Snowbird Backcountry Area

A bit larger than 8,000 acres, the Snowbird Area is protected as a Wilderness Study Area.  Frequently used by fishermen, and less so by backpackers, this roadless area encompasses the entire upper watershed of the creek, including the major tributaries Sassafras Branch and Meadow Branch.  The Snowbird Creek watershed is well-known for its trout fishing.  The Bemis Hardwood Lumber Company logged the valley in the early 1930’s.  Because of its low value at the time, most of the hemlock was left, and magnificent specimens, though dying, are scattered throughout the watershed.  Some large American chestnut trees remain at the upper end of the valley. Above High Falls, the creek supports a reproducing population of native brook trout.  Hooper Bald, one of the largest balds in the Southeast, lies adjacent to the upper boundary of the area.  Also near the top of the area is McGuires, site of an old hunting lodge.  The pens still stand from which Russian wild boars escaped into the neighboring mountains.  The area has several beautiful waterfalls.  Camping is allowed anywhere except at the trailheads, but Leave-No-Trace Principles should be followed to protect the pristine creeks. 

At a Glance

Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Robbinsville

General Information

General Notes:

Cheoah Ranger District
1070 Massey Branch Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(828) 479-6431


From Robbinsville, take Highway 129 North for 1½ miles to the junction with Highway 143 West (Massey Branch Road). Turn left on Highway 143 and travel approx 5 miles to a stop sign. Turn right onto SR1127. Continue for approx 2 miles and bear left at a fork onto SR 1115. After 2 miles the road turns sharply to the left. Travel another mile, cross a bridge and turn right onto SR 1120. The road dead-ends after 6 miles (4 miles of which is gravel) at the trailheads.


Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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