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Anakeesta Knob and Upper Anakeesta Ridge April 27, 2014

Posted by Jenny in bushwhacking, hiking, Smoky Mountains.
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Heath-covered ridges and mighty LeConte.

Heath-covered ridges and mighty LeConte.

There was a method to my madness. I needed to get a good view of the landslide scars on No Name Ridge. And what is the best vantage point for that? Upper Anakeesta Ridge.

I looked across the upper valley of Alum Cave Creek.

I looked across the upper valley of Alum Cave Creek.

On July 20 I will lead an outing for the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club up Alum Cave Creek to the crest of No Name and then on to the Boulevard trail and over LeConte to return to our starting point at the Alum Cave trailhead. I’ve been up No Name before, but the route I took up the side of the ridge wasn’t ideal. It would be best to follow one of the scars, thereby postponing the inevitable crawling through the heath until close to the top.

It’s possible to reach my vantage point several different ways. I took the easy way: hiked out from Newfound Gap to the Boulevard trail, and then bushwhacked the short distance over the top of Anakeesta Knob and down the ridge until things opened up. Then I retraced my steps. I figure the trail mileage was about 9 or 10 roundtrip.

The place where Anakeesta Ridge hits the trail was familiar to me, as it is essentially a continuation of the Shutts-Boulevard divide ridge on the other side of the Boulevard. A piece of that ridge was part of my marathon outing up Shutts Prong last August. The trail makes a sharp little turn where it crosses over the “Anashuttsevard” ridge.

Intersection of Boulevard trail with the ridge.

Intersection of Boulevard trail with the ridge.

For those of you interested in bagging one of the highest sub-6K peaks, it’s a very short, easy bushwhack to the top of mighty 5988′ Anakeesta Knob. Only a few people are crazy enough to bag it because it’s a 5K. (You know who you are—ha, ha!)

I walked through fairly open woods, through glades filled with trout lily foliage.

None were blooming, but the foliage was pretty.

None were blooming, but the foliage was pretty.

Before I knew it (whatever that expression means), I had reached the summit.

The not-very-exciting summit of Anakeesta Knob.

The not-very-exciting summit of Anakeesta Knob.

As I descended off that fearsome cone, I had a view of the parking lot at Newfound Gap. It seemed just a stone’s throw away (since I seem to be using hackneyed expressions).

A telescopic view made the stone-throwing even easier.

A telescopic view made the stone-throwing even easier.

The ridge had clearly been traveled by bears and by bear-like humans—I know who the usual suspects are.

The narrower the ridge, the clearer the path.

The narrower the ridge, the clearer the path.

I had a great view down the Alum Cave Creek valley.

Valley of Alum Cave Creek.

Valley of Alum Cave Creek.

And, looking off the other side, across the valley of Walker Camp Prong.

I could practically see all the people hiking the A.T.

I could practically see all the people hiking the A.T.

The view back to the Knob showed me that not all approaches are easy.

The Knob shows its more dramatic side.

The Knob shows its more dramatic side.

I pushed along until I reached some dense heath, then went back to my best vantage point and stopped for lunch. I took a telescopic picture of the slides on No Name. It seems to me the side of the ridge is more bare than it used to be. Perhaps some of the slides were enlarged during last year’s heavy rains. If you look closely, you can see how the spine of the ridge has a rock backbone, which is what makes it such a great place.

The Y-shaped slide looks like the way to go.

The Y-shaped slide looks like the way to go (click for zoom).

A pleasant outing on a beautiful spring day.

The myrtle is full of buds.

The myrtle is full of buds.

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Comments»

1. Al - April 29, 2014

When I look at the crest of the Smokies somewhat NE of the Gap from here in Bryson City I see a peaky top that looks out of place. Could I be seeing over the state line crest and seeing Anakeesta Knob ?

I love those pictures. The magnified views really bring them up close!

2. Jenny - April 29, 2014

I wonder if you’re seeing Mt. Kephart. I don’t know if you can see Anakeesta Knob from that perspective. It’s about halfway between Kephart and LeConte. I will try to figure it out the next time I’m in the Bryson City area!

P.S. (Added a moment later) Anakeesta Knob does have a cone-like shape on most of its sides although it joins the Boulevard Ridge with not much of a rise from that side. Kephart has a much blockier shape.

Al - April 29, 2014

I can see Kephart too but it appears to be out the state line ridge a good ways and is noticeably higher.

The places here to see the sharpie is from the front yard at the library or on top of school house hill. Its to the far left almost to where the intervening closer mountains cut off the view.

3. Jim Cornelius - April 30, 2014

Jenny — Plugged your blogs at FrontierPartisans.com and added them to “The Muster.”

Jenny - April 30, 2014

Thanks very much, Jim. I’ve added Frontier Partisans to my blogroll.


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