Snooks Nose (Itinerary)

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The name or term "Snooks Nose" refers to more than one topic or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Snooks Nose (disambiguation).
Blue Ridge Parkway (mm 350.5) at end of Snooks Nose Trail
Image Credit: Sarah
Trail Name Various Trails
Nearest City Old Fort
State North Carolina
Trail Marking Various
Trail Use/Features Use hiking.jpg Use dogging.jpg
Time expectations
Hiking Time 5 hrs 45 mins
Driving Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 35 mins
Trail Attributes
Total Distance 10.0 Miles
Elevation Gain 3,409 Feet
Difficulty Index 29.380
Difficulty Rating Strenuous
High Point 5,080 Feet
Low Point 2,012 Feet
Elevation Range 3,068 Feet
Latitude 35.69015
Longitude -82.19668
Nearest Medical

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Snooks Nose is a strenuous hike in the Black Mountain subrange near Mount Mitchell in Western North Carolina. It begins from Curtis Creek Campground and climbs to the Blue Ridge Parkway where a hiker can choose to continue on to Green Knob Fire Tower.


Finding the Trailhead

From Interstate 40 West, take exit 75 (Stuckey's exit) turn left onto Greenlee Road. Crossing over NC Hwy 70, the road becomes Curtis Creek Road at 1.2 miles. Continue 5.0 miles to trailhead. Gravel road is approximately 1.5 miles. You will begin to notice individual campsites on either side along the road. Just before a wooden fence begins on your right you will see a small parking spot; large enough for 3 regular size for perhaps 4 compact sixpence vehicles. If you notice an asphalt Driveway to the right into the larger campground, Curtis Creek Campground area, you have gone too far. Trailhead is across the road from the small parking area, marked with a brown marker with the name of the trail. In the spring it may be overgrown with weeds so look carefully.

Off Season

The road to the campground is gated and may be closed for Winter months. Remember to check ahead before planning a trip. If hiking in the off season, it may be possible to road hike to trailhead, but this could add a fair amount of time to the trip.


Description Miles Minutes Notes
To 85.2 84 Via I-40 Exit 75
Return 84.6 82 Via I-40 Exit 75
Round trip 169.8 171 Via I-40 Exit 75

Hike Description

This hike climbs to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Mitchell. From the overlook, explorers can access Green Knob Fire Tower by turning right onto the parkway (North). The trail is a bit hidden, but a small break in the trees and a slender brown sign reveal the access trail. The trail is on the opposite side of the road of the parkway overlook. If you can no longer see the overlook, you've gone too far.

For the fire tower, our last few visits we have noted the cabin and porch area of the tower are closed to visitors. You can climb the stairs to the cabin, but the entrance floor is locked.

Overlook is called Green Knob Overlook at mile marker 350.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trail to access the fire tower would be ~350.35.

At about 2,500 feet elevation, the trail junctions with a fire road along horse branch, on the ascent, keep right. Keep left for the descent. The fire road leads to Newberry Creek Road, which is spur off Curtis Creek Road where the hike originates.

Difficulty Ratings

Hike round trip measured 9.97 miles with 3,409 feet of ascent. Hike rating is 27.015, compare with slightly more difficult climb at Widows Creek Trail in Stone Mountain to Devil's Garden Overlook (29.380 rating). Trail begins at 2,012 feet elevation and climbs to the parkway at 4,760 feet. The optional leg to the Fire Tower climbs to 5,080 feet.


At our pace, we completed the entire hike in 5 hours 45 minutes. We spent roughly 30 minutes at the overlook for a quick lunch and photography as well as 10 minutes around the fire tower giving everyone a chance to climb. 7:00 AM start can be concluded with 4:00 PM return.


There is a waterfall at 35.6920, -82.2064. More information is needed about finding a route to the falls. Slick Falls on Slick Falls Branch at 2,440 feet elevation.

Fire Tower

View of Mount Mitchell from Green Knob
Image Credit: Jimmy

Green Knob Fire Lookout Tower is located at 35.71916, -82.22416. This beautifully restored fire lookout tower was built in 1931. This tower may be climbed but access to the cabin and deck are restricted. This lookout tower was in use up to 1970, and had major restoration work done in early 2013. At over 5,000 feet elevation, the tower escapes the treeline at a very modest 21 feet tall.