Albert Mountain Fire Tower #2

Categories: Hiking & Backpacking, Museums & Historic Sites, Backcountry Camping, Appalachian Trail


  • Excellent Views to the North, East and South from the steps of the tower (Catwalk and enclosed area are locked to public)
  • Elevation of 5,210 Ft. via the Appalachian Trial, just outside of Franklin, NC
  • Original Metal Firetower that was built in the 50's to replace an older, wooden tower on nearby Standing Indian Mtn. 
  • Tower was a "live-in" tower at the height of it's use  
  • To the East and below is beautiful Coweeta Valley and Otto, NC 
  • Suitable for all ages (fairly steep uphill section to climb)
  • multiple nearby hikes to the summit and tower

The Local Scoop

Albert Mountain Fire tower is an excellent place for long range views. Make sure the weather is going to cooperate with you before you head out (this peak and section of the "AT" is notorious for strong lightning storms). On a clear day you can see Whiteside Mountain, Southeast of Highlands, NC. Bring your binoculars and enjoy the views even more. Check out Franklin, NC to the Northeast and Otto, NC below you and due East. Be very careful and climb the steps of the tower all the way up to the locked gate at the top for a near 360 degree view. I can only imagine the view from the catwalk. The tower used to be a lookout for forest fires in the area and was designed to be lived in for short periods of time by local rangers.  There are a couple different routes one can take to get to the summit, check out my other points of interest named, "Albert Mtn Fire Tower #2", "Albert Mtn Fire Tower #3."
Our recommendations:
For the serious hiker we recommend Albert Mountain #3.
For the historical site seekers and leisurely hikers we recommend Albert Mountain Fire Tower #1.
For the backcountry camper we recommend Albert Mountain #'s 2 &3.
For the pet friendly hiker we recommend #'s 1,2 & 3.  

The Local Directions

From intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 W and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 W towards Murphy, NC for 12 miles. At just before the 12th mile you should see a Brown sign for "Wallace Gap", "Appalachian Trail" & "Standing Indian Campground" with arrows pointing you towards West Old Murphy Road(SR 1448) on your left. Stay on W.Old Murphy Rd. for 2 miles. You'll pass a Nantahala National Forest Sign for the campground saying "500 Ft Ahead", and at 2 miles you'll be at FR (Forest Road) #67 to your Right (indicated by a small, skinny Brown sign at the beginning of the road). Continue 1.8 miles on FR 67 until you come to a fork in the road. To your Right will be the entrance to "Standing Indian Campground", avoid the Right and continue on FR 67 to the left. In about 0.3 miles the road will turn to gravel at the Backcounrty Info Kiosk. Continue on FR #67 past Big Laurel Falls Trail head and Mooney Falls Trailhead until you come to another fork in the road at 8 miles from where the pavement turned to gravel. This is the intersection of FR #67 and FR #83 (towards Coweeta Laboratory and Pickens Nose Trail). To get to Albert Mtn., make sure you bear left (following the brown sign's arrow that is in front of you). Now, at approx. 1.5 miles you need be on the lookout for "Bearpen Trail" (Blue Blazed), it will cross the road from the Left over to the Right where it joins a very noticeable "White Blazed" Appalachian Trail. Park on the roadside here and head up the White Blazed AT for about 0.4 mi. up the ridge. For the return trip continue on past the tower (via the "AT") and down the other side of the ridge until it flattens out at a "Blue Blazed" side trail on your Left. Take this for about 0.2 miles to a noticeable parking area (end of FR 67). Follow this road back to your car.

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike6What's this?
  • Camp4What's this?
Trail:  35.05027, -83.475333
Summit:  35.052607, -83.477418
Nearest City
Hike Distance
1.1 miles roundtrip
Macon County
Distance From
Franklin 26.2 miles