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Yellow Mountain Gap


Yellow Mountain Gap is a gateway into the greater Roan Mountain area. Most trails are in the form of old roads and only receive occasional vehicle activity; therefore, maintenance is minimal. An exception to this is the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail (AT) Barn Shelter is a favorite AT shelter destination. Views from the shelter into North Carolina are spectacular. Breeding Vesper Sparrow can be observed on the high elevation grassy bald of Little Hump Mountain, an adjacent location east of Roaring Creek Road along the AT. Several high elevation openings in the gap are maintained as wildlife openings by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Mid-May through early June is a good time to observe Golden-winged Warbler, Willow Flycatcher and Alder Flycatcher. Breeding species include Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Canada, Chestnut-sided, Hooded, Worm-eating and Yellow Warblers, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Wood Thrush, Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos, Scarlet Tanager, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruffed Grouse, Barred Owl and Broad-winged Hawk. During the breeding season, watch for Peregrine Falcon, Vesper Sparrow, Black-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which have been observed nearby in adjacent areas.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Ruffed Grouse, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Golden-winged Warbler


spruce-fir forest, northern hardwood/cove forest, oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine, early successional, river/stream

Special Features/Concerns

Birders must stay on designated trails or roads as there are several special ecosystems, Threatened, Endangered, or Regional Forester's Sensitive species and habitats within the Roan Mountain area. Please obey all signs. Hunting is allowed on Pisgah National Forest during certain times of the year. Birders should be aware of current hunting regulations and seasons, and take adequate safety precautions during those times. For more on hunting precautions, see the hunting season information at the beginning of this guide.

Access and Parking

The site can be accessed daily during daylight hours.


From Spruce Pine, take NC 19E north for 15 miles and turn left on Roaring Creek Road. Travel to the end of Roaring Creek Road, which transitions from paved to gravel road and ends at small parking area and locked Forest Service gate (4.0 miles). Note that NC 19E has many sharp curves and the speed limit varies considerably. Roaring Creek Road also has many sharp curves and the gravel road at the upper end of Roaring Creek can be muddy and slick after heavy rains.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page


Bird List

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