The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, have a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails, including 70 miles (110 km) of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities are fishing, horseback riding, and visiting some of nearly 80 historic structures.
One of the best views I've seen it's a steep trail at the bottom but it is well worth the effort but this is a good hike for all types of people whether it's your first hike or you are an experienced backpacker. You also get a fun scramble up rocks to the summit
Made it all the way to the Lodge. What a great hike, had more unexpected attractions than anticipated.
* If you want to go to the lodge, make sure you have warm clothing for when you are on top of the mountain -- it is cold enough up there that there is frost on the flora in fall.
* Make sure you have plenty of support and comfort in your shoes and socks (varies from person to person of course), it is a long, flat trail with rocky steep stairways along the route.
* Bring plenty of water and food, once again, this is a good day hike, but you can definitely do it in a day (depending on your age and health).
A peaceful creek bed, mangrove like bushes along the path in the beginning and plenty of "sprucey" views to supplement your appetite for as to why you're out there in the first place.
Btw: The lodge is more of a small town, they have a sit down fire place area inside, kitchen, restrooms and much more!
An amazing hike! I made it in November and the color of the leaves is breath-taking. If you're not a regular hiker, or a resident of a flat state like Florida (like me), definitely train for this one several months in advance. Your knees will thank you.
Low Gap - as the descriptions say, Low Gap is a relentless marathon of switchbacks and uphill work. It never seems to end. Thankfully, the isolation, beauty, and promise of the upcoming AT are enough to motivate!
AT to Mt. Cammerer - the uphill battle continues for awhile, but the views improve, especially in places where you can gaze into both Tennessee and North Carolina. I took some panoramic pictures here and they're some of the best shots I got.
Mt. Cammerer & Spur - The trail to the summit feels like a rockier extension of the AT, with some fun scrambling toward the end. On the summit, take as many pictures as you can and enjoy the crisp air. I met a pair of hikers who camped in the tower overnight - they were kind enough to share some hot chocolate with me while I iced my knees!
Very well marked and maintained trail with plenty of challenge without being too difficult. Lots of beautiful vistas along the way. Definitely go early if you want to enjoy Charlies Bunion without a crowd.
I recommend taking the short detour up to The Jump Off on your way to Charlies Bunion. It's only about 0.4 miles round trip to a cliff overlook. It is a little more rugged than the main trail, but well worth the effort.
Great family hike! I would describe it as mostly easy as most elevation gain is very gradual. The trail along the Little River is wide enough for 4 hikers abreast with a mostly flat surface. Loose rocks under the carpet of Fall leaves
make twisting an ankle a possibility. Trekking poles are helpful. The view of the Little River is beautiful and the sounds of the water cascading over the rocks is relaxing. The terrain of Cucumber Gap is more variable in elevation and surface with loose rocks and ruts hiding beneath the leaves. Here again trekking poles are valuable.
I did this beautiful hike solo during the 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday. It was a wonderful challenging hike that offered some spectacular views. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes to ascend with no breaks. I stayed on the summit eating lunch and watching the billowing clouds for an hour. Surprisingly Santa and Rudolph were at the top helping hikers make memories! The descent was 1 hour and 10 minutes with a few stops for photos and water (more of a jog then walk). This was a hike I would love to do again with my family and possibly stay at the LeConte Lodge.
Glad to find the old steam engine in the creek. It was easy to see and easy to walk up to for photos. Came across a hiker yesterday on Porters Creek trail who was searching for it with no obvious luck. Hope we somehow run into him again to tell him he can find it 3.5 miles into the Grapeyard Ridge trail. (We parked on road just before the bridge. The trailhead is across the road and can be easily missed.)
Nice out and back trail. We went on Thanksgiving weekend and were very impressed. Very obvious of the upgrades including new bridges and staircases throughout the trail. Be ready for a good uphill climb starting at mile one but well worth the view at the top. We got to the top just in time before the smokey clouds overtook the view. Chimney top mountain's fire kept a slight campfire smell across the second half of the trial today but the smoke was not terribly bad. For sure a trail for your Smokey bucket list.