Stepps Gap

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.73860°N / 82.2858°W
Additional Information Route Type: hike
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Mt. Gibbes is located it Mt. Mitchell State Park.
Turn left into Mt. Mitchell State Park from the Blue Ridge Parkway (mi.335.4) and follow the winding road to the Stepps Gap ranger station. Park at the ranger station. The trailhead is unmarked and is located across the gap, off of a gravel/gated service road.

Route Description

From the Stepps Gap park office building find the gravel service road located accross the main street and to your left. Follow the service road about 120 meters. There is a small, narrow meadow on the side of the mountain through the trees. Walk up this meadow to the balsam forest above. The unmaintained summit trail can be hard to locate but it is there. After about 13 min. of hiking up Cherry Ridge through the dense foliage you will come to a rise that is marked with a post & stones, a bearing tree and a few other markers. This is a false summit known as Cherry Mountain!
At this point the unmaintained faint trail gets even more confusing because it splits at about 6,420 feet. The right fork goes back down to the gravel service road while the left fork will take you to the summit.
The summit is located in a dense balsam forest with restricted views. It is marked by a metal pole with an orange ribbon surrounded by a circle of rocks.
If you visit on a clear day, take advantage of the partial views just west of the summit.

Essential Gear

Raingear is essential in the southeast at all times of the year.
Sturdy/waterproof trail shoes or boots are a must.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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