SB6K PlottBalsams

SOUTH BEYOND 6000 in the Plott Balsams

Plott Balsams Area Topo Map

Plott Balsams Area Map - Driving

There are 4 SB6K summits in the Plott Balsams: Plott Balsam, Lyn Lowry (Jones Knob), Waterrock Knob and Yellow Face. All are located on a long waterless ridge stretching from Yellow Face to Plott Balsam. With the exception of Waterrock Knob all these peaks are located on private land. Please tread lightly and respect the rights and concerns of the property owners.

By far the least difficult way to attain these peaks is in one eight-mile manway/bushwhack from the Waterrock parking area out to Plott Balsam and back, then down to the Parkway and out to Yellow Face and back (Hike # 237). The narratives below are written from the perspective of this route.

Individual Peaks in the Plott Balsams

YELLOW FACE, 6032
Hike Description: 
Yellow Face

The trail passes over the summit of Yellow Face which is located somewhere in a small circular clearing full of cane.

The obvious trail over the summit can be reached from the west by a blazed trail from Fisher's Creek near Sylva. From the east the trail begins along the Parkway. From the entrance to the Waterrock access road look across the Parkway and slightly to the right. The trailhead is next to a leaning tree.

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WATERROCK KNOB, 6292
Hike Description to Waterrock Knob

The summit of Waterrock Knob is obvious.

The only trail to the summit is the tourist trail from the Waterrock Knob parking area.

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LYN LOWRY, 6240
Hike Description to 
Lyn Lowry

The summit of Lyn Lowry is one of several small humps about 200 feet west of the memorial cross.

The manway to Lyn Lowry (and Plott Balsam) begins at the base of the last set of steps before the Waterrock Knob summit. Where you must turn slightly right to ascend the steps, go straight ahead on the manway. After dropping and ascending to Browning Knob the manway drops and remains on the ridgeline. About 1.3 miles from the summit of Browning Knob the manway forks. Please do not go straight ahead as there is a private house along the trail. Instead turn left at the fork and follow the blazed manway several hundred yards. It comes out on the ridgeline again next to a fallen wooden tower.

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PLOTT BALSAM, 6088
Hike Description to Plott Balsam

The summit of Plott Balsam is at the end of the manway, beyond several small false summits..

The beginning of the route to the summit from Lyn Lowry is not obvious. From the northwest corner of the memorial fence on Lyn Lowry go about 50 feet downhill towards Plott Balsam. The manway goes under some tree trunks and continues steeply downhill. The manway slabs to the north of Oldfield Top. In the gap west of Oldfield Top follow the road to the  right (downhill) and, about 50 feet later, turn left on the road leading towards Plott Balsam.

The best place to leave the road is the gap before Plott Balsam. There is a manway leading to the summit. The manway parallels the ridgeline except where it  goes below a large patch of cane.

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