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Soak in the panoramic vistas and scenic rolling hills of the Roan Highlands over 3 days and 16 miles. The sun-drenched, grassy Roan Highlands consist of a rich and diverse cluster of high elevation mountains stretching along the North Carolina and Tennessee border. This hike traverses the famous trail as it winds over grassy open balds and an alpine environment that make this region unique. We’ll enjoy hiking 5 of the 16 miles without a backpack, learn all necessary skills to complete a backpacking trip and leave empowered and inspired to hit the trail again soon!

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  • Intro to backpacking

    Fall in love with campfire tales, rewarding hikes, and the iconic AT, and leave the tour with new backpacking skills

  • Become a part of the community

    Adopt a trail nickname and make lifelong friends, sharing the experience with everyone you meet along the way

  • Get a taste of the A.T.

    Forested hills, wildflower-covered grasslands, and panoramic views await

Available itineraries

Group Backpacking in the Roan Highlands

Join us for a group backpacking adventure through the stunning Roan Highlands, where you'll soak in panoramic vistas and traverse scenic rolling hills over 3 days and 16 miles. The timing of this trip is perfect for early fall color and less crowded trails during the week. Group tour means that you’ll meet other like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and step into the world of backpacking with ease.

  • Arrive in Hot Springs, NC in the afternoon or evening hours and meet your guides at their bunkhouse. Pack your things for tomorrow and have a good rest at the bunkhouse for the night.

    You can also meet your guides in the morning of Day 1 if this suits you better.

    No meals are included on this day.

    Picture is taken from the Appalachian trail with a view of Hot Springs, NC. This town is one of the through hiker stops. iStock
  • Meet your guide and fellow hikers at 8am to start your trip! Your trip begins with a pack shakedown. Your guide will pass out your gear and food, teach you how to pack your backpack and go through what you’ve packed to make sure you don’t bring too many extra items. Around 10am, you’ll shuttle to the trailhead to start your hike (drive time is 1.5 hours). You’ll hike over Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald before arriving at your campsite.

    Meals: Lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 3.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 650 ft
    Elevation loss: 1,100 ft

    View of meadow and mountains from the Roan Highlands on Round Bald near Roan Mountain
  • Wake up and break down camp. After a hearty breakfast, hike a short distance to your second campsite and set up camp, then continue hiking to Little Hump and Hump Mountain without your backpacks. After enjoying the view, return to your campsite.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 2 mi with and 7 mi without backpacks
    Elevation gain: 200 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks
    Elevation loss: 650 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks

    Green pastures on the Appalachian Trail
  • After breaking down camp and breakfast with a view, we’ll return to the trailhead via the AT. The shuttle will take us back to Hot Springs, NC. The hike generally finishes early afternoon on the last day.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch
    Hiking: 5.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 1,750 ft
    Elevation loss: 850 ft

    Itinerary is subject to change based on a variety of factors, including weather, trail conditions, and participants needs and abilities. Please inform our admin team ahead of time if you have a time constraint on the last day of your trip.

    Woman Leaps Off Boulder While Looking Over Blue Ridge Mountains
Private Backpacking in the Roan Highlands

Experience a private backpacking adventure through the stunning Roan Highlands, where you'll soak in panoramic vistas and traverse scenic rolling hills over 3 days and 16 miles/ 25 km. This trip is perfectly timed for early fall colors and less crowded trails during the week. Enjoy the personalized attention and flexibility of a private tour, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Highlands and step into the world of backpacking with ease.

  • Arrive in Hot Springs, NC in the afternoon or evening hours and meet your guides at their bunkhouse. Pack your things for tomorrow and have a good rest at the bunkhouse for the night.

    You can also meet your guides in the morning of Day 1 if this suits you better.

    No meals are included on this day.

    Picture is taken from the Appalachian trail with a view of Hot Springs, NC. This town is one of the through hiker stops. iStock
  • Meet your guide and fellow hikers at 8am to start your trip! Your trip begins with a pack shakedown. Your guide will pass out your gear and food, teach you how to pack your backpack and go through what you’ve packed to make sure you don’t bring too many extra items. Around 10am, you’ll shuttle to the trailhead to start your hike (drive time is 1.5 hours). You’ll hike over Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald before arriving at your campsite.

