Flat Top Mountain Area

Flat Top Mountain is located in Yancey County, NC. Three different hiking trails travel through woods of poplar, oak and maple. These trails provide beautiful views of the Unaka Mountains, the Nolichucky River Gorge and its sheer rock cliffs. Named for its unique topographical shape, Flat Top Mountain is a series of mountains that level out and appear flat on top, though its elevation is 4,469 feet high. The Devil's Creek and Lost Cove trails are best known for providing access to the Lost Cove community, developed in the 1900's for establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Railroad. Though it has been a ghost town for decades, several remaining structures and a cemetery can still be seen and accessed from the trail. Also, accessed from the Lost Cove Trail is a place called Joe Lewis Fields, named after the earliest settler in the area. The coordinates for Flat Top Mountain are as follows: N 36.02'54" and W 82.24'31".

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 9/27/2023- Flat Top Road FS# 278 is closed at the Spivey entrance. The road was damaged from several storms. Damage includes heavy scouring and compromised drainage structures. The road is closed to prevent further damage and we are targeting this coming year for repairs to be made. Harmiller Gap entrance is open. Traffic turn around areasĀ are at Joe Lewis Field.

General Information

General Notes:

Appalachian Ranger District
632 Manor Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-9694 


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Trail Difficulty

Easy: Route is easy to find and follow; trail has a less than 8 percent grade; length is less than 3 miles; trail is mostly flat with few rocks.

Moderate: Route may or may not be blazed; most of the trail has a less than 20 percent grade; length is usually between 2 and 8 miles; trail may be rocky and have stream crossings.

Difficult: Route may require pathfinding skills; most of the trail has a 20 percent or steeper grade; length is usually more than 8 miles; trail is rocky and uneven and may have stream crossings.

General Info:

Safety Information

Carry Essentials

  • Map & compass (know how to use them)
  • Sharp knife
  • Small flashlight
  • Whistle (outlasts your voice in an emergency)
  • Waterproof matches
  • First aid kit, include sunscreen
  • Water (2-3 quarts per person per day)
  • Space blanket or poncho
  • Nylon cord (for emergency shelter among other uses)
  • Extra food & clothing

General Notes

Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Camp away from trails and water.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife. Don't feed them.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

For more information on Leave No Trace, contact: (800) 322-4100 or visit www.int.org

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery: