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home >> F.M. >> FAQ

FAQ

Where is Fire Mountain located?
How far is the village of Highlands from Fire Mountain?
Where is Highlands, NC located?
What are the Treehouses?
Do you require a minimum night’s stay?
Do you serve meals at Fire Mountain?
What type of cuisine will I find in the highlands of Western North Carolina?
What are the rates at Fire Mountain?
How private and secluded are the accommodations at Fire Mountain?
Please know that folks come here for peace, quite and serenity in a spectacular setting.
Why is conditioned air not provided at Fire Mountain?
What else is not provided?
Why do you only take check-in by reservation within a two hour window?
Do all accommodations have fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs?
Will I need a car or special vehicle while I am in the highlands of Western Carolina?
What is the best accommodation?
What is there to do?
When is the best time of year to come to Fire Mountain and the mountains of Western NC?
How warm is the water?
Can you always count on snow being on the ground in the winter?
What are the average temperature highs and lows for each month of the year?
What is provided in the kitchen of the Cabin that I have reserved?
Do I need to be concerned about wildlife?

Where is Fire Mountain located?

Fire Mountain is located on hundreds of acres a few miles outside of the upscale mountain resort village of Highlands, North Carolina in the Southern Highlands. There are only 15 accommodations at Fire Mountain, all of which are located on top of the mountain at an elevation of over 4,000' with long range views that go out 30 to 50 miles on a clear day.

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How far is the village of Highlands from Fire Mountain?

The entrance to our property borders one of the three scenic highways that come into the village of Highlands and the entrance is located approximately six and a half miles from the village limits.

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Where is Highlands, NC located?

See maps of the Southern Highlands in the United States of America, with Highlands, North Carolina denoted.

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What are the Treehouses?

The Treehouses at Fire Mountain are accommodations of the Inn. They are located in a building at the end of the complex of buildings that make up the Inn. This building sits on one side of Fire Mountain and the accommodations open up into the treetops. The Treehouses are not rustic free standing "little structures" up in trees that you access by ladder. See the accommodations section for more information about the Treehouses of the Fire Mountain Inn.

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Do you require a minimum night’s stay?

Fire Mountain always has a two night minimum stay so that our guests may fully enjoy and benefit from their experience at Fire Mountain.

We are frequently asked if we ever take one night guest stays and the answer is that we do not. There are many places in the Southern Highlands where you may obtain a one night stay. Our average guest stay is longer than our two night minimum.

Folks come to truly get away and most find that a stay of three to seven nights is required to receive the full benefit of the experience that you gain at Fire Mountain.

Some holiday periods and periods of extremely high demand, such as the month of October, require a minimum three night stay or longer.

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Do you serve meals at Fire Mountain?

Absolutely!

If you stay in the Inn or the Treehouses of the Inn your daily tariff includes a full "Mountaintop Inn Breakfast" that is served by candlelight each morning in the main dining area of the Inn. If you are staying in a Cabin and you desire, our "Mountaintop Cabin Breakfast for Two" may be delivered to the front porch of your Cabin each morning for an add-on price of $35.00.

Fire Mountain is located in a spectacular setting on hundreds of acres with views that go out 30 to 50 miles on a clear day from the top of the mountain. Our Fire Mountain cuisine was created with our setting in mind. For mid-day we create Gourmet Box Lunches and Picnics for our guests using local ingredients. For evening we offer Gourmet Bento Box Dinners. Please go to our cuisine section to see all of the options that are available to you for breakfast, lunch, dinner and wonderful enhancements. You may enjoy Fire Mountain cuisine on your deck or terrace, out on our hiking trails, at one of our different vantage points on Fire Mountain, or during a day time excursion that you experience in the area.

If you are in one of our Cabins please know that the kitchens are fully equipped, including paper products, and that each Cabin has a very nice post mounted charcoal grill. The village of Highlands has excellent grocery stores and butchers.

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What type of cuisine will I find in the highlands of Western North Carolina?

All types of cuisine are offered in the Southern Highlands from the latest in innovative cuisine from Asian fusion to the best family style mountain country cooking in the south and everything in between. The only type of food that you will not find in the village of Highlands is franchise fast food. Highlands is truly an enigma in that there are no neon signs, flashing lights or franchises of any kind (with the exception of a Hampton Inn, a Subway sandwich shop, and Exxon, Shell and Texaco gas stations).

Most ingredients used during the High Season months (May through December) come directly out of the fields, dairies and rivers here in the mountains. Our immediate area, Flats Township is renown for its produce that is harvested June through November of each year.

When you make a reservation you have instant access through a secure section of our web site to your New Guest Guide which includes access to our Guide to Dining in the Southern Highlands.

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What are the rates at Fire Mountain?

It depends on a number of factors: how many persons in your party, if you have an approved pet or not, what time of year you will visit, what time of week you visit, what type of accommodation that you choose to stay in and how long a period of time you stay. Stays of over five nights or longer receive an additional 10% reduction in tariff. See the rates section of our website. Check availability 24/7 for the total rate and a real time listing of available accommodations for your indicated and preferred dates.

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How private and secluded are the accommodations at Fire Mountain?

There are only 15 accommodations on Fire Mountain. All accommodations sit up on top of Fire Mountain at an elevation of over 4,000'. All accommodations have long range views that go out 30 to 50 miles on a clear day. All accommodations sit in the middle of our hundreds of acres. You will experience peace, quiet, serenity, seclusion and privacy. We are truly one of the most beautiful mountaintop hideaways in America. All guests feel very private and secluded in their accommodations and on the property at Fire Mountain.

We do not want our guests to think that they cannot see other guests while here at Fire Mountain and we do not want our guests to think that they cannot see one accommodation from another. All 15 accommodations are on top of the mountain so that they are afforded long range views. At times you can see from one structure to another but all 15 accommodations are positioned beautifully for privacy and views. There is a map on our web site that exhibits all buildings to scale on top of the mountain and their proximity to each other. Go to accommodations and you may see how all accommodations at Fire Mountain are positioned on top of the mountain.

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Please know that folks come here for peace, quiet and serenity in a spectacular setting.

We desire for our guests to be able to enjoy to the fullest degree the spectacular setting and beauty, the peacefulness, the quiet and serenity of Fire Mountain. To accomplish this goal our property is for the exclusive use of our guests and our guests' privacy is our highest priority.

Fire Mountain is by reservation only. We do not take drive-up traffic. We have no signs marking our location and we do not allow drop-in visitors. Our guests may have visitors if they wish. While you and your party are at Fire Mountain our goal is for you to be left alone but we also desire that staff be available to provide support for you and your party if you should need it.

If you desire to be in the middle of the woods and never, ever hear or see someone else then Fire Mountain will not accomplish that for you. We are able to gladly connect you into an environment "like that" in one of the six National Forests that surround the Highlands for hiking and day excursions. We are able in Guest Services at Fire Mountain to guide you, map you and direct you into whatever experience you may desire.

Also if you desire to be fully sequestered on private land then we can connect you to one of the many experienced home brokers in the Highlands where second homes go up to millions of dollars with some located on hundreds of acres that are very private and secluded as we are. Some are available for a minimum rental of a week or more.

In conclusion we support making your visit as private as possible and in a way that makes you feel private, safe and secure in our spectacular setting so that you may enjoy as much as possible the peace, quiet and serenity afforded at Fire Mountain.

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Why is conditioned air not provided at Fire Mountain?

It is a very integral and desirable part of our concept and philosophy. The absence of conditioned air allows the grandest of all luxuries to be provided for our guests during their stay …cool, clean and clear mountaintop air …one of the last great luxuries left in the world.

The absence of conditioned air also allows our guests to hear and feel the winds as they come into our mountaintop ridges each evening. The absence of conditioned air allows our guests to smell the many different fragrances from the many different species of wild flowers. The absence of conditioned air allows one to hear the birds, the night frogs, the katydids. The absence of noise allows you to partake of the many different and beautiful sounds of nature that can be experienced day and night on top of the mountain.

All porches, decks and terraces of each accommodation at Fire Mountain are furnished as an extension of your accommodation. You will feel that the inside and outside of your accommodation work as one and that you may easily access the spectacular outdoors of the mountains. You will soon feel one with nature if you allow such.

Many times during summer the air truly feels like velvet on your skin in the high elevations of the mountains in the Southern Highlands. The hottest month of the year is July and the average mean temperature is 68 degrees, which means an average high of 77.2 degrees during the day and an average low of 56.6 degrees during the night.

Fire Mountain is not a rustic place. Our luxury accommodations are excellent. Every structure was well built to ensure coziness and warmth in winter and to retain the coolness of our atmosphere in the summer.

If Fire Mountain felt that conditioned air was necessary we would have it. But that is not to say that we never have a warm evening. An evening above 60 degrees is warm for us but all accommodations have ceiling fans to assist in compensating for any deficiency. Grand amenities at Fire Mountain are the retractable awnings provided above the lounging areas on all of the upper accommodation decks of the Inn. They can be extended for guests to be shaded from the sun or retracted to be exposed to the winds and stars giving you the ultimate choice.

All accommodations are well heated for those cold nights and for those summer mornings when the chill may need to be broken. Every Cabin has thermostatically controlled heat in each room. Every accommodation has at least two blankets in each sleeping area. All buildings have excellent insulation.

We do burn fires all year around, although not every night, in accommodations having fireplaces which is a nice reason to always book an accommodation with a fireplace in addition to the fact that they are beautiful and all are made of native hand laid stone. We set your first fire for you and provide complimentary split and seasoned firewood for you to burn during your stay.

