Explore Asheville - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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great trail to challenge your leg strengths. I am a beginner hiker and it was a bit hard. it was worth to see the view on top!

hiking
6 days ago

Overall, great hike! I would say superior to craggy gardens because it is a bit more challenging, longer, less trafficked, and has some excellent moments of exposed rock. Follows the ridge line with a continuous rise and fall of elevation. Trail is well marked with yellow indicators. I am confused why some reviews say it “goes nowhere”. Maybe they didn’t hike far enough?

Do the hike several times a month.
Great hike,magnificent view from the rock face.
One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
11 days ago

Everything you’ve read about how relentlessly steep this trail is? It’s all true. Had we not been training for several months for this hike, wife & I probably wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed the next morning. Trekking poles are A MUST for this steep hike; your thighs and calves will thank you.
Even in the segments that don’t contain long flights of stairs, it’s still nearly always an uphill climb. All that said, the views from the overlook are pretty amazing. The bare “chimney tops” themselves are clearly visible from the overlook, so there’s really no need to follow the trail beyond the overlook (where it dead-ends at a gate).
After lots of rain a few days earlier, the trail was extremely muddy on the day we hiked it.
This trail is definitely showing signs of being “loved to death” by scores of hikers. (Wonder if some sort of daily lottery to manage the number of hikers might be the answer?)
Encountered a young couple on the trail with their dog, and had to politely let them know that dogs aren’t allowed on most hiking trails within the park.
Be sure to start this hike early enough in the day that you’ll arrive back at the parking lot before it starts to get dark. On our mid-afternoon trip back down, we encountered a number of folks just getting started who almost certainly would be coming down all those steep stairs in twilight.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the overlook before heading back to the trailhead and the pain reliever of your choice. Sunscreen and bug spray are wise precautions.
Although parking area is fairly large, it appears to fill up quickly, so plan to get there early to avoid having to park along the busy roadside and walk to the trailhead.
After completing this challenging but rewarding hike, treat yourself to a burger in Gatlinburg – you’ve earned it!

Great hike! Good trail running parts of it as well, especially on the descent. The view was beautiful, but wish there was a bit more to it. Recommend, though!

September 2017- such a pretty hike on the NC/TN spine. The overlook was very cool. Would highly recommend this one at the park. Took us about 4 hours.

just loved all aspects of this hike...the waterfalls were beautiful and the hike was worth every step!

Wouldn't rate this as "hard" but decent hike up with a nice view at the end.

It was amazzzzing! it was fairly long, taking us about 4 hours, including stopping along the way and at the top. lots of zigzags, and an upwards hike at almost every location on the trail, but the view is totally worth it! you're so high, and youre standing on a stone face overlooking miles and miles of mountains and trees, and it is really just breathtaking. really makes you feel in tune with nature!

hiking
17 days ago

Solid hike with a nice reward at the top. The view off the rock face was great. Pretty steady incline the whole way that is not hard. I hoofed it pretty quickly so I actually did feel it a bit the next day.

Overall a nice trip if you are looking for something in between leisurely and challenging that has a unique lookout at the top you will remember. Seemed like a great date hike or family hike.

I went on a beautiful fall day so there was a steady stream of people. Quite a few dogs (maybe 15 or so) making the hike up since the incline is reasonable and no real climbing needed. Almost all were on a leash although two were not - plus there was a sign for a lost dog. :( Sounds like a lot of dogs but over the course of 6 miles it wasnt really much.

My son and I hiked this trail this morning. It was challenging, but definitely worth the effort and we were glad we chose to do it. We will definitely hike this one again and hopefully the top portion will be opened up again soon.

Great workout on the way up, and the view is worth it!

21 days ago

the trail is nice. if you need to exercise hike to the greybeards summit otherwise Walker's knob on the way is a lot better view than the greybeards summit.

hiking
21 days ago

Not too difficult of a hike! Steep walk up. Steps, bridges, more steps, inclines, but it’s relatively short of a hike now that the walk to the chimney tops is gated off. Took my gf and I about an hour to climb up with a solid 10 minute rest(were young and in great shape). We did see a handful of people struggling but nothing that will be hard. Beautiful view from the new lookout

Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

hiking
28 days ago

We did this trail after going to alum cave first. I would not suggest that you do both in one day unless you are conditioned. Chimney is strenuous. Trail started to get crowded. Go early!It’s a nice trail but it is a thigh killer. Would def go back especially to finish the trail where it is closed at the top.

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

Beautiful trail which suffered from the 2016 fires. They have made some great progress in restoring the trail and even though the end of the trail is still closed to hikers, it's well worth the 1.75 mile hike to the new overlook

hiking
1 month ago

Only thing keeping it from getting 5 stars is the last section being closed since the 2016 fires, I understand why it's still closed but can't say it isn't disappointing. They have put in some great work to get the trail to the point it's at, but ending where it did was a bit of a tease. As is still a nice short hike with a good climb for the last third.

Fun trail with great panoramic views! I do feel you can get similar, awesome views simply driving along Blue Ridge and utilizing the overlooks, however this trail offers up to experience both sides of the ridge at once. BE CAREFUL when it's windy out!

This trail is easy to moderate depending on your fitness level and weather conditions. We went the day after raining and there were still plenty of puddles and mud. It was also cloudy so the views weren’t all there. Every once in a while the clouds would separate and we would see some goodness, but limited. Made for a great morning. Took my wife and I 3 hours starting with Black Balsalm, then to Tennent, ending with the long leg back to the car. We stopped for many pictures and rested for about 20 min at Tennent to eat lunch.
It is still worth the hike and definitely the drive along Blue Ridge Pkwy!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! It took us about 3 hours up and down, with lots of stops for pictures and a little rest at the top. Inclines are steep and it was pretty slippery, but overall fine. Views at the top are gorgeous and well worth the climb.

hiking
1 month ago

This was awesome!! It took my girlfriend and me a little over two hours to complete and there were definitely some steep inclines and declines! Not for the faint of heart, but the views at the end are worth every second!! 10/10!

Views were amazing. Challenging trail but worth it.

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

hiking
1 month ago

This was beyond the MOST steps I’ve climbed in quite some time! Awesome views. Got to the top and there’s somewhere you can sit! Although about 0.25 miles away is the chimney tops itself, it was blocked off due to the fire. There is a gate blocking it off.

hiking
1 month ago

Can you say STAIRS, stairs, and some more STAIRS !
But TOTALLY worth the climb!!!! Absolutely beautiful!
You are literally on top of the world ☺️❤️.

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

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