Explore great smokey mountains - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

great smokey mountains Map
VIEW FULL MAP
backpacking
5 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.

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!

Loved it! Beautiful trail and I was very fortunate to have gorgeous weather.
There were many people out, including families. It seems to be a popular spot, not exactly secluded if that’s what you’re looking for.

This is my go to spot .

Nice short hike, beautiful scenery!

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.

Nice hike. It was the only blue sky day of the week. We got to the parking area about 10:00 am and did find a parking spot. There is a bath room at the trail head. It was fairly busy to the falls. Easy to moderate. The falls is beautiful and it’s cool that the Trillium trail passes behind it. We had a snack there and continued up the trail another mile or so towards LeConte. Here, we were wonderfully alone. This trail is much less traveled. Only saw a group of 6 people coming down from the Lodge. The snow line started around 4000 ft. I found some neat ice needles forming in the mud at the base of some of the fallen tree roots. We turned around at a river crossing around 4500 ft. There are several turn of the century log homesteads on the motor trail that are interesting history to spend time at on your return to Gatlinburg.

hiking
7 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
7 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.

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.

this is a relatively easy moderate Trail with beautiful views. It's nice to do the hike up over the Ridge and get away from the loud sounds of the river and end of The Quiet of the forest. the signs are pretty good at showing the way.

I will be going back on a day the gorge is completely open. I loved this trail it was sooo easy because it was mostly paved. There are parts the you need a permit that is more boulder climbing. The stairs were not bad and has many places to rest! Will be going back again !

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

My wife and I hiked to Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Trail. We have never gone this way before but have done it several times via Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls. No matter which way you go, it is beautiful. The foliage was gorgeous.

hiking
11 days ago

Great views. Trail repairs very nice.

What a wonderful trail A+++++

This hike has it all! Great variety of trees, views and difficulty including the cave, stone steps, and exposed rock where you will be thankful for the handholds. Be sure to wear waterproof shoes and once you get to the Lodge keep going for better views from the Cliff Top.

hiking
12 days ago

Only thing keeping it from getting 5 stars is the last section being closed since the 2016 fires, I understand why it's still closed but can't say it isn't disappointing. They have put in some great work to get the trail to the point it's at, but ending where it did was a bit of a tease. As is still a nice short hike with a good climb for the last third.

Load More