Explore Bucket List - 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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Hit up the Ham Shop for a breakfast sandwich to-go, and enjoy this hike in the morning. This avoids any crowds and allows you to take your time and not rush, so you can take it all in and enjoy. It’s definitely intense at the top, but slower and less agile hikers can still take their time while getting to the top. The views at the peak are well worth the trip up.

Amazing beauty of the canyon, crystal clear rivers, and unbelievable falls. Trails are well managed and camping area is perfect.

OH MAN- this trail was intense!! We started off doing Old Butt Knob to get to the top of Shining rock and then took Shining Creek trail back down the mountain. I highly recommend doing Old Butt Knob first. That trail was like the ultimate stair master and going down it after a full day on hiking would have been hard. My friend and I are both active people, but we don’t hike too often. It took us about 8 hours to hike 10 miles (the trail was closer to 9 miles but we wandered a bit and that’s why we hiked 10 miles). We just took our time getting up the mountain and had a blast. I know some reviews say this trail isn’t for amateurs, but if you are an active person, you should have no problem completing it. The only problem I had was that there were not a lot of view points along this trail. Any views of the mountain range were blocked by trees. We actually hopped on the Art Loeb Trail for about a mile to get some better views and ended up hanging out at the top of one of the mountains for an hour or so. Also, make sure you bring a trail map and compass. There were no blazes on any of the trails. There were, however, distinctive paths through the forest that were easy to follow. If you are going to venture off on another trail, make sure you know how to get back! Also, if you are looking to camp overnight, there are plenty of campsites along both trails. There were these little paths that we followed off of the main trail and they always lead to a campsite. I think we stumbled upon 4 or 5. Overall, it was a good hike, but I felt it was more for the exercise rather than the views.

My favorite

It never disappoints. Highly recommend hiking shoes and lots of water!

My girlfriend and I embarked on this loop last year with some friends. We didn’t quite know what we were getting ourselves into. I had thought we had made it to the top when we reached the outlook where most will have there lunch. Little did I know that was just the beginning of the rock scramble. This loop is challenging and that makes it incredibly fun! I wouldn’t recommend to any beginners unless they go with someone who’s done it before. Not that you’d get lost, but the rock scramble does get challenging, especially for those out of shape. My girlfriend and I love it and will be going back soon.

Pretty easy hike, but a nice view and payoff. The earlier in the day you go the better since the view is westerly facing and afternoon sun will limit the quality of your photos.

I have done this three times, each of the last three years, it is always best in the fall, but doing it in December means less crowds. The loop is a better way to do it, although the distance is closer to 11 miles that way. Going straight up and down means fighting the crowds coming up through the scramble, which is not fun for either direction. If you are doing it in the summer or fall, I strongly recommend avoiding the weekends or starting early. Arriving around 0800 will leave you waiting in lines on the weekend that can stretch for an hour or more at the start of the scramble. This hike is a lot of fun and a real sense of community develops along the way. Not good for pets at the scramble. Make sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the view at the top.

I am trying to get a permit for 2 of us and I can’t get thru the phone lines. I have called continuously but no answer. Any suggestions on how else I can purchase a couple nights stay for 2 possibly 3 of us? Would they help me if I drive all the way there? Please email me if you have suggestions : chapis503@outlook.com

Beautiful and definitely will go back

I've done this hike a few times starting at Echo then to Cholla and back to Echo again. It typically takes me about 3.5-4 hours to complete and only 2 hours to go from just Echo to Cholla. When I hike this trail, I am usually going at a consistent walking pace and only take a break once I reach the top. I would definitely recommend bringing at least 2 liters of water like the other reviewers stated. In my opinion, Cholla is the easier of the two trails and Echo has a lot of scrambling. I personally prefer to start at Echo since it hurts my knees more going down large rocks versus going up them. Echo has parking (and bathrooms) at the trailhead whereas Cholla only has parallel parking along the main road. Both trailheads are easy to find as they are well marked by signs.

