We did this trail yesterday. Wow! It's no joke. The first section is very steep. What an exciting hike!
Let's see...30 minutes into the hike my husband sees a bear about 10 yards in front of him on the trail. I'm oblivious as I was watching my step (the whole hike was uphill then down) I hear him say something, I ask what and he replies, 'There's a bear, keep walking.' He said the bear looked at him and then lumbered off the trail, uphill. I tried to look as I went past but I wanted to get away from it. So then not 20 minutes later he says, 'Run! There are hornets on the trail.' I look up and sure enough, there they are. Yikes! So glad he's so observant!
The hike was the most difficult we've done so far. The hiking time was 6:40min. 4 hours up and 2:40 down. That doesn't include the hour we spent at the tower. My ankles are screaming at me.
The fire tower is beautiful, built by the CCC, the view is amazing.
We saw a shrew(so cute), a slug, a frog and then on the way down....a rattlesnake!!! It was right off the trail slithering away from us. Of course my husband spotted it. It was so beautiful and looked like velvet. We stood about 10 ft away just watching. It didn't even rattle, so we felt OK. He was just doing his thing, didn't even care we were there. Amazing!!!
Today my feet are doing well, but all of my joints are screaming at me. Trekking poles are a must. We hike all the time and this was doable but challenging. Coming down the AT was wonderful but it got real after that.
Would I do it again? Probably not. But I'm so glad we did! The fire tower was amazing! The hike was beautiful. Do it! You won't regret it! I gave it 5 stars.
Decided to scout this area for a possible backpack for our hiking club. I would consider this a pretty intermediate to strenuous hike, since the climb is pretty steady. Water sources are great on Low Gap, but after the AT junction conserve. Stay at a steady pace to make the trip enjoyable and stick with it. Some of the best views of the park are located at this fire tower!
We only hiked to Hen Wallows Falls. Short hike (4.2 miles round trip), pretty easy. What I loved most about it was there was only a few people out there. We had lunch at the falls by ourselves! There was a notice about increase in bear activity at the start of the trail (probably due to the campground nearby) but we didn't see any.
Mixed review. Snake Den Ridge is long and hard. There is a lovely old growth forest at the bottom, but not many views. It is unrelenting uphill all the way to the AT. It main advantage is being the shortest access to the Old Black/Mt. Guyot section of the AT. Water available on the bottom third, pretty dry the rest of the way.
Definitely a great trail, and quite a workout. It took our family of five (3 teenagers, two adults) just under seven hours to make the circuit, including a 30-minute stop at the top. The first half of the hike, up Low Gap trail, is definitely the toughest, but the trail's in great shape, and you're following Cosby Creek for quite a while. Once you make the turn on to the Appalachian Trail, the climbing is less intense, though you've got a ways to go still. The view from the restored fire tower at the trail end is worth the hike.
Long upward ascent to the falls and the bridge. Take your time and enjoy the quietness. The trail was nicely maintained but the actual Albright Loop was very narrow and thick with foliage, think deer trail at this point. I was the only person on the trail for three hours and it wasn't til I was almost finished others showed up.
Jason M. on Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Trail
Awesome views and good workout. this is easily the best hike in the smokies. the view from the summit of Mt Cammerer is spectacular. Look for Blackberries and Raspberries along the trail for a nice snack on the go.
this is a pretty nice trail with a gentle increase in altitude and very well maintained features. you'll see the Willis Baxter cabin and plenty of mushrooms. the intersection with Indian camp creek is a nice place to cool your feet and eat a snack. nice canopy the whole way so you can shelter from sun or rain. my favorite thing about this trail is that it isn't popular. you can be out for 3 or 4 hours and only see a handful of people. enjoy!
Uphill the whole way to the loop. Thick, almost jungle like bush around the trail. The waterfall is worth the thousand foot climb, took us three hours to get there. A nice neighbor let us park in the shade on his lot near the trailhead. Highly recommend.