SOTA Guide - Max Patch W4C/CM-036

Parking is a problem. At 9:05 AM on a clear Saturday, I took the last space in the lot. By 10:45 the lot was full and the road was crowded with cars parked on the shoulder. On a clear Friday in December, the lot was full by noon and most of the road parking was full. About 0.6 before you reach the Max Patch lot, there is a gravel road with on your left. You could park 1-2 cars here without blocking the gate; more with, and the gate clearly hasn’t been open in a while.

Drive Guide - Max Patch from Atlanta

  • Duration: 3:20 (2019)
  • Google Maps URL from Atlanta (33.917, -84.3378): Click Here or https://tinyurl.com/max-patch-2019
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: Caution: Parking is an absolute zoo when weather is nice.
  • Directions:
    • East on I-285, then North on I-85
    • I-985 N / GA-365 and go 52.6
    • US 441 N and go 43.5
    • US 64 E / US 23 N and go 20 on US 23.
    • New route (187 miles, maybe 10 minutes faster than original, but 7.7 dirt road miles):
      • Ramp R to US 74 E (Great Smoky Mtn Expwy) and go 22.8
      • Exit 104 - US 23 Business, Junaluska.
      • L on Bus-23 and go 16 on Bus-23/Max Patch Rd
      • L fork on Max Patch Rd (as road turns to dirt) and go 2.9
      • L and immediate R and go 4.8.
      • Potty break: 0.6 before you reach the parking lot, there’s a road to your left with a gate (mostly) hidden from the main road. Once you reach the Max Patch lot, there is no privacy anywhere.
    • Original Route (194 miles, 5.3 dirt road miles):
      • Ramp R to US 74 E (Great Smoky Mtn Expwy) and go 25.7
      • I-40 West and go 21
      • Exit 7 - Harmon Den. Note: It is about 0:30 from here to parking lot.
      • R on Harmon Den Rd / Cold Springs Rd (FS-148) and go 3.6
        • (At about 3.2 it is a little ambiguous; FS-148 keeps to Right)
      • Hard L on Max Patch Rd and go 0.2
    • Keep L on Max Patch Rd and go 1.5
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Waynesville NC (0.2 R on US-276 south)
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Sylva NC (1.2 R on Business 23)
    • Others: Franklin NC (bad service); Clayton GA (busy)
    • Preferred: Cornelia GA, on Level Grove Rd.

Drive Guide - Max Patch from Knoxville

  • Duration: 1:45
  • Google Maps URL from Knoxville to Max Patch to Walnut to Knoxville:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
  • Directions:
    • I-40 E from Alcoa Hwy and go 71.7
    • Exit 7 - Harmon Den
    • L on Harmon Den Rd / Cold Springs Rd (FS-148) and go 3.6
      • Note: It is about 0:30 from here to parking lot.
      • (At about 3.2 it is a little ambiguous; FS-148 keeps to Right)
    • L on Fall Branch Rd at T, and go 2.5
    • Hard L on Max Patch Rd and go 0.2
    • Keep L on Max Patch Rd and go 1.5
    • Park at big lot on R (35.796401, -82.962596)
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Newport TN
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Dandridge TN - State Hwy 92 exit

Drive Guide - Max Patch TO Atlanta

  • Directions:
    • L from Max Patch parking and go 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

  • Duration:
    • Option 1 = 0.6, 350’. 0:15 up and 0:10 down (trail to the left, walking briskly). This trail is nicer.
    • Option 2 = 0.9, 350’. 0:30 up and 0:20 down (trail to right, from parking lot, to AT where you turn L)
  • Navigation
    • Left Trail route is nicer:
      • Take left trail at trailhead.
      • At 35.79890,-82.95562, R and follow AT to summit.
    • There was once a center route. It is now blocked by a fence with signs to stay on the trail.
  • Trailhead altitude: 4333 @ 35.796401, -82.962596
  • Summit altitude: 4629 @ 35.7973, -82.9569. Grid Square: EM85mt

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: No. Space to guy mast: Yes
  • Cell coverage: 2020: ATT yes. 2019: ATT=no; APRS fast ACK. 2017: APRS int; ATT=no. 2014: Vzn=no.
  • Unique features: Big field with big views