    Meals: Lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 3.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 650 ft
    Elevation loss: 1,100 ft

    View of meadow and mountains from the Roan Highlands on Round Bald near Roan Mountain
  • Wake up and break down camp. After a hearty breakfast, hike a short distance to your second campsite and set up camp, then continue hiking to Little Hump and Hump Mountain without your backpacks. After enjoying the view, return to your campsite.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 2 mi with and 7 mi without backpacks
    Elevation gain: 200 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks
    Elevation loss: 650 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks

    Green pastures on the Appalachian Trail
  • After breaking down camp and breakfast with a view, we’ll return to the trailhead via the AT. The shuttle will take us back to Hot Springs, NC. The hike generally finishes early afternoon on the last day.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch
    Hiking: 5.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 1,750 ft
    Elevation loss: 850 ft

    Itinerary is subject to change based on a variety of factors, including weather, trail conditions, and participants needs and abilities. Please inform our admin team ahead of time if you have a time constraint on the last day of your trip.

    Woman Leaps Off Boulder While Looking Over Blue Ridge Mountains
Women-Only Backpacking in the Roan Highlands

Experience an all-women's backpacking adventure through the stunning Roan Highlands, where you'll soak in panoramic vistas and traverse scenic rolling hills over 3 days and 16 miles/ 25 km. This trip is perfectly timed for early fall colors and less crowded trails during the week. Enjoy the camaraderie and support of a women-only group, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Highlands and step confidently into the world of backpacking with ease.

  • Arrive in Hot Springs, NC in the afternoon or evening hours and meet your guides at their bunkhouse. Pack your things for tomorrow and have a good rest at the bunkhouse for the night.

    You can also meet your guides in the morning of Day 1 if this suits you better.

    No meals are included on this day.

    Picture is taken from the Appalachian trail with a view of Hot Springs, NC. This town is one of the through hiker stops. iStock
  • Meet your guide and fellow hikers at 8am to start your trip! Your trip begins with a pack shakedown. Your guide will pass out your gear and food, teach you how to pack your backpack and go through what you’ve packed to make sure you don’t bring too many extra items. Around 10am, you’ll shuttle to the trailhead to start your hike (drive time is 1.5 hours). You’ll hike over Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald before arriving at your campsite.

    Meals: Lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 3.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 650 ft
    Elevation loss: 1,100 ft

    View of meadow and mountains from the Roan Highlands on Round Bald near Roan Mountain
  • Wake up and break down camp. After a hearty breakfast, hike a short distance to your second campsite and set up camp, then continue hiking to Little Hump and Hump Mountain without your backpacks. After enjoying the view, return to your campsite.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Hiking: 2 mi with and 7 mi without backpacks
    Elevation gain: 200 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks
    Elevation loss: 650 ft with and 1900 ft without backpacks

    Green pastures on the Appalachian Trail
  • After breaking down camp and breakfast with a view, we’ll return to the trailhead via the AT. The shuttle will take us back to Hot Springs, NC. The hike generally finishes early afternoon on the last day.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch
    Hiking: 5.5 mi
    Elevation gain: 1,750 ft
    Elevation loss: 850 ft

    Itinerary is subject to change based on a variety of factors, including weather, trail conditions, and participants needs and abilities. Please inform our admin team ahead of time if you have a time constraint on the last day of your trip.

    Woman Leaps Off Boulder While Looking Over Blue Ridge Mountains

Meet your guides

Adam Kampouris
5.00
Adam Kampouris
Blue Ridge Hiking Company

Born in the Catskills of NY and raised in the Blue Ridge of NC, Adam has always called the mountains of Appalachia home. Having survived a childhood of blissful, unsupervised galavanting through the local woods, he derives great joy in sharing his love of the natural world with others, and has yet to meet an outdoor activity he doesn’t like!

Hannah Brock
5.00
Hannah Brock
Blue Ridge Hiking Company

Born and raised in Georgia, Hannah’s love of the outdoors began while digging for worms in the mud and playing in the red clay. Her passion for being in nature has grown since then and she has backpacked over 3,500 miles including a southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013, sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, and many smaller backcountry trails in between!

Amy Hunsucker
5.00
Amy Hunsucker
Blue Ridge Hiking Company

Born and raised in South Carolina, Amy grew up hiking in the Carolinas. Her love for backpacking started on the Appalachian Trail with her first overnight trip in 2012. Since then, she has thru hiked all of the triple crown trails - Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail - along with other trails throughout the US, totaling over 8,000 miles of backpacking.

Tamera Trexler
5.00
Tamera Trexler
Blue Ridge Hiking Company

Tamera is a long-distance hiker with 12 years outfitting experience, who has been backpacking, hiking, biking and kayaking the regions of Western North Carolina and beyond for 30+ years. She would love to share the waterfalls, peaks, pinnacles and forests, helping others to explore the lesser-known trails. Tamera is studying to become a Certified Blue Ridge Naturalist and can highlight this region's geology, ecology and history.

