Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide - Walnut Mountain
Drive Guide - Walnut Mountain (Rattlesnake Gap) from Max Patch Parking
- Duration: 0:25
- Seasonal/Limited Access: USFS-96 has a gate. It was open 2014.08.30 and 2015.09.27.
- Drive north on Max Patch Rd (right, out of Max Patch parking) and go 3.6 to Lemon Gap
- Continue north on Max Patch / Round Mountain Rd and go 1.1
- Turn R on USFS-96 / Wolf Creek Rd and go about 1.6 miles to Rattlesnake Gap.
- Note: Google Maps no longer shows this road (2017).
- Park at the T in the road
Drive Guide - Walnut Mountain (Rattlesnake Gap) TO Atlanta
- Duration: (40 minutes to I-40) 3:50
- S/SW on Wolf Creek Rd (back the way you came in) and go 1.6
- L on Round Mtn Rd and go 1.1
- Pass the Lemon Gap trailhead on your L.
- Continue at “Drive Guide - Walnut Mountain (LemonGap) TO Atlanta”
Drive Guide - Walnut Mountain (Lemon Gap) from Max Patch Parking
- Duration: 0:15
- Google Maps URL from Knoxville to Max Patch to Walnut to Knoxville:
- Seasonal/Limited Access:
- North on Max Patch Rd (Turn R, exiting parking lot) and go 3.6
- USFS-3505 (AKA Rattlesnake Branch Rd) road Ts in from right at Lemon Gap. AT crosses it.
- Park at AT crossing at Lemon Gap.
Drive Guide - Walnut Mountain (Lemon Gap) TO Atlanta
- Duration: (30 minutes to I-40) 3:40
- South (away from Walnut Mtn trail) on Round Mtn Rd / Max Patch Rd and go 3.6
- Pass Max Patch trailhead and continue 1.6
- Keep R on 1182 (not L on 1181) and go 0.2
- Sharp R on unnamed road at Robert Gap and go 2.5
- R on Fall Branch Rd and go 0.5
- S on Cold Springs Creek Rd and go 3.2
- Cross under I-40 and go L onto I-40 EAST and go 20.3
- Exit 27, US-23 south, to US-441 south to Atlanta
Trail Guide from Lemon Gap
- Duration: 1.4 miles, 1:00 up, 0:45 down
- Follow AT 1.25 North to Walnut Mtn shelter at 35.8365,-82.93649
- Follow faint trail past shelter, to left of AT, 0.2 to summit at 35.8367, -82.9341
- Note: Shelter is about 50’ elevation below summit, as measured by my GPS.
- Grab the first good clear spot you see past the shelter. There’s nothing really good at the apex. Or operate from the picnic table at the shelter.
- Trailhead altitude: 3550
- Summit altitude: 4300
- GPS tracks/waypoints:
- Trailhead: 35.82536, -82.93744
- Creek crossing (dry in boots; wet in sneakers): 35.83346,-82.93664
- Shelter: 35.83651,-82.93644
- Summit: 35.83670,-82.93410
Trail Guide from Rattlesnake Gap
- Duration: 1.4 miles (565’ climb), 0:45 up, 0:30 down (via gated road - not the shortcut trail)
- USFS-96 comes into a T at Rattlesnake Gap. 96 turns R on the top-right of the T. There’s a seasonally gated road making the top-left of the T.
- There’s another dirt road that ends inside the right-turn of 96. Standing in the gap, face SE and walk toward 35.847824, -82.94429. It arrives at a gate pretty quickly. This is the trail. (FS Trail 135.)
- Follow this road to the Walnut Mtn shelter, in Walnut Gap.
- This might be 1/10 mile longer than from Lemon Gap, but it climbs 200’ less. I think it is easier. Lemon Gap is prettier.
- Coming back from the shelter, there is a sign near the shelter that points to a well-defined trail marked “Rattlesnake Gap 0.9 miles”.
- Pat Harris has a GPX trace at http://smkymtns.com/sota-resources/sota-gpx-tracks/viewtrack/118-/118-.html
- Going up, you’ll encounter a “Walnut Trail” sign, part way up. This is a shortcut. You won’t be able to find the other end on the way back down (35.8388,-82.93836) unless you hike the shortcut up. The shortcut is overgrown and becomes a bushwhack. I do not recommend it.
- GPS tracks/waypoints:
- Rattlesnake Gap: 35.84758,-82.94426
- Hang antenna from tree: yes
- Space to guy mast: yes
- Cell coverage: ATT: 2017 no; Vzn: 2013 no, 2014 yes, 2015 no; APRS=yes but no ACK