At 5,540 feet, Big Yellow’s open, grassy bald peak offers a vantage point from which you can look out over range after range of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Part of the Roan Highlands, Big Yellow is a grassy bald, an unusual community type resembling a high-elevation pasture and found between 5,200 and 5,800 feet on dome-shaped summits and ridges. Possibly remnants from the last ice age, these "sky islands" have a principally northern climate in a southern location and harbor unique species requiring a cool climate and lots of sunlight. The origin of the balds is unclear, but they were probably formed by a variety of factors, such as climate, grazing, and human-ignited fires.
The Nature Conservancy acquired this tract in 1975 from the Avery family, who had owned it since 1785. Today, TNC and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy jointly manage the 395 acres.