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I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

hiking
2 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.

on Crabtree Falls Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Went today with my 3 little dachshunds. The falls were a beautiful sight to behold. You can only follow the Loop A path right now and then return the way you came after reaching the falls. I initially tried following Loop B but it lead me back to Loop A. After arriving at the falls, another couple had told me that the path leading from the falls and back to the parking lot was closed (to make the actual loop). My dogs and I headed back the way we came.

I would say that at this time of the year, it is more of a moderate hike. You go downhill all the way to the falls, and walk uphill upon your return (since the loop is closed). It is very steep in one section and a little slippery when wet. There are 3 steep stone staircases. Dachshunds’ (hot dogs) backs are not good for going down the staircases so I held two while going downhill. It was a little slippery for me and I consider myself to be really fit with my HIIT workouts and surfing...lol. So be careful and hold the rail. Another person suggested walking sticks, I think that’s a really good idea at this time of year.

Overall it was a breathtaking experience and the people we passed with other dogs, large and small, were SO kind and considerate. We all let each other know when we were rounding corners. My dachshunds get nervous on a leash and we all respected each other’s spaces and were able to flow past each other and share peaceful vibes :)

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

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

Beautiful absolutely breathtaking

hiking
7 days 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.

First trail after knee surgery and a heart attack. I made it up to the Chimney Point.

hiking
8 days 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
8 days 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!

This is probably the most beautiful waterfall that we’ve seen yet and is definitely worth the hike. Going from the campground parking lot take the trail by the amphitheater and you can choose trail A or trail B to begin your hike. Both lead to the falls. For a shorter hike choose trail A and you can back track up trail A after seeing the falls. We had two kids and they were fine with the climb back up after seeing the falls. Be careful toward the bottom of the trail if it has recently rained. The rocks on the trail are very slippery. Overall, this is a fun hike and the benefits of seeing the falls is worth it!

Not as great as we were expecting. The trail is more of a short walk than a true hike. Very crowded and heavily trafficked.

hiking
9 days 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
9 days ago

The hike is well worth it! It is recommended for the novice hiker to use a walking stick to help with foot support when walking over the smaller wet rocks located on the trial. Well worth the hike.

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

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Stair master climb. Top is awesome.

Great short hike, but I would not rate it as easy. You are still hiking up a mountain. Good for most skill levels, but if you are out of shape you will struggle a bit.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

hiking
16 days ago

Steep climb up but for what you see along the way it's worth every step. Don't bother climbing the root wall in the beginning of the trail it isn't another trail.

Highly recommend the bridges and view at top are well worth the work to get there

hiking
16 days ago

This is such a beautiful waterfall. Amazing to see such a lovely display after a short hike. There's a lot of small rocks in the trail and some steep staircases but if those minor obstacles don't bother you this is a "must do" hike if you're in the area.

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

hiking
16 days ago

One of those hikes we wanted to do because of the low mileage, but man it was a workout! Talk about stairs! And more stairs! But beautiful view at the top. We arrived early in the morning and had the trail to ourselves. Would recommend!

Moderate-difficult. Very steep.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful views, but lots of tourists. Easy walk to each site.

This is a steep uphill hike that is worth the climb.

hiking
17 days ago

This is one of our favorite hikes in any park! The trail immediately gives a great experience with some beautiful river crossings and a great place to eat on boulders. The ascend isn’t very long, but it is pretty steep, so be prepared to take breaks and take in the beautiful views along the way. At the top, definitely climb to the top of the rock (unless it’s raining). The expansive views are breathtaking! It can be a busy trail, and people tend to block the rock, so just politely ask them to move so you can climb up!

hiking
18 days ago

Stairs. And more stairs. And then stairs after that. :)
I actually enjoyed this hike. I didn’t get started til 10 am, but was alone going up except for meeting one person on his way down.
It’s very steep in places, so I recommend keeping a slow, steady, similar pace, rather than going til you’re out of breath and then stopping to catch your breath before continuing.
It was quite foggy at the viewing platform, but could still see enough to make it well worth it!
While I am sure the view from the very top is amazing, there is not enough money to get me to scramble up that rock face on any day, so I didn’t mind the last bit was closed off.

I would like to suggest the trail information say the following in addition to ‘Moderate’ : Hikers over 50, healthy knee function highly recommended. Be advised that stiff walking may occur for 3 or more days at trail end. (I’ve never been on a trail with over a mile of earthen stairs. But the view at the top was worth it!)- Chimney Tops, Smoky Mountains

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