View Full Version : Campsites on Cheoah Bald, NC?

10-12-2004, 06:37
I am planning on hiking from Fontana Dam to Wesser (NOC) this weekend (Fri-Sun). Maybe I will run into a few Sobo's or other hikers this weekend too. Anyway, following is my planned schedule:

Fri: Brown Gap Shelter
Sat: Cheoah Bald

I was wondering if there were campsites on Cheoah Bald as this is where I plan to camp on Sat night.

Anybody familiar with this section?



10-12-2004, 07:05
There are trees and some fairly level ground, but it is exposed and not all that good a place for camping. Once you have done that 11 mile day to Brown Gap Shelter, you are looking at pretty tame mileages to Sassafras Gap and then NOC.

When I did that section a few years back, I camped near Grassy Gap (?) near huge rocks and a very good water supply. The walk from there to NOC was just a stroll. I think you will have little problem getting to Cheoah Bald and making your decision then whether to stay or go on.


10-12-2004, 07:54
.............I am planning on hiking from Fontana Dam to Wesser (NOC)..................I was wondering if there were campsites on Cheoah Bald as this is where I plan to camp on Sat night. Keith

Yo Keith!

i did this section last year...CHeoah Bald is wide open...a few trees around the perimeter...but, should be nice camping....even tho...i dont remember any fire rings so,...i wouldnt count on a fire. theres a shelter just north of Cheoah...if you're not interested in camping.

good luck with yer hike! :D

Lone Wolf
10-12-2004, 08:00
I've camped on Cheoah many times. One of my favorite campsites. Has one of the best sunsets. Definately camp up there.

10-12-2004, 08:27
I am just doing an overnighter. Leaving from Stecoah Gap headed North at Noon, staying fri night at cable gap, then on to Fontana by noon Saturday then back home.

10-12-2004, 08:52
Thanks guys. Appreciate the info.Sasquatch, maybe I'll see you on the trail.


Jack Tarlin
10-12-2004, 09:20
It's a GREAT place to camp.

Just make sure you remember to bring water from further back on the Trail.

10-12-2004, 09:52
Camping on Cheoah Bald varies somewhat when leaves are out versus when leaves aren't. It almost gets overgrown in mid summer but has a more wide open feel in mid winter. Of course, you are going when it is kind of in between. What you find may be different that what some of the previous folks saw. It is a beatiful place and you can always find a place or two for a tent, but as you know, the weather can get severe on top of a bald. Have fun.


10-12-2004, 18:43
One of my few regrets was stopping at the shelter and not going on to camp on the bald. When I walked up to it the next morning I said "Man, I'd like to be drinking coffee right here!".

steve hiker
10-12-2004, 18:51
If it's a clear night, definitely camp on Cheoah Bald. The stars are fantastic. I was there last week, when the weather was clear. I could see countless stars and even the Milky Way. You'll also see shooting stars.

A good spot is near the wooden Cheoah Bald sign on the AT. Follow the short trail into the bald, and there's a fire ring and a grassy spot just beyond. The grass is thick now and that's where I laid out my pad and sleeping bag. Spent an hour or so after dark just looking at the sky.

Also, there's a great overlook just to the west of the sign that's especially nice at sunset. Bring water, since I don't know of any springs on the bald. In my opinion you'd be cheating youself if you passed by this spot and spent yet another night at a shelter, hidden from the stars.

10-13-2004, 12:19
I've camped on Cheoah many times. One of my favorite campsites. Has one of the best sunsets. Definately camp up there.

And a great sunrise just across the AT and down the little path to the East overlook.

The Solemates
10-13-2004, 13:19
enough flat spot, beautiful vistas, but little water. carry it up.

10-13-2004, 13:23
If memory serves correctly there is a gorgeous (weather permitting) place right on the bald your first day out of NOC ...about a half mile beyond the first shelter. Didn't even use a fly on the tent that night in 2003. More stars than you can count and a fantastic view.

But ...be sure to gather your water at the shelter before climbing the rest of the way up to the bald. No water on top.

AT 2003

10-13-2004, 13:46
One of the best places to camp on the southern sect. of AT. No water, but shelter south with water is not too far away. In 03 I saw one of the best sunsets ever with great view of the Smokys. Fabulous star watching spot!

10-13-2004, 16:35
When I was up there this summer, I met an elderly gentleman setting up camp on the bald. He's lived in the area his whole life and often camps up there. He took me to a spring a couple hundred yards down the west side of the mountain. When we got into the trees, he had plastic ribbons tied on bushes marking the way. He said at one time there used to be a shelter there. On a clear nite this would be an awesome place to camp.

10-13-2004, 16:52
Wish I had known about that spring last year. Shlupped a lot of water up that hill to the bald.

AT 2003

07-10-2005, 18:35
I spent the night on Cheoah Bald this past Friday night, 7.8.05. I remembered the advise on this thread about water. In the center of the field at the bottom of the bald, there is a farm/access "road bed". Follow this road for about 30 yards, right before the road turns to the right, there is an old orange flag/tape tied to a limb on the left side of the road. Follow this path, which is marked by an occasional orange flag/tape to the bottom of a small ravine/draw, about 30 yards. The "path" then turns to the right/down hill followning the draw to a good spring/creek, about 20 yards. I could hear the water running from the road. It is at this time a very good water source. I do not know of it's year around availability. Overall it is around 3/10 of mile from the top of the bald to the water source. It is steep, reminded me of the decent for water at the Vandeventer Shelter. I sure appreciated the heads-up about this water. Smurf(GaMe2002) and I spent the night on top and ate dinner while watching a drop-dead gorgeous sunset over the smokies from the northern overlook. I have posted several pics of the sunset. Hope this information is usefull.