Blue Ridge Hiking Company
5.00
Blue Ridge Hiking Company
Blue Ridge Hiking Company
Blue Ridge Hiking Company's mission is to make the wilderness accessible and enjoyable for everyone. They strive to provide a safe experience with knowledgeable, engaging, and trained guides. All of Blue Ridge Hiking Company guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid (or higher) and CPR. They have permits to guide in Pisgah National Forest, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mount Mitchell State Park, Dupont State Forest, all along the Blue Ridge Parkway, 120 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail and more.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 3 Days of hiking and backpacking
      • High quality, ultralight, cottage industry backpacking gear
      • Meals as described in the itinerary
      • Accommodation in a bunkhouse on Day 0
      • All necessary backcountry permits

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to and from Hot Springs, NC
      • Accommodations before or after the tour
      • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • This 3-day, 16-mile backpacking trip is ideally suited for hikers with good fitness levels and no prior backpacking experience. However, all hikers should have prior hiking experience and be comfortable enough on trail that they can hike for up to an hour on their own. Hikers using all of the gear typically carry approximately 25-30lb, including food and water.

    Hikers should be active 3-5 times per week (eg. walking 30 minutes). This is similar to someone who works an active job (eg. retail work or construction).

  • Your guide will send you a detailed list of everything you’ll need a few weeks before the trip.
    Here’s a list of things your guide can provide at no additional cost:

      • Backpacks (lightweight 60L pack)
      • Tents (one-person or and two-person)
      • Sleeping bags (20 degree synthetic sleeping bag with sleeping bag liners)
      • Sleeping pads (closed-cell foam pad)
      • Trekking poles

    We will ask for your height and weight in order to fit the pack appropriately to you. Please let us know if you’d like to bring your own gear.

    Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • 2 1L water bottles (Nalgene or disposable Smart Water bottles are good options)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Comfortable hiking clothes
      • Warm spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Beanie
      • Lightweight gloves
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)
      • Inflatable sleeping pads — available for an additional rental fee

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. Please pack synthetic or wool athletic clothing rather than cotton. Cotton does not dry quickly and will not keep you warm when wet. For most trips you will need only one outfit to hike in and one outfit to sleep in.

    You will not need a new set of clean clothes for each day, make-up, hair products, scented products or deodorant. Just bring a toothbrush and toothpaste and enjoy going all natural for the trip!

  • Hikers are able to choose their meals and snacks from an assortment of trail-friendly options. That way, each hiker gets the types and amount of food that best suit their needs and preferences. Exact menu options vary throughout the season, but generally consist of the following:

      • Breakfast: oats or grits, coffee or tea
      • Lunch: chicken packets, tuna packets, meat sticks, hummus/guac, etc.
      • Snacks: chips, trail mix, dried and fresh fruit, cheese, bars, etc.
      • Dinner: dehydrated backpacking dinners (Good to Go brand) in a variety of flavors

    Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advanced notice.

  • Lodging is provided at the guides’ bunkhouse on the Appalachian Trail. The bunkhouse can accommodate up to 10 hikers in 2 bunkrooms (one sleeps 6, the other sleeps 4). There are 2 full bathrooms. Additionally, all guests have access to our common areas – a living room, kitchen and dining room, and large front porch.

    WiFi access, linens, and morning coffee/tea are provided for all overnight guests. The bunkhouse has a live-in Caretaker.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For the group tour, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 3 people for the group tour to operate.
      • Private tours can be arranged for 1-9 people.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
      • If your group has hikers under the age of 18, It is recommended to book a private tour. Contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
  • This hike includes several exposed balds, so weather can change quickly, and can be up to 20 degrees cooler than in Asheville, NC. June and September are the best times to visit, for the summer rhododendron blooms and fall foliage.

    This hike will happen rain or shine! While it is incredibly rewarding, backpacking is an endurance sport, and it can be challenging and/or uncomfortable at times. Maintaining a positive mindset, even when it is uncomfortable, is key to enjoying your time in the wilderness. With our focus on lightweight gear, our goal is for your pack to weigh around 25lbs (or no more than 25% of your body weight).

  • To get to Hot Springs, NC, most people fly into the Asheville Regional Airport, 1 hour away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to get to your meeting point.

    You will meet your guide at Blue Ridge Hiking Company’s Appalachian Trail-er Bunkhouse (200 Lance Ave, Hot Springs, NC 28743). The guide will choose the appropriate terrain and your adventure is ready to begin.

  • All tours for women will be guided by female guides.

    Our all-women’s hiking trips are about comraderie, teamwork, feminine energy, and great conversations under starry skies. All these pieces come together to create profound, encouraging, and transformative adventures in some of the most impressive natural destinations in the world, led by some of the best women guides in the business.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Roan Highlands on the Appalachian Trail, please refer to the official website of the State of North Carolina.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Secure your early bird spot with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
      • Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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