Ascent of Snake Mountain-North Peak on 2018-10-25

Climber: Scott Leslie

Date:Thursday, October 25, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Snake Mountain-North Peak
    Location:USA-North Carolina/Tennessee
    Elevation:5518 ft / 1681 m

Ascent Trip Report

Note: As of 2020, ascending the mountain via this route is no longer legal. "Keep out" and "no trespassing" signs have been posted at the trailhead. I've heard through various sources that the private landowners have grown tired of the amount of trash being left on the mountain and thus have closed it to the public. To my knowledge, there is no way to access the north peak without trespassing on private property. If you wish to legally hike this trail, you must negotiate permission from the property owners.

From Meat Camp Road, the trailhead begins at a gate on the left side of the road about thirty feet past the old parking circle to the right. Crawling under the gate, the trail begins an aggressive ascent directly up the side of the mountain, passing the remains of a bench a short way in. The trail enters the woods and the grade lets up slightly. Upon breaking out into the open again, the grade steepens again and climbs up to a large electrical pole, passing a memorial plaque. From here the trail devolves into a tricky, yet fun scramble up some of the most visually stunning rock formations of the NC High Country. The wind is often powerful here but the views make bearing it worth it. Once you reach the top of the rocks the trail re-enters the woods and becomes so steep I found myself on my hands and knees in several places. The trail emerges onto another scramble section before emerging into a very nice, flat campsite. From here, you must engage in a short, near vertical climb straight up the rock face. The scramble path continues up some more rocks before finally breaking out at the summit. The summit itself is marked by a metal pole sticking out the rock and is the high point of Johnson County, TN. The unofficial trail continues southward to the mountain's true summit, but I found the overgrowth too difficult to negotiate. I returned via the same path.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Snake Mountain Trail
    Start Trailhead:Meat Camp Road  
Descent Statistics

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