Panthertown Valley Crown Loop (10-28-14)
Panthertown Valley is fast becoming my go-to 'backyard' destination when I'm looking for a few hours on the trail without travelling too far. Located only about 15 miles from my house I have, over the past year, managed to hit most of the highlights of this remarkable valley. This time, however, it was my intention to tie everything into one big loop...hitting the three highpoints which surround the valley; Blackrock Mountain, Little Green Mountain, and Big Green Mountain. In another trip report I based this hike on this approximate route was referred to as the "Panthertown Crown Loop" so I adopted the title for this hike.
Panthertown Valley, part of the Nantahala National Forest, is 10,000 acres of some of the finest natural beauty the southern Appalachians has to offer. This high elevation valley boasts dozens of waterfalls and mountains which contain some of the highest cliff faces in the region. All but unknown a decade ago the area has now lost its 'hidden gem' status but still provides enough rugged backcountry to keep it from feeling overcrowded. The most difficult aspect of visiting the valley is deciding just where to go. So today, I was just gonna go everywhere...come on along with me...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.168203, -83.039668
Hike Length: ~13.0 miles Hike Duration: 5:45
Trailhead Temp: 40'F
Min. Elevation: 3,640' Max. Elevation: 4,490'
Total Vertical Gain: ~2,000' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 154'