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Great workout and beautiful views! Highly recommended!!

Strenuous 1/2 mile hike (one way), slightly to very crowded depending on day/time, totally worth the views.

This trail is steep, but very well maintained and Rainbow Falls was a great reward for my 11, 10, and 8 year old hiking companions.

Challenging but rewarding hike!

hiking
1 day ago

I hiked it this morning, hoping to see a sunrise at the top. However the rain clouds blocked any “red” from the chimney top you can see. The trail is well maintained and easy to hike in the dark with a head lamp. I’m hoping they work on the last quarter of a mile and open it to the public so you can get closer to the unique tops.

They say it's only 0.5 miles up and 0.5 down... The hike up is on a paved path but it is STEEP. Maybe it's because we had just hiked 8 miles for Charlie's Bunion.. The views we're worth it, though. Make sure you bring a light jacket. On top of the observation towers, it's 20 degrees cooler. If there's fog, just wait 5-10 minutes and it'll move! Panoramic photos are a must!

Plan ahead for this one. I did not plan as well as I should and was caught off guard by the strenuous terrain. I did the whole 8.1 mile loop in 4.5 hrs which was rough. Definitely want to plan some longer stops along the way to relax and enjoy it a bit. Told my wife about it and now she wants to go back and try it, which we will probably do this fall after it cools off a bit.

Definitely a must see if you're in the area! 4 miles up and 4 miles down. The first 2 miles are mostly up hill but don't get discouraged! It is definitely worth the hike. When you eventually get to the "Charlie's Bunion" sign, most people take a left toward the "Bunion". I recommended taking a right to stay on the AT. There is a small trail as soon as you form to the right on the left hand side.. Take that straight up to the trail less traveled for an even BETTER view of the Smokies! This is the highest point t possible to view the Bunion. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks!

Great trail. Took my 7 yr and we had the Bunion to ourselves for 40 amazing minutes today. Trail is absolutely moderate, not hard but not easy. First2 miles is uphill but then levels out to a nice high forest. The length should not be a deterrent if you bring enough food and water. Great views but the Bunion is small. Could be dangerous when crowded.

hiking
2 days ago

Good hike to beautiful views of the falls and mountains. Well worth the time.

It is just a path up to a viewing point. Not a hiking trail at all. Crowded at the viewing point also, unable to snap a picture without others in the way.

The view was amazing! However, the hike was paved (which in my opinion takes away from nature) and it was highly populated and a steep climb with 3 littles!

Great hike and decent workout. The only bad thing i would say is that parking at Jones Gap sucks. Make sure you get there early or you will be waiting a long time for a parking spot.

This should not be rated hard. Sure there are rocks and some roots on the trail but it’s not a sidewalk. I consider a hard trail one that requires all fours to go up and over, or at least some scrambles and that’s what I was expecting from these reviews. Didn’t happen. This was a moderate trail with a lot of switch backs that make it long but at no point was it a hard trail. I made it up and back in exactly 4.5 hours and that included all stops and my big 15 minutes at the summit to take in the views. I’ve never done a 10+ mile trail rated hard in that time. Anyway, fun hike with a lot of terrain changes (clay, dirt, sand) the switchbacks were annoying but you could see why they were needed. There was just no other way up the mountain. Tower at the top is kind of cool.

hiking
2 days ago

A lot of trees covered some of the great views but the ones we found were spectacular. A great hike into a temperate rainforest.

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
3 days ago

It’s a great hike, not as strenuous as people claimed. Nicely maintained trail, with a lot of stairs. My 5 year old hiked up without any problem. She was super disappointed that we are no longer allowed to climb the big rock on the top. I thought there would be some rocks to climb at the end, but it was only the newly built platform. The view on the top is ok, not spectacular. The view of the stairs is much better.

Fantastic hike, amazing views

Don’t get me wrong, the views from the observatory are breathtaking and definitely deserve 5/5. But there were hundreds of people there and felt like an amusement park and not the great outdoors. That’s probably me being an outdoor snob, to be fair, but if you’re a fan of nature and pure hiking I’d do this one later.

hiking
5 days ago

This is a Smoky Mountain classic. The second mile to the overlook is intense but the views are totally worth it! Great mix of forest setting in the beginning to panoramic views at the top. Wife and I had a great time and would definitely would recommend!

hiking
5 days ago

Yup, STEEP. Felt like more than 3-4 miles up to the top, but when you go the way back down, you’ll be “oh that’s all?” :-) I enjoyed hiking this trail even though I had to make some stops to catch my breath! Spot a black bear on the trail, and had to wait some good 10-15 minutes before it left the trail.

Important to read this before you visit this trail from Wilderness Cove Tubing Area....

First 1 1/4 mile is very good and moderate. About 3/4 mile is difficult to strenuous.

When you cross Cove Creek, Several sections of the trail were destroyed by the landslides, fallen trees, and washed away by floods. But few of the sections are in good shape so you can able to hike. When you find the disappearing trail or blocked trail, I recommend you to walk through Cove Creek’s Gorge.

Please do not walk on narrow trail (last section) where there is moss on rock ledge because there is very steep rock and no way to cross this rock and one slip COULD lead you down to rushing water !! It is BEST to walk through Cove Creek’s Gorge for your safety.

Do not go there if the waters are too high. I went there on August 11, 2018 and I was able to walk through the gorge and the height of water were various from ankle to chest.

I did enjoy this challenging hike but please take your time to explore through the gorge and be careful with rock scrambling and creekwalking!! I posted pictures.

I believe last 3/4 mile of the trail was destroyed by heavy rains of May 2018. Nothing can fix the trail.

This trail is just under 8 miles from parking lot to parking lot. We went clockwise, down Dismal and up Naturaland trail. There’s a cool foot bridge at the bottom. The Naturaland trail between the two bridges can be a little brutal, very steep, but not bad. My wife and I had no trouble with trekking poles, though there are a few scrambles. Take bug spray, food, and 2-3 liters of water. We did the loop in about 4:45, taking our time and stopping for lunch.

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

My ABSOLUTE favorite hike in the Smoky Mountains. I always hike up to the Jump Off then back Down to Charlie's and it is always worth it. My gps clocked it at 9.2 miles to complete the Jump Off, Icewater Spring Shelter, and Charlie's Bunion. This hike never disappoints.

Although there was no visibility, it was a fun experience! It's a steep walk up a paved walkway. Wear layers for sure!

Fantastic views, worth the climb. Starts off flat, becomes very rocky and steep with lots of roots. Loved it!!!

Amazing views! A religious experience and I’m an atheist.

Bring a trash bag and take some styrofoam out with you! After all the flooding the falls are surrounded by little bits of it. If we don’t take it out, it’ll stay there.

Did this rocky hike with the best friend and pup! Spray yourself with bug spray prior. The trail was lined with the river/creek for most of the way up, and there were multiple bridges that were great for the views. 10/10 would recommend!! It took us about 3 hours and 15 mins but we hung out at the waterfall for an hour.

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