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backpacking
18 hours ago

Late November was ideal for staying good hiking temperature. It was a crisp 60F with orange leaves on the ground and great visibility through the trees. During the 8 mile round trip on a Monday we passed approximately 8 groups. 1.7 mph pace counting the stops at the falls. Toward the last 0.8mi terrain and steps get steeper. Climbed at fallen tree to get up the steps of the water fall and found out there is a somewhat unchartered trail to the right of the falls with a bear cave. Don’t start this hike past 1PM this time of year as darkness sets in quickly (low in Valley). Started at 12:30 came back to car at sunset 5:30 PM. Waited in the car for a couple who didn’t bring flashlights. 4 deaths on falls from kids climbing across slippery rocks in areas not marked for trail; sign says control your kids. Trail ends at great view (pictured) with no charted trail to top.

Absolutely amazing. Some parts are hard especially if caught in the rain. But well worth the view.

1 day ago

the trail is nice. if you need to exercise hike to the greybeards summit otherwise Walker's knob on the way is a lot better view than the greybeards summit.

hiking
1 day ago

Not too difficult of a hike! Steep walk up. Steps, bridges, more steps, inclines, but it’s relatively short of a hike now that the walk to the chimney tops is gated off. Took my gf and I about an hour to climb up with a solid 10 minute rest(were young and in great shape). We did see a handful of people struggling but nothing that will be hard. Beautiful view from the new lookout

Used this trail as our descent from Mt LeConte. This is popular and busy but very challenging. 2700’ incline over 5.7 mi is a lot of uphill on the ascent. The initial part in the valley just after the trailhead is amazingly beautiful, however, with rhododendrons and a whitewater creek crossed by log bridges along the way. Once past that, the ascent begins and is relentless. The persistent are rewarded with some awesome views along the way. Be careful at this time of year: ice and snow can make some parts of the trail treacherous. If you plan to day hike this, bring water and allow plenty of time.

Great views! Definitely the best trail I’ve done in the smokies so far. Took my wife and I about 4 hours on the ascent and 2.5 on the decent. All around great.

Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

Great hike for families. Lots of fun geological features and little boomers everywhere!

scenic driving
3 days ago

My favorite trail in the mountains!

This is my go to spot .

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing views my 10 year old loved this trail. Bring your camera for great photo op!

hiking
4 days ago

Nice trail to the top also can go to the left of the parking lot to take the trail towards Shortoff mtn. Go as far as you want and turn around

hiking
4 days ago

This trail is tough! Granted, I am not a particularly fast hiker, but we started at noon and we didn’t get back to the car until about 8 pm. Definitely get started early! The falls are absolutely spectacular though! And the trail is just beautiful all the way up.

Got there around 730 no one else on the trail till we headed back is a beautiful trail well worth the time to falls about 1.5 hours to falls from trail head

Always a great trail have done in all season and winter is the best

Hands down the bedt hike we have ever taken. Beautiful all the way. And we would not call it strenuous, just a fun challenge (we are 67 year old intermediate day hikers).
A caution: The area right around the falls is a natural refrigerator. After you spend time up there, stretch before going back down & start out slowly. I did not & tore both ligaments in my left knee & the muscle in my right thigh. Easily preventable.
Can't wait to heal up and get back up there.

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

This is my favorite hike in the Smokies. Beautiful views and lots of amazing natural wonders to take in. Can be difficult at times but is well worth the effort. Can't wait to do this again when the wild flowers are in bloom.

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
8 days ago

We did not go all the way to mount leconte. My hubby and I stopped at the bluff. From the trail head to the bluff, it’s about 2.2 miles. What a great hike. Really loved this trail. The mossy trees and creek were amazing. The arch was super cool. The bluff had icicles hanging that were falling down like missles. Loved it. This is a very popular trail so go early.

hiking
8 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.

This trail had a bit of everything. the view from the top was amazing too! just beware of the ice all over the trail this time of the year

I have so much respect for this mountain after hiking this trail. Definitely one of the hardest hikes I've done, but also the most rewarding. There are so many beautiful landmarks to keep you inspired along the way.

hiking
9 days ago

Very fun trail with amazing views! In my groups opinion it wasn’t very hard like the reviewers say (and we aren’t in very well shape like most). Would recommend this trail to anyone.

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!

The walk in was steep and slippery in spots. Bridge crossings where slick and had ice. Snow closer to the Falls. Was worth the hike! 16,433 steps according to my watch. Recommend for those that want to see beautiful water falls. We did see a huge buck driving in. Then we saw a bear both going up and heading down.

Fantastic! Last part a little tricky but not bad. Wonderful!!!

decent hike up. keep making lefts. at one point there's a sign for parking or Trail and if you go right you'll be going down the mountain around another side. it does have an awesome panoramic view at the top which is well worth the hike.

Breath taking!

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

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