2004, 08:57
Albert Mountain is a hoot.

I met a young kid named "North Wind" while climbing Albert in 2000. He was from Maine. While my friend & I oohed & aahed about how steep Albert Mtn was, he said, "this is nothing - much of New Hampshire & Maine is like this for miles".

Of course, we thought he was kidding. Of course, he wasn't.

SGT Rock
09-28-2004, 09:01
Then I have something to look forward too ;)

09-28-2004, 10:19
I thought the Grayson Highlands area was over rated, prefering the Roan area myself. Cold Mountain in Virginia is, I think, the best thing going in Virginia, and the last pretty thing on the AT until the Palmerton area in PA. Mount Cammerer in GSMNP isn't on the AT, but it is a wimpy 0.5 mostly flat miles off the trail. Still, if you visit it as a thruhiker, you will be in the minority (so much for smelling the roses). I thought Greylock was vastly overrated and would have road walked around it if I could (maybe it was the 4 dozen elementary school kids I had to pass on the trail up), but Race and Bear mountains (not the one in NY) were fantastic.

09-28-2004, 11:11
Mt Jackson summit, NH

09-28-2004, 11:12
While I've hike just a few miles of the AT (The highlands, saddlebacks, bigelows and parts of GSMNP), I'd have say I enjoyed the saddlebacks and bigelows the most. I'd like the Grayson Highlands more if they were not covered with cow and pony ****. For that mater, I'd get rid of the ponies all together.

Of course most of this has more to do with the weather than anything else. As my hikes through the smokies have been plagued by clouds and fog, whereas the Grayson and ME hikes were perfect weather. I remember eating lunch on Buzzard Rock and thinking it couldn't get better than this. That was, of course, before I had perfect weather in ME.

09-28-2004, 11:17
The mighty bulk of Clingman's Dome
All black in spruce and balsam
Raised up its head in the morning dew
Like a bear so big and awesome
It took the firmament
In the earth's awaking scent

Lone Wolf
09-28-2004, 12:22
Cheoah Bald.

09-28-2004, 12:22
The whites:

Hard to top the Whites, I have been up on Max Pach on an exceptionally clear day and that was my best view ever in the southern half.

09-28-2004, 12:59
Mt. Abraham's (1.7mi one-way blue blaze) was real nice. I loved (seriously) hiking across the granite fields the last mile or so. You hear that "fingernail on a chalkboard" sound with every step.

09-28-2004, 13:04
Cheoah Bald.


09-28-2004, 14:00
Max Patch - the coolest mountain on the trail, by far. The view is incredible, and you can camp just off the summit for a sunrise/sunset combo. You just can't beat it.

Cheoah Bald - Great camping and a great outlook to watch the sunset behind the Smokies.

Rocky Top ? (in the Smokies)

Cold Mountain/Tar Jacket Ridge

The Whites (just about anywhere, but I really like Mt Height)

Anything in Maine over 4000 ft. Especially Mt Abram, which is 1.7 miles off the trail. Well worth the side trip.

Oh, and Katahdin, of course. The most magnificant mountain on the East Coast.

Jack Tarlin
09-28-2004, 14:24
Avery Peak, Maine

09-28-2004, 16:27
Avery Peak, MaineAnd you had great views on your last visit. I was stuck in the cloud.

Seems like a great place to do a winter day hike.

walkin' wally
09-28-2004, 18:01
I can only speak for Maine but for me it is tiny Nesuntabunt mountain in the 100 mile wilderness in the spring with the views of Nahmakanta lake,the Debsconeag Highlands and Katahdin with snow still on the summit.
I hope to post a pic someday :sun

09-28-2004, 18:29
Max Patch- I think my fav on the whole Trail. Chomp nailed it. How could you not love it? Great views, great sunset, great camping, great sunrise. Too bad you can see a road from it

Race Mtn-Great ridgewalk on a sunny day or even spooky on a cloudy day. I grew up attending a summer camp a half mile from Bear Rock Falls, so I have many fond memories of this area (sages ravine-Everett) as a camper and counselor.

Lafyette-Fantastic views despite the hoards of people. Met my first thru-hiker on the summit in 98 (Baltimore Jack) and have been inspired ever since. Thats where it all started for me I guess..