Starting in the late 1800's Southern aristocracy living in the port cities of Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans flocked to the Highlands to escape the heat. Today guests still come for the same reason. The ultimate luxury provided in the Southern Highlands, all year round, is spectacular beauty, cool and clean mountain air and pristine water.

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What else is not provided at Fire Mountain?

Radios, in-room phones, clocks, alarms, newspapers and air conditioning compressors. Fire Mountain does not support business services such as fax or internet access.

Fire Mountain is a retreat from the outside world. To enhance and maintain the tranquil, serene, peaceful and very special environment at Fire Mountain we also do not have televisions, nor are they welcome.

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Why do you only take check-in by reservation within a two hour window?

So that we may have a staff member available and present at Reception to greet you upon arrival and to check you in. They will then, if you desire, acclimate you to the area and assist in guiding you, mapping you, and directing you into whatever you may want to do during your stay in the Southern Highlands. Then you and your party are lead by golf cart to your accommodation. The staff member will acclimate you to your accommodation and make sure everything is ok for you. Then you and your party are left alone so that you may immediately begin to enjoy your Fire Mountain experience.

Our arrival policy is necessary. With our small size we unfortunately cannot always have someone available and waiting 24/7 to assist and check you in. By mutually agreeing on a reserved two hour arrival window we are able to give you the attention and assistance that you deserve and need at Fire Mountain to have a most enjoyable reception and overall experience during your stay.

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Do all accommodations have fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs?

No. Each accommodation is truly unique with different amenities although many accommodations have the same amenities. Many accommodations have wood burning fireplaces, all made of hand laid native stone. Most accommodations have one of the following: large deep and square Jacuzzi tubs scaled for 2 persons, 4 person hot tubs, large and deep very exquisite two person soaking tubs made of acrylic. Each accommodation page on our website has a features section which lists all of the features that are provided in that accommodation.

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Will I need a car or special vehicle while I am in the highlands of Western North Carolina?

You will definitely need a vehicle of some sort but the kind depends entirely on what you plan to do while here. Even in winter a 4-wheel drive vehicle is not mandatory unless we have heavy snow and ice which does require an "all wheel"  or "4-wheel drive vehicle". But if you are going to explore rugged back roads and off road terrains you will need a 4-wheel drive. All roads are winding two lane mountain roads with most paved. Most of the secondary roads and back roads are not paved.

Another true luxury in the mountains that still remains today is gravel roads and driveways. Every great estate in the Southern Highlands has an extended and perfectly maintained gravel road and driveway system. Fire Mountain's entire road system is gravel.

You may have a vehicle that you desire to bring for pure fun, like a convertible to tour the beautiful winding mountain roads with the top down. You may also desire to bring your mountain bike, canoe or kayak which might determine your choice of special vehicle.

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What is the best accommodation?

Which accommodation at Fire Mountain would be "the best" depends totally on your personal preferences. Every accommodation at Fire Mountain has been requested by returning guests many times.

Every accommodation has its own special appeal, ambiance and amenities. Each accommodation has been priced according to its size, amenities, and position on the mountain.

In theory the most expensive accommodation would be "the best", because it offers the most in every category, but that is not necessarily "the best" for every guest because the most expensive accommodation may not meet all of your preferences where a less expensive accommodation would.

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What is there to do?

Some people come and do not one thing. For some it is as simple as finding the perfect spot to read a great book. For others it is being as active as possible. Whatever you may desire is pretty much here because all of Western North Carolina is one huge resort area and the Southern Highlands are located in the middle of just about everything that you could possibly desire to do while here in the high elevations of the mountains.

The challenge will be getting clear about how you desire to use your time. That way you will know what you desire to do prior to your arrival. Then you will not become frustrated and overwhelmed by your many choices after you arrive. Please take a few minutes and review the leisure section. At the time of making a reservation you have instant access to our Leisure Pursuits Guide, a definitive and detailed guide with current contact information and web site addresses with direct links, in your New Guest Guide which is located in a secure section of our web site.

Our staff is available at Guest Services and Reception to assist and support you with guidance, mapping and connecting you into whatever you may decide to participate in during your visit.

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When is the best time of year to come to Fire Mountain and the mountains of Western NC?

Any time of the year when you can arrange your schedule to get away to a great hideaway for a special time of relaxation in a spectacular and wonderful setting is the perfect time to come to Fire Mountain.

The High Season months start each year at the beginning of May and go through New Years Day and are the busiest months of the year here in the highlands. The months of January through March are the quietest months of the year.

