W4C/US-003 Coldbranch Mountain
This starts out with 0.6 mile hike along the Foothills Trail (-200' EG) from Gum Gap with a steep 0.5 mile off-trail hike (500' EG). I would only recommend this hike for the winter months. To get to the trail head turn on East Fork Rd from US 276 (35.155, -82.707). At 1.4 miles make a sharp left turn onto Happy Acres and follow it for about 1.6 miles, where a road will fork to the right. In 1.7 miles this road will end at Gum Gap with parking for several vehicles. The last 1.7 miles can be fairly rough and a high-clearance vehicle is probably recommended.
At 0.6 miles, there will be a gated and posted road to the right with a bridge over Julian Creek. Some online sources suggest walking up this road towards the gap between Coldbranch Mtn and the neighboring Battered Rock Mtn. That route may be easier, but it is clearly private property and posted. Everything to the left of the road is part of the Watson-Cooper Heritage Preserve and accessible to the public. Getting through the rhododendron snarl at the creek is the only difficult section to negotiate. Once on the other side of the creek, maintain the ridgeline and the route is fairly open, but lots of low lying brush. About halfway up, there is a hunter's tree stand and after that the route gets very steep (300' in less than 0.25 miles) all the way to the summit.
Summit is open hardwood forest with plenty of space for setting up.
|Min Elevation||2946.23 ft|
|Max Elevation||3398.82 ft|
|Total Elevation Gain||503.08 ft|
|Total Elevation Loss||230.25 ft|
|Max Speed||0 mile/hr|
|Average Speed||0 mile/hr|
|Total Distance||1.12 mi|
|Total Time||0h 00m 00s|
|Values not available in the file may shown as 0.|
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