Albert Mountain (4-3-13)
At precisely one mile high, Albert Mountain is about average for the mountains of the Southern Nanatahala region. What makes it stand out, at least for those thru-hikers lugging heavy packs along the Appalachian Trail, is the very steep ascent the trail makes to its summit. It's one of the steepest grades (particularly the south face) that the trail climbs in the Southern Appalachians. Something on the order of 500' in a half a mile. The nice thing is once you reach the top you are more than compensated for your effort. Despite being tree-covered, a fire tower built in the 50's allows the weary hiker a chance to get a birds-eye view of the surrounding landscape. And what a view it is! On a clear day (as it was this day) the view stretches for 50 miles or more encompassing such high, distant ranges as the 6,000'+ Great Balsam's and Great Smokies.
Luckily, I had been assigned a nearby work site this day so I decided that a hike of neighboring Albert Mountain was too convenient an opportunity to pass up. The boys had been with me on the job all day as well so they were more than ready after 8-hours to have a bit of fun as well. Short but very sweet, Albert Mountain was all its reputation claimed it would be...even for some day hikers...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.046649, -83.472026
Hike Length: ~3.0 miles Hike Duration: 1:15
Trailhead Temp: 45'F
Min. Elevation: 4,750' Max. Elevation: 5,280'
Total Vertical Gain: 700' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 233'