1015 Hwy 143
Roan Mountain , TN 37687
Carver's Gap, a low point in the ridgeline of Roan Mountain, is 8 miles past the park on highway 143. As you drive up the road you leave Roan Mountain State Park and enter Cherokee National Forest, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The parking lot at the gap provides access to the Appalachian Trail (AT). To the north, the AT crosses a series of grassy balds, virtually treeless areas that offer unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. This 10 mile stretch of balds is touted by many AT thru hikers as one of the most beautiful sections of the entire trail. To the south, the AT climbs to the high point of the Roan Mountain ridge - 6,285 foot Roan High Knob.
To reach the famous Catawba rhododendron gardens and the old Cloudland Hotel site on Roan Mountain bear right at Carver's Gap onto the Forest Service access road. All vehicles must stop at the USFS fee station and pay $3 to enter the gardens area. The access road is closed during the winter months. The Catawba rhododendron normally bloom in mid to late June, putting on an amazing display of color. For information on expected bloom times call the USFS Pisgah ranger district office at 828-682-6146.