Alone in the Wilderness {Snowbird Mountain Backcountry Area}

Nestled deep within the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains lies a hidden jewel.  If you are serious about exploring the untamed wilderness of the mountains, you will find a wild and secluded backcountry area that is not well known to others.  The Snowbird Backcountry Area  encompasses 8,000 acres of gorgeous terrain and 37 miles of hiking trails.  With many creek crossings (11 on our trail), rugged terrain, poorly marked trails and a lack of fellow hikers, this area is suitable for advanced hikers and backpackers who have experience in the backcountry.  There are several large waterfalls to explore  and the forest is vivacious, dense and lush.  You will be bushwhackin’ a bit on your hike, but it will be well worth the effort.

On Saturday, we hiked 10 miles of the Snowbird Backcountry Area and spent some time fly fishing in the wild trout streams and lounging at the falls.  The solitude was just what we needed–we had the whole area to ourselves.  The Snowbird Backcountry Area also taught me a lesson or two, mainly to watch my step.  For the first time in my life, I took a fall on the muddy mountain terrain and sprained my ankle (badly.)  I had to hike the last two miles out on a sprained ankle, which wasn’t so bad.  That night, however, I paid for those two miles immensely!  I’m on the mend now and looking forward to giving Snowbird another shot.  It was a great way to celebrate 11 years of marriage, sprained ankle and all.

a snapshot of my ankle at dinner that evening:

9 thoughts on “Alone in the Wilderness {Snowbird Mountain Backcountry Area}

  1. latebloomershow

    That’s one thing that cold water is good for, numbing your sprained ankle! What heaven on Earth is the Appalachians. (You know I’m from TN, right?) Beautiful photos, and I’m sharing this with my pal who works for TN Dept. of Forestry, as he hikes all over. Wondering if he’s been there. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing the love. – Kaye

    1. Hiking Mama

      Oh, I didn’t know you were from TN!! Awesome. This area is certainly a treasure. I love my Appalachians as well. I’m getting caught up today, will be speaking soon :)

      1. latebloomershow

        I asked Guy if he’d been to this place and he said he’s been all around but not there. I’m putting this place and that waterfall on my bucket list! Beautiful photos! That centipede….!! – Kaye

  2. Amelia

    How beautiful and how different than the mountains around here! Hope your ankle feels better soon! Thanks for sharing your strikingly beautiful photography!

  3. B Francis

    Aug. 23 12, just hiked the same trail. We did not make it to the Middle Falls, started losing light. Big Falls was an awesome picnic area (Big Falls sits north of the trail and is hidden by Laurel Bushes, you can hear it and there is plastic pink blaze to mark an entrance).
    Warning to all, the park and the trail heads are extremely hard to find. Most the locals in the area do not know this park even exists, and the maps are not the best.


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