Beauty Spot

  • Highlights: Appalachian Trail, bald summit, amazing views
  • Distance: 4.8 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change 1,154 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with several rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Indian Grave Gap parking area, Rock Creek Road TN SR 395 & NC 197
  • On the NC/TN state line, room for about 6-8 vehicles
  • Website: AllTrails
  • Beer Pairings: Yee-Haw Brewery—Cold Coast IPA & Yee-Hazy

Trail Map:

The Hike:

Beauty Spot is a popular local destination. The Appalachian Trail passes through this bald summit. However, most visitors drive here over a bumpy dirt road. The day of our hike, the weather wasn’t cooperating. The forecast called for clouds and scattered showers much of the day.

We waited for the heavy rain to stop and then hit the trail hoping the cloud cover would break to provide some views of Beauty Spot. Mountain laurel and blaze azaleas were in bloom as we hiked through a steady drizzle heading northbound on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Fog and clouds limited visibility to less than 100 yards.

The rain ended as we reached the summit; however, Beauty Spot was socked in with heavy cloud cover. We encountered a group of section hikers who camped overnight at the summit and we didn’t see them until we were within 100 feet of them. 

We waited at the summit hoping the clouds would lift. After about 20 minutes, we gave up and began our return hike back to Indian Grave Gap. About half way down the AT, the cloud cover briefly cleared and we had some nice views to the north and east. The clouds quickly returned and we continued our hike.

When we reached the parking area, the clouds cleared and the sun was shining. We decided to break with tradition and drive to the summit of Beauty Spot. We had about 15 minutes of partly cloudy skies at the summit and Pete scrambled to take some photos of this incredible site. 

Amazing views stretch out to the west, east, and south. The grey clouds added a cool perspective to the incredible views. We enjoyed a brief moment of spectacular mountain scenery before the clouds returned and we headed off to Yee-Haw Brewery for a cold beer.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Yee-Haw Brewery in nearby Johnson City TN is about 20 miles from the trailhead. Located in a former train depot, Yee-Haw has 12 taps of “fine southern beer”, indoor and dog friendly outdoor seating, and the White Duck Taco Shop serves up some great food.

Kathy really liked Yee-Hazy (7.2% ABV • 48 IBU), a New England-style IPA with notes of citrus. Pete enjoyed a cold pint of Cold Coast IPA (6.1% ABV • 75 IBU), a marriage of west coast style hop flavors and unfiltered New England style look. It has a nice blend of citrus and pine.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.