Sam Knob Trail

Enjoy stunning views on this short moderate hike to the double knob summit of Sam Knob.

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Pisgah National Forest, at the edge of the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, is the impressive and easily reached bald summit of Sam Knob. At just over 6,000 ft, it offers beautiful views in almost every direction including a great view of the Devils Courthouse. The moderate hike to the top of Sam Knob is just over 1 mile making this a great year round hike that almost everyone can enjoy.

The trailhead for the hike to Sam Knob is located at the end of Black Balsam Road which is just off the Blue RIdge Parkway at about milepost 420. After you turn off the Parkway, follow Black Balsam Road about 1 mile to the end where there is a good sized parking area along with restrooms and an informative signboard. The trailhead is about 1 hour from Asheville North Carolina.

There are several trails that start from the parking area so be sure to look for the marked Sam Knob Summit trailhead to the right of the restrooms, across the street from the informative signboard. The trail initially follows an old roadbed and is level and very easy to follow. As the trail starts to descend and the trees clear, you get a nice view of Sam Knob directly ahead. The trail will continue to descend for a short distance until you reach a boardwalk and stairs that descend into a beautiful meadow at the base of the mountain. The trail crosses the meadow where the Flat Laurel Creek Trail breaks away to the left and the Sam Knob Trail continues to the right entering the woods once again. From this point, the hike is all uphill to the summit although it really isn’t too bad as the climb is steady but never too steep via a series of switchbacks. When you reach the wooden stairs, you are almost there.

The trail will level out when you reach the saddle between the two knobs that make up Sam Knob. There are trails that will take you to both summits with the more obvious trail leading straight to the higher of the two peaks. They both offer outstanding views so we recommend visiting both since they are only about 200 yards apart from each other.

Each of the knobs atop Sam Knob have plenty of room available to sit back, relax, and enjoy the epic views of the surrounding mountains. The view at the top is a well-earned reward so relax, hang out and enjoy it.

When you have finished enjoying the summit of Sam Knob, carefully hike back down the mountain and back to the parking area.

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