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

Asheville/Smoky Mountains Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Beautiful views! And a bit of a workout but worth it!

Nice hike on gravel road. the views we good, even on a cloudy, snowy day.

Closed due to government shutdown...

Agree that this is not a difficult trail. Beautiful vistas on this winter hike.

Beautiful views. A perfect hike for a beginner to moderate biker. A good workout!

scenic driving
14 days ago

Lots of wildlife and historical buildings

16 days ago

Foggy wet and chilly but beautiful. the road leads to science center which has secondary trail heads that lead into SMNP. Too wet and foggy for those until spring.

highly recommend. needed to stop for a few breaks but totally worth the hike! view was breathtaking and not that hard!

Leg smoker, lots of rocks on the trail, so wear good boots! The view from the top is incredible. This is a popular hike so once you make it to the end, there are quite a few people climbing on the rocks for photo ops.

Gorgeous views

My friend Chris is a professional hiker and trail runner. We recently did this trail together and he absolutely smashed every Strava KOM on the map. Truly a freak of nature as we tried to keep up with his record blazing pace. The hike was OK but his performance was incredible definitely would give it a 12 out of 10.

Hiked on 12/29.

Terrain: Trail was rockier than expected. Combined with the trail conditions, this made for a technical hike. Elevation gain per mile is much milder than similar hikes, so it probably balances out.

Conditions: Wet. You cross creeks that feel like rivers (including a quite treacherous crossing at 1.9 miles) and there are several sections where the trail becomes a creek. After we made the final right turn to get on the ridge, we saw a significant amount of snow/ice. We didn't have microspikes and were fine, but it did make for slightly slow walking.

Views: Once you get on the ridge, there are amazing views.

Parking: Drive through the Boy Scout camp. There is designated parking for hikers at the far end of the camp. It feels like you are going to get on a government list somewhere, but if you keep going through the camp you will end up in the right spot.

The views were great from Charlie’s Bunion as it was a cloudless day. Still it was a bit disheartening to see the brown pall of smog in the Tennessee valley. Absent the smog, one could see forever, well almost. There was a lot of snow and ice on the trail. Depths ranged from 6 to 18 inches. The snow was no problem except where hard packed in places by hikers. There was also considerable ice, particularly on the frequent natural or man made steps. My wife’s bad knees combined with the ice made the return trip a bit hazardous. Because temps were above freezing at New Found Gap there was a lot of muddy slush the last 1/4 mile or so to the parking lot. But, we made the 8-mile round-trip without incident, albeit slowly. This is a great hike with excellent views into both NC and TN. There is no way this is a “hard” hike. It is moderate at the most, as the elevation change is minimal given the 5000 foot starting point. Snow cleats would help right now, and hiking poles are recommended. Our hike was 12/26/18.

Absolutely breathtaking at the top! The air and atmosphere at the Bunion itself is pure and blissful. Our trip was a little precarious due to icy paths in Mid-December, but it is well worth the trip! Not to be missed!

great hike. moderate as described. beautiful views the whole way up and the top is just breathtaking

My favorite Hike Gorgeous!

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.

Easy Hike up to the Peak! A lot of rocks and roots on the way which I had stumbled over, but nothing strenuous. The peak had some wonderful views! I understand the name now, this trail is not for those with a big fear of heights as this peak features a view on the edge of a cliff that goes straight down for a few hundred ft

Hiked this as part of a two day trip this weekend. We hiked up to Icewater Spring shelter to overnight, then went on to Mt LeConte (and down the Alum Cave Trail) the next day. I think this is a total ascent of 1500 feet, rather than what’s listed: check other sources. Some great views along the way on a fairly strenuous hike. There is a nice spring available for water near the shelter, btw. Trail was in good condition. Few people on the trail, at least at this time of year.

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
2 months ago

This was a nice hike. The views at the research station are great. There are several picnic tables and bathrooms there. Don't miss the old cabin.

hiking
2 months ago

Fairly easy uphill walk on a wide graded road. Beautiful views at the top! My 1st time here so I was a little confused when you come to the fork in the trail where you can either go up the grassy trail, shorter but steeper, or continue on the gravel road. Both end at the science center and views. I missed the turn for the Ferguson cabin and didn't have time to go once I realized my mistake. But I will definitely try this one again!

wonderful panorama's at the very top. one of the few trails that I traveled that is all uphill on on the way to the top with no downs, and all downhill on the way back. great facilities at the top and the research station is amazing

Follow Garrett's directions. very helpful regarding parking and the gate at the start...loved the trail.

I really enjoyed this smooth well marked hiking trail to the Alum Cave and Bluffs. Beautiful and serene walk alongside a peaceful stream brings you to an interesting natural rock cave structure. A one railed log bridge over the creek leads to an immaculate rock stairwell which brings you through the cave arch and then almost all uphill from here leads to some beautiful breathtaking views of the mountainside prior to reaching the stunning scenic views of the bluffs.

hiking it with my wife on November 1st. it was cold and foggy with strong wind. not too many hikers because the weather. in the way back we hike a little more on A T to Icewater Spring shelter to get rest and eat our lunch. when we got back to the parking lot rain start. 441 rd and new found Gap parking lot was emty. we realized national park road entrances got closed because wind and falling trees and safty, but next day park was open and road cleaned up.

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.

Load More