Goose Eye-Something about this mountain keeps bringing me back. Hiked it in July on a hot day, on a crisp september morning and in a foot of snow and ice in november. You can see the whole mahoosuc range on a clear day and its rare to see anyone else. This to me, is what hiking is all about.

Sleepy the Arab
09-28-2004, 19:27
Chestnut Knob. When I am there, the feeling of utter calm comes over me, like I have arrived home. When I leave, I despair that I may never see it again.

09-28-2004, 20:26
gotta agree max patch was really nice so different than anything i'd been on before. sobo down south kinsman was pretty wild i thought i must have gotten off the trail there's no way the trail goes down there hehehee

09-29-2004, 08:58
Mt. Abraham's (1.7mi one-way blue blaze) was real nice. I loved (seriously) hiking across the granite fields the last mile or so. ....

The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust closes tomorrow on our purchase of Abraham's summit ridge. We borrowed the final $200,000 needed for the purchase. If you can help us repay the loan, our address is MAT Land Trust, PO Box 325, Yarmouth, Maine 04096. Or send me a snail mail address and I'll forward you some information.

I first climbed Abraham 30 years ago, a few weeks after the passage of the Bigelow Referendum that resulted in 40,000 acres of protected land on and around Bigelow. My first thought was, "we've saved the wrong mountain."


09-29-2004, 09:09
Mt. Abraham is very nice. If you ever run into Dave Field, ask him about the rock art if you do not know the story ;) .

09-29-2004, 09:13
Kelly Knob - he he :D

09-29-2004, 09:14
Tray mtn is nice!

SGT Rock
09-29-2004, 10:03
I gotta agree. Tray Mountain is nice, I also liked Roan a lot because it is just so cool up there.

09-29-2004, 10:05
Picking one is extremely difficult, and I've only done half the AT (Georgia plus Catawba, Virginia to Glencliff, New Hampshire)! Funkyfreddy didn't list any criteria, but certainly the view, the effort, the type of trail, and even your frame of mind all play into selecting your favorite.

These summits stand out in my mind, for different reasons:

Mt. Everett (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/77/password/0/sort/1/cat/500/page/7), CT (March 1975): Climbed from the north in a light rain that got progressively heavier then turned to sleet and snow as we ascended. The trail was totally covered with a thick sheet of ice just before the summit. We didn't see the lean-to that used to be there because of the thick fog, so we had to scoot back down on our butts. A very cold, hypothermic afternoon. In the morning we awoke above the clouds under a bright sun.

The Priest (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/458/size/big/password/0/sort/1/cat/500), VA (October 2002): We climbed from the Tye River on a lovely early morning, breakfasting halfway up on a nice rock. I felt strong and did the 5-mile, 3,000 vertical foot climb faster than I had expected, so I spent 45 minutes gazing over Pinnacle Ridge and the changing colors. A very beautiful and calming experience.

Tar Jacket Ridge (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/463/size/big/password/0/sort/1/cat/500), VA (October 2002): Another lovely, crisp morning and my first bald. I was ahead of my partner, ATWalker99, and decided to stop for awhile on a rock and just watch a hawk fly around. Turns out he had stopped a little ways behind, so we had a restful, extended break. It was neat to see the hog fences lining the hills.

Catawba Mountain (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1746/size/big/password/0/sort/1/cat/500) (McAfee Knob), VA (October 2003): It was cool to be able to see my route from Daleville. I had started at 7 AM with the temperature at 34 degrees, but in late afternoon it was warm under a bluebird sky. I spent a lot of time just taking it all in.

Dragon's Tooth (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1749/size/big/password/0/sort/1/cat/500), VA (October 2003): The view wasn't as neat as the SOBO climb up the tremendous number of rock steps that have been put in place by the Roanoke Trail Club. This is a real quad burner.

