There is a breathtaking 360' view from the old stone firetower atop Wayah Bald. This 5,336 foot peak is a natural "heath bald," and what it lacks in trees it more than makes up for in flowering shrubs and wildflower species. After the pre-Spring bloom of wildflowers, the native azaleas, rhodondendron and mountain laurel bloom in spring and early summer.
The rock firetower, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, is easily accessible by a foot path about one-fourth mile from the parking area, where there is a nice large and shady picnic area. The area has a number of hiking trails, many of them connecting with the Appalachian and Bartram Trails which intersect on Wayah Bald. For trail maps, stop at the Wayah District Ranger Station on US 64 West.
To get to Wayah Bald, drive West on US 64 for 3.8 miles after the US 23/441 Exit (South). Turn right at the Wayah Bald sign onto a two lane road. Continue 0.3 miles and turn left on Wayah Road (NC #1310). Continue West on Wayah Road for 9 miles to the Wayah Bald sign. Turn right onto a gravel road. Continue until the parking lot is reached at end of the gravel road (approximately 2 miles). To return the way you came, turn left on Wayah Road, or turn right for a scenic drive past Nantahala Lake following Wayah Road (NC #1310) to US 19/74 and turning right (East) into the Nantahala Gorge.