25 Aug Trail Guide – King Meadows Trail No. 63
Trail Guide – King Meadows Trail No. 63 (7.6 miles)
The trail can be summarized in 3 sections. The first section 1.25 miles is a steep climb from Snowbird Creek. The next section is a typical single track following ridges and skirting peaks to Deep Gap. The final section from Deep Gap to a house near Hooper Bald generally follows ridges along logging roads and deeply rutted roads.
Detailed Trail Description:
From near Snowbird Creek, trail ascends steeply (Strenuous) in first 1.25 miles with a climb from elevation gain of 1000 feet. Reliable water (not visible from trail) at nearby Owlcamp Branch about 200 – 300 yards to right of trail. Starting at approximately 2700 feet to 3700 feet at ridge. It reaches Fire Scald Ridge where it follows ridge with moderate walk. It skirts around west side of 4500 foot peak on a narrow trail and gradually descends into Deep Gap. After skirting west around a 4680 foot peak, the trail climbs along Meadow Branch (on left of trail) for several hundred yards before reaching a gap with littered campsite and intersecting 4-wheel road. Reliable water should be found along Meadow Branch. At campsite, turn left and begin climbing to King Meadows along washed out 4-wheel tracks. Trail again skirts to the west of a 5160 foot peak as it crosses Queen Ridge. The trail reaches an opening with a house and proceeds uphill along the fenced boundary of this property. Follow signs at the gravel road back into the woods toward the left. After a short walk, reach a signed trail junction with Mitchell Lick Trail (154). King Meadows trail turns uphill to the right and becomes overgrown and a little difficult to follow for the next 300 yards. Soon Kings Meadow trail bears toward the left as it crosses a wet forested area with several small streams bridged with old split logs. Some areas of the the trail may be overgrown, but the trail is easy to follow. The trail begins a few switchbacks just before reaching its signed junction with Hooper Bald trail. Turning right will lead a half mile to open meadows and views on the bald at an elevation of 5430 feet. By traversing the bald, one can take in views of Highway 143 (Cherehola Skyway), Maryville, TN in the distance, and neighboring, Huckleberry Bald.
Areas: Snowbird Wilderness Study Area, Cherehola Parkway
Closed Road 2579 from FS 75 near Wilson Cabin to trail at Owlcamp Branch.
Mitchell Lick Trail No. 154 from Trail No. 415 at Mitchell Lick to Snowbird Creek Trail 64 to junction with King Meadows Trail near Hooper Bald Trailhead.
Hooper Bald Trailhead. (Leads 0.5 miles to Hooper Bald with views of Cherehola Skyway and Huckleberry Knob)
Various washed out 4-wheel roads.
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Link to Google Map Directions: Robbinsville, NC to Snowbird Trail Head
Turn by Turn Directions:
From Topton and Andrews, enter Robbinsville on Hwy 129.
Turn right on North Main Street.
After proceeding through downtown Robbinsville, bear to the right on tight curve, Junaluska Road.
Junaluska Road shortly becomes Snowbird Road. Proceed on Snowbird Road for 4.7 miles
Turn left to stay on Snowbird road for another 2.1 miles. (There is a sign for Snowbird Complex?)
About 0.1 mile after passing intersection with Cornsilk Branch Road where there is another sign for Snowbird Complex, look for a 180 degree turn on Snowbird Road that descends immediately following the turn. (There is no sign and it is easy to miss. )
Immediately after a crossing bridge, turn right on a small road (Big Snowbird Road) with one-lane bridge. Cross the one-lane bridge. You will also see a sign at this junction that shows “Little Snowbird” straight ahead and Big Snowbird to the right. The key is to look for the one lane bridge on right.
Continue straight onto Big Snowbird Rd.
This road eventually turns into one lane unpaved Forest Service Road 75 with occasional campsites alongside Snowbird Creek. The road dead ends at a turnabout where there is a campsite and trailhead sign. – 4.09 mi (plus another 4 – 5 miles after Big Snowbird Rd turns into FS 75.)