Asheville, NC: Yellow Face and Waterrock Knob

Conquer two 6,000-foot peaks in Pisgah National Forest on this 3-mile trek that straddles the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Photo: World Trek Photography / 500px via Getty Images

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This 3-mile, peak-bagging sampler offers a taste of the 6,000-foot peaks that can be climbed from the Waterrock Knob parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This two-peak route starts from the Waterrock Knob parking lot, which offers great views of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the east, and heads up the paved path (which soon turns to dirt) for a 450-foot climb to the parking lot’s namesake summit.

From there, an optional route-finding hike to Plott Balsam continues east. Otherwise, enjoy above-the-trees-views of Pisgah National Forest before descending back down to the parking lot and crossing the Parkway to knock off another South Beyond 6,000 summit on a short, two-hump climb up to Yellow Face.



From the east end of the Waterrock Knob parking lot, walk up the paved trail to begin the 450-foot climb. Ahead, the trail turns to dirt and rocks. Bear right near the top to reach the summit.


A benchmark denotes the top of Waterrock Knob. Continuing east, a hard-to-follow trail continues along the ridgeline towards Mount Lyn Lowery and Plott Balsam. This route U-turns here and backtracks down to the trailhead and across the Blue Ridge Parkway (at Waypoint 3) for another short climb up to Yellow Face.


Cross the Blue Ridge Parkway (use caution) and head to the right side of the guardrail to look for the trail into the woods. Follow this trail up over the first knob (a false summit) and then onto the top of Yellow Face. Ignore any side trails.


Yellow Face: Enjoy the view and then backtrack to the parking lot.

From 2022