Ascent of Soco Bald on 2017-06-03

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, June 3, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Soco Bald
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5440 ft / 1658 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bunches Bald and Soco Bald are two sides of the same mountain, which marks the trifinium of Swain, Haywood, and Jackson counties. Both are easily accessible through the Mile High Campground. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take the Balsam Mountain Road (formerly known as the Heintooga Ridge Road) north and then turn left at Mollies Gap on the gravel road to the campground. When you approach the office, bear to the right past the bathhouse and proceed a short distance to a sharp switchback left. Park here and follow the woods road west to the last campsite, T4. A faint path from here follows the ridge up to the summit of Bunches Bald, climbing just 80 feet. USGS benchmark Bunches Bald (1928) is set in a rock on the summit. No views on top in summertime, though T4 has a wide-open view into the Smokies.

Returning to the campground office, turn left into the main camping area and drive a short distance to campsite 19 on the left, which is the highest ground on Soco Bald. Haywood County GIS has 5-foot contours and says this is 5465.

The campground is closed November through April, but assuming the Parkway is open, it wouldn't be a hard walk.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Mile High Campground site 19  5440 ft / 1658 m
Descent Statistics

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