A turret on the green ramparts of the Roan Highlands, Jane Bald lies halfway between its neighbors, 5826' Round Bald and 6139' Grassy Ridge Bald. This small peak commands breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. As its name implies, Jane Bald is treeless, crowned only by rock, low shrubs and thick stands of Rhododendron. Numerous rock outcroppings near the summit make excellent waypoints, where one can absorb the sweeping vistas and fresh air.
Jane Bald lies right on the Appalachian Trail less than 1 mile from Highway 143 at Carvers Gap. Althouh rarely a destination in itself, it is a popular stopping point for hikers in the area.
– From Interstate 26 in Johnson City exit US Highway 321 to Elizabethton. Follow 321 to 19E (in Elizabethton) and turn right. Take 19E southeast to Roan Mountain. Turn right on Highway 143 in Roan Mountain. Follow 143 south to Carvers Gap. A parking lot is located on your right.
From Asheville take the Blue Ridge Parkway to 226 North (NE of Little Switzerland).
Take 226 to Bakersville and turn north on 261/143. Take 261/143 to Carvers Gap. A parking lot will be on your left.
This mountain is extremely accessible. This makes it a somewhat crowded destination.
When To Climb
In mid June, Rhododendrons bloom throughout the Roan Mountain region, most spectacularly at the Rhododendron Gardens near Tollhouse Gap, 2 1/2 miles from Jane Bald.
The best vistas can be had in autumn, when the moisture is retained in the forest floor. In summer, clouds, rain and haze often obscure the horizons. In late July, flies, bumblebees and honeybees are common on the balds.
Backpackers and hikers can camp at designated spots along the trail. There is an AT shelter located on Roan High Knob. The Stan Murray Shelter, which sleeps 8 people, sits 3 miles northeast. The Overmountain Shelter, some 5 miles northeast at Yellow Mountain Gap, sleeps 40 and is the largest on the Appalachian Trail.
Camping is also located nearby at:
Roan Mountain State Park
1015 Hwy. 143
Roan Mountain, TN 37687
No permits or restrictions.
Please note temperatures on top of Jane Bald are at least 5 degrees cooler than in Boone. Cloud cover is common even when most of the region is sunny.
Boone, North Carolina weather forecast.