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

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hiking
20 hours ago

Just hiked this trail today. It poured the whole way up to the top and when I got there the clouds were pretty heavy but could see some of the mountains around and the Chimney Tops, but within 10 minutes the clouds were all around- I literally felt like I was walking on the clouds. I decided to sit and wait out the rain and glad I did- it stopped shortly thereafter and the clouds began to lift and the sun even made an appearance which was a nice sight and I'm glad I waited around. The hike was good, definitely steep. For a relatively short hike, it was quite the elevation change. Worth the hike for sure!

Was a great and wonderful trail. Must be prepared, the hike is fairly easy to arch rock. Then to the bluffs, it get a little tougher but well worth it. If you plan on going to the top it get very tough we made it in 4 hrs but took well over 400 pics lol, well worth any pain or soreness you may have later.

hiking
2 days 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.

I have previously hiked other trails up LeConte and was happy to see a change of scenery on this trail. The different rock features were interesting and the Bluff was neat. I started out early so I was able to easily find parking and avoided the crowds.

Fairly steady climb, not too strenuous. There's a steep right turn about 0.3 miles from the top that can be easy to miss as that part of the trail is not as obvious.
The views are spectacular. When we got there, we were on top of the clouds. After several minutes they broke and we could see for miles.
I would definitely recommend it if you are wanting a sunrise hike as well, as the vista faces east over the valley.
Approx 2 hours up, 90 minutes down. Expect a lot of traffic, and set off early.

Challenging trail but, the views are amazing.

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
4 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.

hiking
4 days ago

A great hike, the stairs through the rock makes the hiking interesting. At the top of alum Cave, the view was ok, but the cave is magnificent. My 5 year old enjoyed it.

My favorite hike ever!! We started the hike at about 7:15am so there were only a few other people along the trail so early. Inspiration point at about 2 miles is beautiful! Alum cave was pretty neat too. Above there is where the hike really gets interesting to me. Such amazing views and some of the cliffs you are on just make it a great experience. A long hike but worth the effort. We went to the lodge and Cliff Top. I am so glad we did the spur to Cliff Top, the views were stunning!! Felt like we were on top of the world! Took us roughly 6 hours start to finnish. One piece of advice, bring food, we did not and were starving for the last few miles. The Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg was the best $40 I ever spent afterwards.

Starting off in the parking lot the views blow you away. We left early in the morning so the trail was not as busy. Absolutely breathtaking once you reach the Jump Off. Great views along the way also. Once we reached the summit of Mt Kephart we weren't sure if that was the jump off but had to go through some brush to continue. Once we got to the Jump Off there was no mistaking it. Absolutely incredible! Highly reccommend.

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
6 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.

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.

6 days ago

Great hike! Rained most of the way up which kept the bugs away. We didn’t have much of a view, but the overlook was neat. I found the difficulty to be way less than Warriors Passage, Lead Cove to Bote Mountain, and even Silers Bald. And they are rated moderate. Totally recommend this trail!

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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
10 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.

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.

Beautiful trail. I did this with a 1st time hiker, although he said it was difficult he really enjoyed it. There are a few switch backs and the trail can be somewhat steep at times, the majority of the trail is very shaded. Not too many water sources so bring enough just in case one of the streams has dried up. I highly recommend packing a lunch so that you can really enjoy the fire tower and its beautiful views! A bit of a boulder scramble to make it to the firehouse, but the 360 degree views are amazing! At one point the trail was so dense with fog that visibility was roughly 30 ft. It was really cool and I highly recommend it.

hiking
13 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.

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.

We picked this trail on a rainy day so we missed out on the view at the top. Still a very nice trail and a little bit of a challenge from the normal trails. Since it was raining, waterproof boots and ponchos were life savers! The end is a little more difficult but fun! We will be back!

hiking
14 days ago

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!

hiking
15 days ago

youre gonna be high kneeing all the way up. well worth it if you go past the blocked trail top, to the actual tops ( so im told). go early as always with the park for parking is limited.

Started just before sunrise to avoid the crowds, definitely worth it as we got to the top in just under 3 hours, a gorgeous view all to ourselves!

Started out to do half of the Trail, but decided to go a little further after the cave. Next thing we knew we were a mile from the top. Well, you can’t turn back then, right?! So we walked on....just before the lodge, the skies opened in a downpour! No worries, it’s an adventure! Great hike, great views (before the rain!). Definitely strenuous but doable. Go for it!

hiking
16 days ago

It was pretty rigorous for me. I had to stop a few times in the ascent to take a breather; the incline can get pretty steep at times and there are quite a few stairs. It was fun nonetheless. There are lots of rivers and little creeks throughout the trail, and though the water is cold, it was fun to splash around in for awhile to cool off. And I have to say, the view at the top is definitely worth the effort it takes to get to it.

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