Frozen Head

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Tennessee, United States, North America
Elevation:
3324 ft / 1013 m
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Frozen Head
Created On: Jun 2, 2002
Last Edited On: Apr 8, 2003

Overview


This is the highest point in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. The name comes from the mountain's appearance in winter, when the frozen head can be seen through the clearing in the trees at the summit.

It is an easy 3 mile hike east from the trailhead on the South Old Mac Trail, and there are several longer routes, including a 7 mile jeep road (closed to traffic) which is open to mountain bikes. The firetower at the top offers great views of the park and surrounding area, including the Brushy Mountain State Prison to the east.

Frozen Head is also part of the infamous Barkley Marathons 60 and 100 mile runs, considered one of the world's toughest ultramarathon courses. During the race, runners approach from the more difficult "Rat's Jaw" route from the south, climbing 1000 feet in 0.6 miles at grades up to 45 degrees on a bed of cut-down sawbriers. There are several abandoned coal mine shafts along this route.

Getting There


From Oak Ridge take Rt. 62 west about 15 miles and turn right at the sign to Frozen Head State Park and go about 5 more miles to the entrance. The trailhead is 1/2 mile past the park entrance on your right (1361 ft. elevation). From here you can take the South Old Mac trail (2.7 mi), North Old Mac trail (3.6 mi), Spicewood Branch trail (about 4 mi), or Chimney Top trail (6.9 mi). The jeep road (6.9 mi) starts one mile past the trailhead at the campground to the left of the main road.

Red Tape


There is a $3 fee for day use. Check the park website for current status. If you arrive late and the gate is closed, you can open it, drive in, and close the gate behind you. Be sure to fill out a self serve permit form if you will be camping or hiking after dark.

When To Climb


Genenally there is no snow after late March through the fall, but it could also be climbed in the winter,as the snow is not steep.

Camping


There is a pay campground ($11.50/night) with hot showers. There are also several backcountry campsites, which require a permit (free), available at the park office 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mountain Conditions


The park website is
www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/frzhead
or call 423-346-3318


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