High Elevation (Above 3,500 Ft.) Car Camping in Western North Carolina?

12:06 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Backpacker here, but I have some friends coming up who just want to do some car camping. I'm not crazy about campgrounds though and I was wondering if anybody could share some good car-camping spots within an hour or so of Asheville. The spots along Yellow Gap Road in Pisgah are my backup plan, but I would like to see what else is out there.
Thank you very much for any help with this.

2:36 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,460 forum posts

I am sorry, but what is it you need to know bout the elevation piece of this? Generally, 3,500 feet should not be any problem with regard to elevation. The term HIGH ELEVATION applies to altitudes of about 8,000 feet through 12,000 feet. Above that is considered extremeley high elevation. At 3500ft, the standard barometric pressure is 100kPa (751 mmHg). This means that there is 99% of the oxygen available at sea level. Clearly, that should be indicernable to your breathing and activity level.

2:50 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Let me try to simplify the question:

Does anybody know of a good car-camping spot above 3,500 ft. around Asheville, NC?

 

3:33 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

Hey redcliff8714,

I’m a fellow Easterner so I get you. (Karen, out here our top elevation is about 6300 feet or so and our terms are used much more loosely than you westerners and mountaineers).

I don’t do a lot of car camping so I’m not up on those spots.

However, if some concessions could be made I know a couple really nice “high” elevation places that are within that hour range but have some caveats:

One would be Max Patch mountain just East of Asheville off of I 40. You can park within a half mile hike of its summit. It has no water or bathrooms and can be extremely windy but it’s a super nice view.

Another similar setup would be Huckleberry Knob off the Cherohala Skyway. It’s about a mile hike in however.

I know this isn’t what you asked for but thought it may help…

 

edit:

ok not sure about drive time on this one but you can drive all the way to the summitt of Waucheesi mountain at 3692 feet. It's actually in TN so I bet you are at least a two hour drive each way from Asheville. I took my Honda Accord up there with the wife a couple of years ago and we barely made it due to the condition of the road (had to do a little "rock crawling" in spots) but if you have something with a higher wheel base you would be fine (truck, jeep, SUV or whatever).

4:09 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,460 forum posts

Patman said:

Hey redcliff8714,

I’m a fellow Easterner so I get you. (Karen, out here our top elevation is about 6300 feet or so and our terms are used much more loosely than you westerners and mountaineers).

 

 Thanks, Patman. I kinda knew that but wanted to try to answer if he was concerned about things physiologically. Glad you could help him with locations...I know NOTHING about the trails and spots to go back in the southeast.

8:57 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
606 forum posts

I used to live in nc and go car camping to kayak some of the rivers. My favorite is a camp ground but a very laid back quiet one. The name of it is rocky brook campground, it is right on the banks on the nantahala river. I dont know the town but its in the nantahala valley, you can camp five feet from the water. That whole valley is one big outdoorsmans paradise, one of my fav places on earth.

8:41 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Its my fault for posing a confusing question.  I tend to forget that this forum is for people across the country and not just the Southeast.

 

Patman, thanks a lot for the reply and I would love to take them camping on Max Patch, but I keep getting conflicting reports about whether or not you are actually allowed to camp on the summit.  Some say you can't, some say you can as long as you don't build a fire, and then some say you can do whatever up there. 

 

Hotdogman, that campground sounds awesome and I would love to hit that up with the wife this Fall.

10:40 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

redcliff,

 

I've camped up on MaxPatch four times in the last two years and I was never alone. Fires aren't advisable because of the wind IMO. (But people try)

 

Trailspace member Ashleigh just camped there a few weeks ago and posted this report

I wouldn't worry about it personally, but to each his own!

 

11:06 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Whoa, those pictures look awesome and just what I'm looking for.  I saw where someone mentioned camping on the backside of the bald to minimize the wind.   Sounds like a good idea.  Still not sure if building a fire would be a possibility.

Looks like we might do that.  Thanks for linking those pics Patman.

 

9:00 p.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,460 forum posts

Redcliff8714: HAve a great adventure!

6:15 p.m. on August 1, 2012 (EDT)
225 reviewer rep
1,176 forum posts

There's a forest service car campground in Grayson Highlands state park at Mt Rogers and it's around 5,000 feet.

July 25, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Adirondacks in late July Newer: Collegiate wilderness trip
All forums: Older: fly needed.. Newer: Paddling, Cooling, Logrolling at Demo Day