Mount Sterling, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

#13 of 13 in Nature in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Mountain · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Mount Sterling is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Haywood County, North Carolina, located in the southeastern United States. It reaches an elevation of 5,842 feet (1,781 m) above sea level. The summit is topped by an abandoned fire tower that gives stunning views of other nearby peaks.
Mount Sterling crowns Mount Sterling Ridge, a 7-mile (11 km) ridge that gradually descends northward from the flanks of Big Cataloochee Mountain (on the Balsam Mountain crest) to the Pigeon River Valley. The ridge divides the Cataloochee area to the east from the Big Creek Valley (which represents the fringe of the Cosby area) to the west. The communities of Mount Sterling, North Carolina, and Waterville, North Carolina are located in the Pigeon Valley at the ridge's northern extreme. Geologically, Mount Sterling consists mainly of Precambrian metamorphic sandstone of the Ocoee Supergroup, formed nearly a billion years ago from ancient ocean sediments. The summit of Mount Sterling is surrounded by a stand of Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
13 reviews
  • One web site called this the toughest day hike in the Smokies. I didn't think it was that but it's constant uphill for 6.2 miles. Through some Rhododendron tunnels and moss fields. The fire tower...  more »
  • Beautiful drive through the wilderness. 4×4 recommended.
  • Highly recommend, amazing hike and view

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