Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap

HARD 8 reviews

Mount Sterling via Mount Sterling Gap is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.3 miles 1983 feet Out & Back




nature trips

trail running


horseback riding



wild flowers



no dogs

1 month ago

Hiked on 10-29-16. This was a great short hike, moderate not difficult. Fall colors at there peak on a beautiful day. I would recommend clear day for this hike because the views are spectacular from the tower, yes you have to climb it to see them. Steady constant climb but never extreme. Road condition to trailhead is gravel but good.

1 month ago

Tough trail; all uphill yet if you want to get to the fire tower this is a great option over the Baxter creek trail length. No water though at top you must go .4 past the fire tower to water. Fire tower views are breathtaking on a clear day. Going back down use caution on rocks; roots. Trail also used by horses and Mtn bikes. Pace yourself going up if u aren't a seasoned hiker; you don't want to run out of steam before you get to the top.

5 months ago

Definitely one of (if not the) toughest short hikes in the Smokies. Although it's only 5.4 miles round-trip, it is extremely steep, with few breaks until you reach the top. On the plus side, if you can do this then you're ready to tackle some of the more advanced hikes in the park (Charlie's Bunion, Rich Mountain, et al). Also, the views from the fire tower are spectacular! Having hiked up to Shuckstack as well, I would say the views from Shuckstack are a little prettier because of Fontana, but the Sterling fire tower is less rickety and in slightly better shape

Couple of things to note. One, the road leading to the trailhead is a rough gravel road, so be careful. Second, try to go either in the morning or late afternoon in the summer, since much of the trail is exposed to the elements

5 months ago

Pretty hike. Uphill. Pack and dress appropriately! Rewarding hike for sure. Good for trail running.

6 months ago

Beautiful hike! Uphill the entire way, downhill back with a rocky terrain. Wear your best shoes and take your time, youll feel amazing after this hike!

1 year ago

Starts out pretty standard but becomes gorgeous about .8mi in. Views from fire tower are spectacular. Would love to incorporate the fire tower area into a backpacking trip.

2 years ago

This trail was out of the way for us and involved a long drive up a narrow, rocky road on the side of the mountain - but it was totally worth it! Trail is a little difficult, especially if you are not experienced. It's also a little bland in scenery at first but just wait and it gets so much more beautiful! View from fire tower is amazing if you can summon the courage to climb up! There's also a small campsite near the area where you can tie up your horses that we stopped to eat lunch at. Awesome day and awesome trail. So worth it.

3 years ago

This was a beautiful trail. It is rated moderate but it is demanding in places. Lots of elevation gain. We saw a lot of flowers and wildlife.