Chimney Tops Trail

HARD 241 reviews
#2 of 167 trails in

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.

4.0 miles 1371 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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.


1 day ago

I loved this hike! We got to the trail head at 7 am to start and were the only ones on the peak. It was nice to have the mountain to ourselves. Id recommended going up early because the parking lot gets packed. Make sure to go on a clear day because the views are breathtaking.


5 days ago

hiking

I did not summit. I came really close, made it most of the way up the scramble. Though when it became basically straight up I couldn't get enough foot holes in the rocks to climb the slate rock. But I did have an amazing view from where I leaned back on the rock. Probably over a 200 degree view. Good for me!
Lots of stairs!


5 days ago

hiking

One of my favorite trails in the GSMNP. There are a few very steep ascents, but the trail is well groomed and worth the effort. The summit involves some intense scrambling to get to the panoramic view, but for those who wish to not make the extra climb, there are enjoyable views at the clearing.


9 days ago

steep and lots of stairs! But the view from the top is awesome! well worth the climb.


15 days ago

hiking

Definitely a lot steeper of a summit than anticipated, but the hike to the top was worth the views! Lots of stairs, but great waterfalls and a rushing stream. Don't forget water!


19 days ago


22 days ago


22 days ago

hiking

*Facilities at Sugarland Visitors Center. None at the trailhead*
This trail gets PACKED very quick...if you can, I suggest getting an early start of 8am or earlier. By the time 1pm came around and I reached my car......it was extremely busy, and parking looked to be extremely difficult to obtain.
This is a GREAT, adventurous hike! Beautiful flowing water from West Prong Little Pigeon River and Road Prong, that you cross over a few times, at the beginning of the trail. Keep this in mind for post hike dipping/swimming!! The second half of the hike was ALL up hill. Lots and lots of stairs, so if that's not your thing, this trail may not be for you.
The rock face scramble at the end.....the only part that I felt was the hardest/worst was one small part in the middle. Many would disagree with me (especially those who just flew past me up the rock) but I feel that this part is the most challenging....."steps" were relatively small/narrow (compared to the rest of the face), and although the handholds are there and solid....I didn't feel very secure in being able to make it up the hump, to continue on to the very top.
After attempting several times, and trying to swallow my fear of heights.....I made it up and over!!! Once past that part, I flew up to the top.
Many folks who I allowed to pass me, while I was trying to find my composure, cheered me on and gave me high-fives, when they saw that I made it.....such a wonderful sense of support and camaraderie!!
I spent about an hour at the top, relaxing, eating my snacks, enjoying the GORGEOUS views and taking photos for other folks (It took and act of God to get me up there...I wasn't about to turn tail and head back down immediately).
The scramble down was fairly easy.....I suggest sliding down on your butt, but there may be one or two places that you may feel more comfortable being on your stomach to get past. It will be a personal preference....no right or wrong way to do it.


23 days ago


25 days ago

hiking


27 days ago

Beautiful


1 month ago

hiking

It seems I have a different view than most, but I thought this was a short and easy hike with a basic rock scramble at the end with some nice views. I spent more time enjoying the peak than I spent on the hike. If you don't like heights, you probably won't get to really enjoy the views, but otherwise, it is a fun little scramble with a nice view.


1 month ago

Totally worth it! The 2 miles up is all uphill and a bit of a workout, once you reach the rock summit you're in for a treat! The climb isn't too difficult, but not made for anyone who doesn't like heights. If you conquer the rock face it is WORTH IT! The view is unbelievable! The hike back down is a breeze, I'd recommend taking or wearing your swimsuit because there's a great place to swim after your hike at the bottom of the trail!


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking

Well maintained trail. Fun climb at end. Good hand holds, no loose rock and no need for climbing gear. Great swimming near trail head.


1 month ago

hiking

First mile is a breeze, second mile - not so much. Totally worth the summit views. The final push is pretty sketchy though, as there is no way to the top except a rock face that had pretty dramatic drops on either side. Climb at your own risk


1 month ago

hiking


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking


1 month ago

hiking

Definitely hard! If you like a challenge and you're not a big hiker this one is perfect. The path is rocky, up hill with lots of stairs but in the end totally worth it! About 4 different little waterfalls you'll see as your walking up as well.