Wayah Crest to Silers Bald: And a View of the World

Siler View

Looking Northeast from Silers Bald

Trail at a glance
Mileage: 2.4 round trip
Elevation change: 969 ft
Water source: springs

Let’s do something a little different today. Well, something different for me, at least.

Last September I went to Silers Bald in the Nantahala Mountains in western NC. Don’t confuse it with Silers Bald in the Smokies. You see, there’s more than one Silers Bald.

What? Yup! It was a very influential family and that’s why they get two mountains named after them.

Actually, if we’re going to be accurate, there are three mountains in the Siler family. Fortunately, someone finally got wise and bestowed the first name of a Siler on the third mountain. Maybe you’ve heard of it – Albert’s Mountain.

Siler Bald Shelter

Silers Bald Shelter

That’s right, Albert’s mountain is named after another Siler. Jesse Siler got the mountain in the Smokies, Jesse’s brother, William, got the mountain in the Nantahala Range – the mountain we’re visiting today – and Jesse’s nephew, Albert, got the mountain with the fire tower.

I hope this clears things up for you?


I got a chance one afternoon late in September to go out for a walk. Never having been all the way up to Silers Bald, I thought it might be nice to go visit William’s namesake for a while.

Good thing I did, too. It was the most gorgeous day of the year. You know the type, clear, cool, sunny. There was no humidity, no haze and nothing to hinder the view. It was, in a word, perfect.

So instead of writing about my journey that day, I decided to video my adventure. I’ve never done this before, so if it’s a little rough around the edges, you’ll forgive me, won’t you?

Trails Illustrated Map, National Geographic

Trails Illustrated Map, National Geographic

Each video corresponds to a numbered point on the map. The Appalachian Trail is the dotted black line highlighted in orange. The yellow ribbon at the top of the photo is Wayah Road, which leads to Franklin to the right (east) and Lake Nantahala to the left (west).

The Wayah Crest Picnic Area, today’s trailhead (#1 on the map), is just south of Wayah Road. And, by the way, for those who don’t know, taking the dirt road north from Wayah Road at Wayah Gap will lead you to the Wilson Lick Ranger Station and Wayah Bald with its great stone fire tower, but we’ll save that for another day.

So, let’s go for a video walk. Whatya say?

Part 1: Wayah Crest Picnic Area – the start of our hike.

Part 2: A quick stop at a mountain spring.

Part 3: Walking a ridgeline.

Part 4: Almost there! From a forest path to a treeless mountain top.

Part 5: On top of the world – 360 Degree views!

Part 6: So long and thanks for all the views.

See ya’ on the trail!


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