Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Tennessee Trails

America’s Best Huts: Roan High Knob Shelter

Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+


*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Thru-hikers are hard-pressed to find anything more than a three-sided, bunker-style lean-to along the entire 2,180-mile length of the Appalachian Trail. So when the climb up to Roan High Knob lands the weary at the foot of a four-walled 1933 log cabin, it might as well be a five-star hotel.

Compared to the rest of the AT hut system, amenities in this old fire warden’s hut are far from spartan: It’s got easy access to a year-round stream, a fire pit, a cook prep shelf on the front porch, a second-story loft (with an actual windowpane), plus enough room to sleep 15. But those aren’t the only things that give this hut an air of the high life: At 6,285 feet, it also sits at the highest elevation of any shelter along the AT.

Roan High Knob Shelter huts
Photo by Adam Collins

Access the hut on a .6-mile hike through rhododendron tunnels from the eponymous parking area. Next day, continue northbound on the AT to check off one of its best bite-size sections: Descend 1.5 miles through mist-drenched spruce-fir forest to Carver’s Gap before strolling as many as 7 miles over Roan’s famous balds for views down the valleys that drop off either side of the massif. Return the way you came.

Trailhead Roan High Knob Season Year-round Amenities Wooden platform (bring a pad) Reservation Free; first-come, first-serve Contact

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.

Keywords: