Hike up from Cataloochee via Palmer Creek Trail and the Balsam Mountain Trail. I could not find the "manway" that I've seen mentioned in various sources, so it was a bushwhack.
Jen & I hiked Big Cataloochee via the Mt. Steriling Ridge > Balsam Mountain Trails. We parked at Pin Oak Gap located on on the unpaved Balsam Mountain Road, which goes from Heintooga Ridge Road to Cherokee. At 4.1 miles it meets the Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail, where the hiker may access Big Cataloochee. Steep hike>>views limited>> bushwhack at summit was very challenging>>summit difficult, but not impossible to find>>TAKE A MAP & COMPASS!!!
The exact top is not marked. There's also a huge amount of deadfall all around the summit.
Climbed with high school friends on my 16th birthday.