Route: Plott Balsam Range Traverse (NC)

Submitted by Ben Gans on Sat, 05/15/2021 - 08:50pm
North Carolina, US
21.3 mi
Vertical Gain
7,694 ft

This route connects the contiguous summits of the Plott Balsam Range that are accessible to the public via trail.  Those summits being Blackrock Mountain, Yellow Face Mountain, Waterrock Knob, Browning Knob, Mount Lyn Lowry, and Plott Balsam Mountain.  Note that the Plott Balsam Range continues to the southwest, but Pinnacle Bald and Perry Top are trail-less.  Many people use the latter part of this trail to cover 4 of the 40 peaks for The South Beyond 6k Challenge (SB6K).  By linking 4 miles to the start, I extended the route to Pinnacle Park in Sylva, making for an almost 8k in vert in less than 22 miles.  To get that kind of face-punching vert in so few miles is unheard of in southeast.  I created this route as a true vertical challenge comprising some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi.

The route begins at the trailhead at the end of Fisher Creek Road in Pinnacle Park, follows the trail to Blackrock Mtn, continues along the ridgeline to Plott Balsam Mtn, and returns the same way.

The Plott Balsams portion of the SB6K: 

The portion I added:    

Another addition for the added portion:



Big Congrats on this one Dr. Ben! You've spent a lot of time in these peaks which shows in this fabulous write up! Can't think of a better person to put down the FKT for this route.