Section 20 - Yellow Creek Gap to Stecoah Gap Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Smoky Mountains Hiking Club spangler @ Davenport Gap, TN/NC to Wesser, NC at US 19

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
Yellow Creek Mountain Road
   Poor           Great

From the intersection of Fontana Dam Road and NC 28, follow the latter southbound (compass southeast) for 7.0 miles then go right on NC 1242. Initially this is Upper Tuskeegee Road but somewhere changes its name to Yellow Creek Mountain Road. Go 2.9 miles to the trail crossing. According to the AT Guide to NC/GA there is a gravel parking lot nearby that can accommodate a few cars. This lot is not apparent in the satellite view on the attached map, but parking does seem to be available at the intersection with a forest service road and also further along the that road. I have not actually visited this point yet.

If coming from the east, the turnoff onto NC 1242 is 14.3 miles west of the point where NC 28 diverges from US 19/ 74 southwest of Bryson City. Turn left onto NC 1242.
The marker on the attached map indicates the approximate location of the trail crossing. Apparently the Appalachian Trail overlay on the map is slightly off from the true position. At the crossing the northbound trail to Section 19 goes north (right if coming from NC 28) while the southbound trail to Section 20 goes south (left). 08/10/14 A few


David Cullen
Upper Tuskegee Road is 2.9 miles from the intersection of NC 28 and NC 143 coming from the east. Upper Tuskegee Road to the AT is another 2.9 miles and is fully paved the whole length. There isn't specifically a parking lot at the trailhead but there is lots of room for parking. I was there on a Saturday, there were 4 cars and room for at least 5-6 more 07/12/21 8-10


carolanse @
Stecoah Gap - Highway 143
   Poor           Great

From the intersection of Fontana Dam Road and NC 28, follow the latter east for 10.0 miles. Go right on NC 143 for 1.7 miles to Stechoah Gap and the trail crossing. If starting at Fontana village it is 11.7 miles via NC 28 to the intersection with NC 143. From Robbinsville, take 143 north for 7 miles to Stechoah Gap. Parking available 2/4/06


Quote from nephews jeep was vandalized at the Stecoah Gap Trailhead sometime between Friday 6/16 and Tuesday 6/20. Drivers window was broken out and all 4 tires slashed. Thanks to a hiker, we learned of the problem at the NOC and were able to contact a relative in Gatlinburg to help us resolve the issues and get on the road back to Indiana. We have left vehicles at many trailheads in GA, NC and other states without problems. Just be aware..........the Sheriffs Dept of Graham County said it has been a growing problem in the area. 6/24/06


lpotteiger @
If coming from the east follow NC 28 for 11.4 miles west from the point where it diverges from US 19/ 74 southwest of Bryson City. Turn left on NC 143 and follow it 1.7 miles to the trail crossing. This is indicated by the marker on the attached map. A parking area can seen on the south side of the road at the crossing. At the crossing, the southbound AT to Section 21 goes south. Note: The position of the AT appears to be slightly off on the road/trail overlay on the map. There is view of the parking area in the pictures for Section 20. 08/10/14 6-8


David Cullen
As of July 2021, information above is still accurate. There is a parking lot for about 6-7 cars and a little picnic area. 07/12/21 6-7


carolanse @

This section is described as Section 4 in the "Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia"
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  Page last updated: 1/30/2021 3:18:55 PM