Chimney Tops Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until November.
Chimney Tops trail starts behind the Visitor Center in Frozen Head National Park. The trail starts as an immediate 45 degree switchback and continues like that for about a mile to the first ridge. The terrain is not traveled frequently which adds both a sense of adventure and caution to the hike. The Chimney Tops Trail is one of the most popular hikes along Newfound Gap Road. The trail owes much of its popularity to its relatively short length, and its outstanding panoramic views from the pinnacles. Its length, less than 2 miles, however, makes for a very steep hike - so much so that many hikers don't even reach the top. The first half of the trail is relatively tame. However, to reach the summit, hikers have to climb more than 960 feet over the course of the last mile! This is similar to the rate of elevation gain youll find on some of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.
My favorite hike! A little similar to Zion's Angels landing. But no chains for you to grab on! Great cardio hiking up the hill at the beginning. Great views at the top. There are several peaks for you to climb. The adventure never ends like how it shows on the hiking map! Keep going!
This is my favorite hike!
it's definitely a strenuous hike there and back. it's been two days with legs are still burning but so worth it.
I found it easier to take the rock climb up to the peak and cone down the trail..
This hike has beautiful views from top to bottom. A couple bridges with lots of rocks to climb around on, and beautiful views from the top. Even if you don't climb the last section, the view is amazing!!!! I encourage you to climb to the top. It is beyond worth it.
I'm a midwesterner with little experience in hiking trails with any moderate elevation gain. This was easily the most grueling hike I've done in the past year. Honestly, if you don't take the risk and climb to the tip top of Chimney Tops all your hard work will be all for nothing. My buddy and I did this hike on our first day in town and it kicked our butts. He's in great shape and even he thought about calling it quits near the end. Steep steps, straight uphill climbs and what seems like a never ending ascent will make you rethink your decision of heading to the top. The beginning portion of the hike isn't bad as you cross a stream/creek but once you are past that and start the true ascent, it gets challenging. I made it to the base of the Chimney and started to climb them but there was just too much traffic for my liking. A lot of people already balancing themselves at the top plus others on their way up and I decided to just catch my breath, hydrate, stretch and prepare for the descent.
In short, it's a nice grueling hike but only pays off if you take the risk and climb the Chimney Tops. If you don't, I'd search for something else that will have a better pay off for probably the same amount of work or maybe even less.
It was a sweat fest/stress test getting up there, very nice view, fall colors coming on strong now!
Very steep. Its a 6 mile round trip. Worth the effort
Amazing hike! Climbing the rocks at the top was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Scary at first but once you get used to being that high up (and learn to trust the rocks), it is an exhilarating hike to the top of the rock scramble. 360 panoramic views of the smokies. Steep hike but well worth every step to the top!
Great workout with amazing views!
This is one of my favorite trails. It is not long or difficult for the most part, but it is steep...particularly the second half. It definitely gets the heart pumping. And so do the incredible views, first of a beautiful mountain stream and then the many surrounding jagged peaks. There is even a great view of your destination shortly before you get there. The scramble to the very top is amazing...just be sure to have good boots and dry rocks!
The only reason why I'm not giving it five stars is because I'm terrified of heights.
The hike up is much more strenuous than I was expecting, 2.2 miles straight uphill. I got a good workout and was glad w brought our hiking pools. The views were gorgeous from where I was, which was about halfway up the rock scramble. Maybe next year I'll make it to the top, but for now, that alone was an achievement.
Wonderful views, and great for anyone looking for a hike to get their heart rate up. While it had more people on IT than other hikes we've done, it was still peaceful and enjoyable.
You will hate stairs by the end.
All told, we spent about 3 hours between the hike and time at the top.
it's an amazing hike took my husband a d our two little girls ages:4 and 2 with us and climbed the chimney rocks themselves. I would not say it is hard except on the knees. the trail has lots of stairs to climb
Proposed to my wife at the top of the mtn in 2009. This hike will always be special to us. Hope to take our boys who are now 2 and 3 up to the top one day. Its a good strenuous hike with plenty of beautiful views.
Worth the very steep hike to the top! The end of the run is the best, amazing views!!
Awesome challenging and short hike! Great lunch spot at the false summit and even better view from the lower 2nd summit
Smokey mountains are always beautiful. You get a great view at the top, but you have to climb some rocks! It can be a little intimidating.