Starting at the trailhead, go right— this path will put you on the AT and it is a much smoother climb to the summit. If you loop it this way, it’s just short of 3 miles around.

Summit has great views around the valley. A little crowded on the weekend but not too terrible.

Well worth the hike. Will do it again when the weather is warmer.

Amazing hike. The rock scramble is tough but great fun.

AMAZING. Honestly no words.

Such a beautiful place to go and see nature. The hike in was roughly 12 miles in (not the 10 everyone says). We checked in at the village and were on our way. There isn’t any signs along the way to let us know we were heading in the right direction so we used other hikers as our “guides” to know we were heading in the right direction. When we reached the first “fall” it was a disappointment (only because I thought that was where we were suppose to be and that was it). Keep going, pass the signs that say “Dangerous Unstable Ground” and pass the grave yard. When you are getting nervous you will never make it, just go a little further and you are there. This place is totally worth the sore muscles and exhaustion. We did put up our tent in close to the Natural Spring water (really made life easier to be so close to the fresh water). The hike out is daunting, tiring and makes you question every poor life choice but when you reach the top and are back in the comfort of your own vehicle, it makes you feel accomplished. Wear good supportive shoes, take ONLY what you need and hand sanitizer NEEDS to make it in your pack. Females, be prepared to “hover” in the bathrooms. Most importantly....enjoy the place....it’s absolutely beautiful and magical.

It was an amazing experience!

So fun! The scrambling is challenging but fun. Gorgeous in the fall.

Oh my!!! The reviews are accurate...no blazes (Except Art Loeb Trail), you will end up leaving the trail and you need to be comfortable navigating your way back, it's a test....a real test-9.1 miles in 6 hours. I know doesn't sound fast but it's a serious incline and the decent it's nothing to discount. We took Shining Creek to Art Loeb to Old Butt Knob. Coming down OBK is work in itself be ready. The trail follows the creek with great flowing water making some beautiful cascades. The views are stunning and there was a lot of ICE today.

Really, really hard trail but glad I tested myself and it is worth the effort.

13 days ago

This was an extremely challenging trail, but it doesn’t get challenging until close to the actual falls and of course the OUT and UP part.

We dropped a car at the Tennessee side and drove back to Alabama side and started there so that we could through hike. I think the through hike was the best idea because we got to see different things which kept it rewarding rather than an out and back situation.

It’s worth it but if it’s rainy it is quite slippery and a little scary. Trekking poles or walking sticks are essential in this sort of situation and would help even if it’s dry when you go.

A beautiful place! Easy hike in strenuous hike out.

You must go up Cholla and down Echo! You won’t be disappointed! The views are priceless!

Another great day hike. Took my gf and her son out for the day and had a blast. Heavily trafficked, but you’re still able to find your own space

Absolutely amazing!

We started and took shining Creek and had planned on coming back old butt. However the trail is NOT 3.4 miles, as it states on the map. It is more close to 6 miles one way so be prepared. It was getting dark on us so We came back out the same way We went in and do not get to do old butt. This trail was very pretty with lots of water Cascades. We tracked The trail to be around 12.5 round trip. The trail is NOT marked and is very confusing to what is and is not the trail. This trail even with a map would be super easy to get lost. we ran into other hikers and they were just as confused as we were and some had done the trail before. It would be nice if they could have some small makers at least on some of the places.

Decent hike. Great views at the top. Table Rock summit definitely has more wow-factor.

Great Hike! But would not give it a "hard" difficulty.

AMAZING views! Awesome waterfalls! Must do again!

Great hike. Good difficulty level going up, with interesting rock scramble. Nice walk down the trail to cool down and relax

Best ever!!!❤️

great hike in, the trails were well keep at the traffic in and out was light. the waterfall was pretty far away, I plan on doing the dismal section of the falls for better view next time.

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