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This is a very scenic hike and the views from the cliff tops are amazing. We hiked up and back the same day, but you can make reservations (a year in advance) to stay at the top. The hike is strenuous and very rocky. If you have knee problems, this one hurts a bit. There are a few things for sale at the top like chocolate and T-shirt’s. I think you can buy meals as well. We spent 8 hours on the trail including the time we spent at the top. Definitely start early and pack a lunch and plenty of water.

Started this hike at around 8am and we were lucky enough to miss the fog as it rolled in after we departed Charlie's Bunion. I would rate this trail on the easier side of moderate. There are a few water sources along this trail with one being marked near the Icewater Spring Shelter. There is also an outdoor toilet on the way up. The trailhead itself is a lookout that was very popular for motorist driving through. There were also restrooms located there. The view from Charlie's Bunion was well worth the hike.

Absolutely beautiful!

Great hike
Foggy and rain most of the hike but cleared just as we reached the Bunion for 10 mins, then thunder storms rolled in just as quickly.
Good reminder to always be prepared for all types of weather while hiking.

Not technically difficult, but definitely a work out! You are ascending almost the entire way up. The trail itself is not too scenic, but the views at the top are beautiful. The last portion is still closed, but many of the trees have recovered from the fire. We went in early July and the trail was very cool and shady.

In the very beginning there are a few spots you can go swimming so make sure you bring a swimsuit/towel. 99% of the trail you’re going uphill so it’s a definite leg workout. In addition to going uphill you’ll also be climbing hundreds of steps. But the view at the top is beautiful & definitely worth the hike if you’re up for it!

I did this one a few years before the wildfire, so I don’t know how it looks now. I’m sad to hear the top is closed.

It’s beautiful. The last part is hand-over-foot, but the rock gets super hot.

It’s very steep. Get an early start and bring water.

Summer weekday morning hike. MUST have a quality bug spray for this hike. Beautiful woods and very quiet. Bring plenty of water and food. There are no services available here. Followed the trail to the Tolomato River. It is salt water fed from the ocean so there isn’t much small animal activity. However, there is a lot of marsh land and we came across an alligator on the path. Quite a thrill!!! In summer, the morning can be best as afternoon rain patterns persist.

Hikes this aith mt wife last October. We loved it!

Great hike with the family. Started at 8:00am and arrived at the lodge at 11:10am. Great views and photo moments on the descent. Hope to do it again and stay the night at the lodge.

Great trail. The section from the cave to the peak is tough but rewarding with amazing views. I recommend trekking poles to help with the steep descent.

Love this hike! Hiked it with my husband and three girls ages 7 to 13. It’s tough towards the end but worth it. We stopped at alum cave for lunch and then went on with a couple more short breaks. It took us about three hours to get up and two to get down. Drank our weight in hot chocolate and coffee at the lodge.

hiking
3 days ago

An AMAZING trail if you’re a sucker for water and nice views.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike !

awesome short trek.....a leg workout 4 sure.....bummer the cliff top portion was closed....

Great trail. Beautiful views at every turn. Hiked to lodge and then went to Cliff Tops to see the view as the view from lodge was beautifully foggy. Will come and do it again. Took me about 6 hours with some stops for snacks and views with an hour at the top.

There were many great views on the way. Left the trailhead at 7 am. saw quite a few people near the end,that's why we left early.

Lovely hike in the beautiful lush forest, with a waterfall at the end. My first "long" hike. Being from Florida I practiced for a long time on the uphill treadmill, and it worked, because it wasn't too hard or too steep for me, and I enjoyed it so much I have sought out vacations with beautiful day hikes ever since.

Very nice hike. I took my wife and daughters age 7 and 10. It's a tough go, but a nice view at the end. In the summer, bring a swimsuit because there are some falls to swim in.

It’s a really beautiful trail! It’s mostly wooded, flows a creek for the first half, and a ridge for the second. We took it slow with our packs full of gear for an overnight in the backcountry. I took us about 5 hours to get up with plenty of breaks, and 3 hours to get down. Without a pack, it would be doable for most people.

Absolutely gorgeous hike. My wife and I enjoyed being by the river, and the tighter spaces of rugged terrain this trail offered. Without a doubt worth the hike to see the cascade. A favorite for sure!! This was about 10 miles stepping distance due to the terrain, and was hard but doable.

My stepdaughter and I hiked this trail on April 5 and we had a great time. We spent 4.5 hours in hiking time only, and had a nice rest while enjoying the view and the hot chocolate at the top. (Bring some cash). There were still some icy patches on the way up, but they were melted by the time we went down. It's worth watching your step in the icy spots! Overall, the hike was not as hard as I expected. it is popular and busy, but we enjoyed visiting with the various hikers we met. Highly recommended. The views are stunning.

Date: 7.8.18
In: 8:18 AM
Out: 4:01 PM

We started the trail as soon as we arrived at the park and there were already a lot of cars at the lot from overnighters and early birds. The hike was scenic, picturesque, and has all the payoffs you would want in a trail. Even though we made it up there in 3 hours and would have made it back down in another 2 hours but we decided to wait the clouds to clear for some pictures so it ended up being a much longer hike than anticipated. Thank goodness for our wait because just as soon as we were about to pack up and leave, we got some nice break in the clouds and were able to take quite a few photos!

The only thing I could say that was a disappointment was the atmosphere at Le Conte Lodge. Prior to coming, I had looked them up and was excited to experience the hospitality that people raved about on almost all review sites. Alas, we did not get to experience the same courtesy afforded to other guests. While they were not rude, it was definitely standoffish. It was a sharp contrast to the friendly, kind, and courteous hikers that we encountered on the trail.

No matter though because we had so much fun and will definitely make this trail on our must do list whenever we visit the Smokies!

If you want a challenge, this is your trail! I hiked it for the first time and I am definitely coming back!

There are lots of rocks and boulders and roots to keep your feet and ankles and senses engaged. Coming down Freeman is good practice for moving your whole body and not just your legs to keep the momentum going. Lots of shade, lots of moisture, lots of bugs and critters and birds. Families and small groups and couples fairly common on the AT portion, solitude on the Freeman.

We made this hike to the cave this past weekend. It was a great hike for the whole family.

There are lodges and food 5 miles up, the actually peak extends further so the round trip will be closer to 11-12 miles or even more depending on how many of the side trails you explore.

my favorite trail in the Smoky mountains.

Not much to see till you get to Charlie's Bunion. The end definitely makes the hike worthwhile. It falls on the easy side of "moderate", with a good path and slow inclines and declines.

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