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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
20 hours 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
21 hours 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.

Amazing views well worth the trek up the mountain side, the hike will take your whole day. One of my favorite places in the smokies for sure.

This was one of the most beautiful hikes to date.. I highly recommend it but be ready, We did it in 4 hrs but well worth it!!!

Very pleasant, easy walk. Temperature was in the High 70’s and clear sky. Trail is very easy and only had a total elevation gain of about 700’. Half of the hike is along a beautiful creek. The highlight of our hike was a swim where a small stream cascades into river. Hannah saw a baby snake....

AWESOME TRAIL! The Alum Cave makes a great, scenic half-way point to sit and rest or eat. The second half is way more strenuous, but SO MUCH FUN! Even though it was foggy at the top, the lodge was a joy and the hot chocolate was pleasant. Looking forward to doing this one again.

Great hike! We hiked it with our young children and got to see two bears!

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.

This was our second time taking this trail up to the lodge. Beautiful trail and the views at the top are amazing. Unfortunately on this trip at the top the fog and clouds were socked in. Still worth the journey up there.

hiking
3 days ago

Excellent raw trail. Lots of interest. My wife and I took took this on in late afternoon. Lots of rain over the days before had Rock Creek flowing fast and high, turning the rock hopping jaunts into thigh-deep wading. Nevermind that. The reward at the in end was well worth it. The reward at the out end a downhill grade. Note: Lots of slick mud on the trail.
Also this is not a hard hike, but it did not seem particularly kid-friendly to us.

This trail was beautiful! We hiked to the bluffs and the view there was fantastic! The scenery, bridges, arch and so much more made this trail very interesting. Something different at every turn. Will do this one again.

This hike was beautiful!

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

This is a great trail. Starts out along the river, cross a nice bridge, and come across the falls. When we went it had rained heavy for days before. I've never seen the river so angry and the falls flowing so well. The river had to be nonstop class 5 rapids. very impressive

Amazing hike. Nice seeing the different types of plants as the elevation changes. Leconte is awesome! We saw a large black bear driving there early in the morning as well. it poured half the trip but it was still 100% worth it.

hiking
5 days ago

I want to say first that I only hike about 3-5 times a year as I live at sea level.

THIS HIKE KICKED MY #%*

I hiked this yesterday and I can barely walk today. I thought reaching the top meant that going down would be easy but it wasn’t. My legs were giving out the whole way down. Jelly legs.

I work out about an hour a day 5 days a week including swimming and weight training. But apparently that doesn’t prepare one for a hike like this!

It was beautiful especially the first half. And the view at the top was nice but not the best I have seen.

Playing in the creek at the trailhead after the hike was a great treat.

My 11 and 17 year old girls made it to the top but my 7 year old stopped at the Ap Trail.

I would do it again but would love to train more for it. A great accomplishment for me and a great memory.

on Grotto Falls Trail

hiking
5 days ago

The day I went it was super muddy and slippery so definitely be careful coming back down!

THIS IS A MUST SEE TRAIL. One of the best views I’ve ever seen the whole way up. Every .25miles you have an amazing view whether it’s an overlook, a cave, a natural waterfall formed by the constant stream, or the huge cave opening. Highly highly recommend this one.

The view is worth the hike!

Amazing views! Absolutely breathtaking.

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

Went early like most of the previous reviews suggested (we were on the trail by 7:45am and only saw 2 other cars in the parking area). Ran into about 4 ppl total on the hike to the Bunion, so pretty much had the hike to ourselves.

Lots of steps and scrambling over rocks, which made this trail unique and absolutely fun! The Bunion was masterful; climbed out onto it and had a 45 minutes break with snacks, sunshine, birds, butterflies and stunning, mile-high views.

Headed back to the car, we had to yield frequently to hikers headed up (it was 10:30a by this point) but still were able to make the round-trip hike (including the 45 min AT the Bunion) in just over 4 hours. Our hike ended just after 11am, and by this time the trail head was swarming with people, dogs, kids...and the parking lot was overflowing.

So glad we did this hike early!! And so worth the trek!! Will do again, and will start even earlier (would suggest 7am).

This trail is exactly moderate. Offers lush vegetation, bear sightings, and the occasional salamander.

The views from Charlie’s Bunion are amazing whether it’s clear sky’s, or dissipating clouds. Get an early start to avoid crowds. Most folks don’t get out to the trail until after 9 am. Get up early and enjoy the breathtaking view with limited to no company

hiking
8 days ago

A coworker recommended this trail to me for my vacation and it was quite an experience. My entire family and I hiked this trail. It is a beautiful and scenic hike but when people says it’s steep they mean it. It is by no means an easy trail but it is very rewarding when you get to the top.

Nice hike, great double falls at the top. Parking is sparse so go early.

For what it is, this was fun. A steep walk up, but the view from the lookout is breathtaking. If it’s cloudy or foggy, wait 10 minutes, and it’ll clear.

Don’t go at lunchtime, as we found out it was a great place to picnic. Cleared out by the time we were down at 2:00.

This trail is awesome! I hiked it on 8/2/18 and already want to hike it again. We got there early morning around 8 am and saw no one else on the trip up. The arch was really cool and the the cave was not what I thought it would look like but loved it. It rained our whole hike so being under the cave overhand was a nice dry break. The best part are the bluffs. Make sure you make it at least that far. Even in the storm the views are spectacular.

Definitely got my heart rate going! We went on a foggy day so we missed the beautiful view at the top. The trail itself is quite lovely and I enjoyed it a lot. We found some really neat wildlife along the way too (including a big black bear we just missed on the trail). Can’t wait to come back on a clear day!

Great little hike with a beautiful waterfall as payoff. There are a few really muddy spots on the trail so make sure you have the correct shoes.

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