More and more guests join us for the winter months. The clarity of the air is perfect (because of the absence of the mist in the air which is one of the reasons the mountains are called the Smoky Mountains) and the foliage is no longer on the trees. As a result the sunsets are brilliant, the views are the most expansive and there is a quiet and stillness that is not present during the High Season months.

The High Season months are the busiest because you find yourself in one of the lushes' environments in North American. Just escaping the heat makes the High Season months the most popular.

October is still the busiest month of the year in the Southern Highlands because of the brilliance of the changing colors of the leaves.

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How warm is the water?

Not very. Since we are located in a temperate rain forest with an average 90 inches of rain fall per year the lands in the high elevations are full of run off and springs in the grounds that start in the mountaintops that create the streams that create the rivers. The water is very cool to cold all year round.

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Can you always count on snow being on the ground in the winter?

No. Our first good snow usually is not before Christmas (even though it does snow as early as November and the last good snow is usually in March, sometimes as late as April). We receive snowfall infrequently and the average snowfall each time it snows is only about two inches. As a result snow usually does not stay on the ground for long periods of time.

Fire Mountain is located within minutes of "the two" most southern ski and tubing slopes in American with there being another three within an hour or less drive. Our slopes are definitely for beginners. Go out west if you desire strong intermediate or advanced snow skiing and advanced ski sports in peak conditions.

You cannot be guaranteed that the ski slopes will have man made snow here in the Southern Highlands. You can never be guaranteed that there will be snow between December and March of each year at the ski slopes in the Southern Highlands. It is best not to plan a trip to the highlands just to snow ski.

But it does make for a great and most wonderful option if you have a fresh snow during your visit. Snow tubing has become extremely popular in the past few years and the best slope in the area for snow tubing is 3 minutes away from the entrance to Fire Mountain. Snow tubing is great fun on man made or fresh snow for all ages.

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What are the average temperature highs and lows for each month of the year?

High Low Rainfall Snow
Jan 41.7 22.8 7.06 Likely
Feb 45.0 24.3 6.87 Likely
Mar 53.4 31.7 8.84 Possible
Apr 62.3 38.2 6.62 Rare
May 69.3 46.5 7.86 Rare
Jun 74.6 53.0 6.88 n/a
Jul 77.2 56.6 6.46 n/a
Aug 75.9 55.9 7.42 n/a
Sep 70.8 50.7 7.07 n/a
Oct 62.3 39.5 6.45 Rare
Nov 52.3 32.4 8.05 Possible
Dec 44.1 26.2 8.15 Likely

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What is provided in the kitchen of the Cabin that I have reserved?

The kitchen in your Cabin has full appliances such as a refrigerator, range and oven.

All Cabins have microwave ovens with the exception of Blue Moss and Red Cedar Cabins.

Blue Moss and Red Cedar have small kitchens which we call glorified kitchenettes. If you will be doing limited cooking these kitchens will suffice beautifully for your needs. If you will be doing alot of cooking you should go to any other Cabin as they have larger kitchens with larger appliances. Blue Moss and Red Cedar kitchens have very limited counter and cabinet space and small appliances.

Every kitchen is stocked with glasses, dishes, bowls, utensils, mixing bowls, pots and pans and a coffee maker. Of course you have a sink and a wooden dish strainer and dish washing detergent.

Every Cabin has wine glasses and a wine opener.

All paper and plastic products are provided such as paper towels, napkins, coffee filters, trash bags, Kleenex, q-tips, cotton balls and toilet paper. Two cotton dish towels are provided.

Salt and pepper are the only staples provided.

Hemlock Cabin is the largest Cabin and it also has the largest full scale cooking kitchen with an ice maker in the refrigerator.

All Cabins have post mounted charcoal grills off of their decks, porches or terraces for grilling out. You provide the charcoal. Matches are provided for your post mounted grill and for Cabins having fireplaces.

If you should need additional ice above what is provided in your refrigerator you have access to the Fire Mountain Ice House where large and small pre-bagged bags of ice are provided along with scooped ice.

All Cabins have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen area.

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Do I need to be concerned about wildlife?

Yes. Fire Mountain is a sanctioned wildlife sanctuary by the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society. Wildlife should always be respected. This is their natural habitat and we are proud to be a part of it.

As to your own personal safety, you should not be concerned if you will be conscious of the following things. Do not leave garbage outside of your accommodation in the evening hours or during the night. Garbage will attract wildlife. Do not harass wildlife in any way. Be mindful and aware that you are in someone else's world anytime you are out in the woods. You will be fine if you are always aware and mindful of these things when hiking.

We have very few poisonous snakes in the highlands and rarely will you encounter a black bear. But if you encounter either slowly back away and you should be fine.

If you are mindful and respectful of wildlife during your visit you will be provided with a most miraculous and wondrous experience while visiting Fire Mountain and the Southern Highlands!

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Fire Mountain Inn, Cabins and Treehouses

Highlands NC 28741