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The hike is short, but you feel pain in your thighs the next day. Beautiful hike with lots to see. When they say the stairs are difficult and long, I would agree. There's probably 500 steps, or more, going down to the falls. If your not athletic at all, don't do them. They have a bottom way to get to the falls that I heard was popular as well, I was just informed to go this way. Definitly a good exercise.

Also, the road going to it is very windy. So be careful!

Just completed this section this week as my first foray onto the AT. Spectacular views from the balds. Last 6-7 miles to 19e were difficult and challenging. Spent night in Overmountain shelter. Great spot. Plenty of water available on the trail. I agree with other posters that the distance is more the 13.6 miles posted. Absolutely worthwhile trip

Fun, short hike. Be aware, even though it's listed as moderate, there is a very steep (pretty intense) staircase to get down to the falls.

What an amazing adventure! We had a small group. Amicalola to Unicoi Gap during Hurricane Micheal. Loved ever hard minute of it. Can’t wait to get back out.

Just did this hike Oct 17-18. Took a shuttle from Mountain Harbour B and B to the top of Carvers Gap and hiked back to our car. From the beginning this hike is excellent!! There was a lot of wind so be ready! Great views on several balds to start! We hiked past Overmountain Shelter and over little hump and camped just past little hump in the woods where there were several sites and fire pits! Water sources close by as well. It did get into the upper 20s at night so we were a little chilly! Got up early and headed up Hump Mountain and the 360 degree views were amazing!!! The worst part of the hike was the 5 or so miles after hump back to 19e. Fairly gradual but it was pretty tiring! Would highly recommend this hike!

Great hike but you won't be able to find much isolation during weekend days. Very popular and accessible so you will have a lot of company. Probably one of the most scenic trails on the East Coast. Overnight camping should be included in your plans. Sunset and sunrise experiences are a must. Be prepared for damp weather, frequently encountered.

Tough hike, but gorgeous views make it worth it. The AT isn't marked that great at the spilt with it and grassy knoll. For a first timer it's easy to miss.

Wow. Best views around. Be warned, it is longer than 13 miles, and having a heavy pack takes a toll.

Definitely NOT for novices!!! Beautiful views but difficult especially down hill which last six miles are.

I am a beginner in hiking and not very fit at this time. I tried this hike and loved it. except, I was unable to get down to the waterfall. I only made it halfway down and barely made it up again. I will attempt this again once I am more conditioned to do that. I am 40-50lbs overweight and 50 years old. but I will try again soon.
so I would say the trail is nice for beginners but the falls...Lord have mercy!!!
Sonja

I’m afraid I’ve ruined all other North Carolina hikes! This was my first overnight backpacking hike and a perfect trip! The sunset views were incredible. It rained on us overnight and we woke up in a cloud so we missed sunrise and will have to go back. By far the most beautiful place I have been on the East Coast!

A great trail. Made the mistake of following GPS more than the Hiking Trail sign at first but eventually got some common sense. Took 5.5 mike hike each way,definitely faster on the return. We appear to be a week or two past prime wildflower colors but the bees were still happy bees! Lots of roots and uphill and lots of fun!

Incredible day today on this trail! A little crowded at first, but just like everyone said, the further you go, the more the crowd thins out. Rewarding views with each step!

Great hike. Weather can be varied from 70-80 to the Teens during the fall. So be prepared!

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Little hump and Big hump were tough but not impossible. Springs were easily marked at Overmountain Shelter, between little hump and big hump, and at Doll Flats (11ish mi).

Just hiked this section this weekend and absolutely loved it! Instead of staying the night at Overmountain shelter I hiked the extra ~2 miles on day 1 to stay on top of Little Hump and it was well worth it! There are a few grassy areas that are perfect for pitching a tent and you wake up with the most breathtaking views. Also, as a female solo traveler I felt like this trail was very safe and easy to navigate since you don't have to jump from trail to trail. This part of the AT is very well maintained and blazed and I never felt worried about getting lost or in an unsafe situation. The downhill slopes after Doll Flats are tough though and I was very glad I brought my trekking pole for some extra support! Overall amazing section with some incredible views!

It was my first hike but I was with experienced guys and it now has me hooked on hiking. It was difficult but well worth it.

We did the whole thing in one day with backpacks. We had camped Friday night near the trailhead/near standing bear hostel (great place, very friendly) and got an early start Saturday morning. Our plan was to make it to Max Patch Saturday, catch the sunset and sunrise, camp for the night, and hike back to the car on Sunday. Hahaha.
We made it to Max Patch but by the time we got there we were exhausted. It stormed on us for the last mile and the radar called for more, so we bailed.
Northbound is not for amateur backpackers or the faint of heart. It is up, up, up. Southbound is probably much easier.
We’re glad we did it and plan to come back and overnight from Max Patch to Hot Springs.
Notes:
Can camp near standing bear and cut out an extra mile of trail where there’s not much to see.
Water at trail head and 2 miles up, 5 miles up, and then allegedly near Max Patch but we didn’t find it.
Lots of neat camping spots along the trail. We should have started earlier on Friday and gotten further in on the trail instead of trying to do 13 in one day.
Not a lot of views on the trail, just at Snowbird and Max Patch.
Hiking would be a lot easier than backpacking.

Beautiful hike down to the falls. Most of the hike is moderate, but the trail down to the falls is long and steep. Stone stairs are helpful, but can be slippery if wet. Falls were awesome. Well worth the trek down.

Great family hike if it’s not the first time your kids are going to hit the trail. For perspective, our boys have hiked all of Stone, Grayson, and Crowders and are 8, 5, and 3: we didn’t have any issues. 8 year old breezed through, and it was just enough to push the 5 year old and make him feel like he really accomplished something. Packed the 3 year old on my back.

We started at around 10:45 and told the kids we would break at Jane Bald (the 2nd of the 3 balds on this trail). It was a good stopping point as most of the rigor in this trail lies between Jane and Grassy Balds.

The views are wonderful and are right up there (if not better than) the views at Grayson Highlands. Lots of great rock outcroppings which make for fun obstacle courses for the kids. It is a balds hike, so bring your sunscreen.

Bottom line: if all you’ve got is an ergo baby and this is your kids’ first foray into hiking, there are better starter routes that are less demanding but still fun. But if they’ve got a few reps under their belt, this is a trail that everyone in the family can really enjoy.

Scenic all along the trail. As a hiker who backpacks approximately twice a year, it was difficult but the views were 100% worth it.

Amazing scenery! Many different species of plants. I think we saw 3 different species of goldenrod alone. Azaleas and blueberry plants were awesome.

stunning views...beautiful trail. well marked and maintained.

Great weekend hike with beautiful views all the way through!

Hello! I'm looking to hike/camp on this trail soon and was wondering if it's necessary to have a bear canister? I currently don't own one, so if you know of a place close by that you can rent one, that would also be helpful!

thank you!
hmweeks93@gmail.com

hiked this trail at 730am and it was beautiful and peaceful. The only strenuous part was the stairs coming back up from the falls, very rocky.

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