Uncle Wayne
09-30-2004, 03:49
Cold Mountain, VA or Siler Bald, NC

05-10-2005, 03:51
Just about every time I think of the Trail, I think of Avery Peak. :sun The whole day that transpired before I bagged a couple gorgeous peaks before sunset- and how it felt like I was barely moving at all. The tasty snack I stopped to eat (chocolate mousse, O la la!), and the chipmunk that let me PET IT while i was sitting on the side of the trail for a photo! Crisp, clear air, cool calm water, and GREEN GREEN GREEN for miles. The swish of those purple-red Maine leaves under my sandals, the electricity in the air! The cotton-candy pines lining the trail UP UP UP, the rocks like busted jawbreakers waiting for me to pound my way through, the moss clinging, and everything disappearing at the top. With lakes laying like mercury among the sea of forest, and me, turning around and around, feeling like the whole damn state was within my fingers' grasp. Lichens to marvel at, pretty rocks to stare at. The plaque that made me cry... and..... The dayhiker ......with his dog, barking, interrupting it all... :welcome I cannot wait until I can return for a suitable sit atop that peak, silence reigning, perhaps s'more of that invigorating autumn wind to blow my hair. Spectacular.


05-10-2005, 06:40
#1 Hump Mountain, can see it in so many places in the tri-cities, from Johnson
City looking South toward Hump it looks like a gigantic wheaten wave
#2 whatever mountain Dragon's Tooth is on
#3 Mt. K maybe cause when we went up the weather was perfect
#4 Big Bald, got to be a reason I've done Sam's to Spivy 17 times
#5 Roan, its in my backyard

Most hated: (well so far)
#1 Sassafras Mtn. in Georgia
#2 Pond Mtn (well not anymore but was the ultimate PUD until I repeated
that section in winter and got the views of Watauga Lake and Roan Mtn)
#3 Lost Mtn, was a re-route and we got lost, lost on Lost Mtn.

05-10-2005, 08:07
Most of my favs have already been mention so I'll throw out Gregory Bald ( GSMNP ). AT used to cross it before trail was rerouted across Fontana Dam. The old Moore Spring shelter has been torn down.

Great views, flame azalaes and wild blueberries galore are not to be missed.

The Solemates
05-10-2005, 09:41
i cant believe no one has mentioned katahdin. its my favorite by far.

Moon Monster
05-10-2005, 10:45
Garfield, sitting on the old cabin foundation surveying the Pemi late in the day.

05-11-2005, 09:07
I don't think I can choose a very favorite. But, Bald Pate was really special on a particularly wonderful day in Maine.

...yea, I miss Maine.

The Hog
05-11-2005, 10:18
Katahdin, IMO, is the premier mountain in the eastern U.S.. But Moosilauke, Goose Eye, Max Patch, Hump Mtn, and Barren Mtn are pretty special in their own ways.

05-11-2005, 10:42
Cold mountain, VA. Especially when the Old Apple Tree is full of fruit... Natures trail magic.


05-11-2005, 11:34
#2 whatever mountain Dragon's Tooth is onCove Mountain.

02-17-2009, 02:08
A real jewel is Max Patch Mtn. in NC. I also like Little Hump and Big Hump further north.

Pedaling Fool
02-17-2009, 08:02
Moody Mountain in Maine (~248 miles south of Katahdin).

Because no one mentioned it and I really enjoyed climbing it, was very steep and not so much in the way of roots, rocks, and mud; I really needed it that day.

However, that was before the landslide last year, so not sure how it is now.

Cedar Tree
02-17-2009, 08:14
I really liked Sages Ravine followed by Race Mt. Beautiful to be down in the dark ravine only to emerge on Race with awesome views.

Frick Frack
02-17-2009, 08:55
WOW! There were so many awesome mountains I do not know where to begin. ME had a ton of them as well as NH. TN/NC is my stompin grounds and there are many there that I love. It was all those mountains that kept us going. Springer, I do not believe yet mentioned, holds a place in my heart because I proposed there, was married there and finished our sobo there. When I walk up that mountain I am flooded with memories.

02-17-2009, 19:50
In no particlular order:
Unaka: I love those trees!
Shuckstack: I was "warned" as to how truely hard it was, my friend told me that "I had to count my steps to keep going". He started from the Fontana parking lot. I got there & kept waiting for the bad part, but it never came. Than again I started S of Franklin.
Albert: well worth the climb!
Tray Mt: I could see Atlanta from the top. WOW!