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hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. Very difficult at sections (it was snow capped and iced over) in sections near the waterways, from the recent snow melt. Some challenges upward but worth the efforts when you reach the observation platform.

There was a very good amount of snow at the top, which made it somewhat challenging. The view at the very top is so worth it! Dress warm! The way down was challenging too, there are lots of trees down and debris. Overall more than we expected which made it wonderful. The bullhead way down was fairly muddy, and very much less traveled.

Once you make it up to the top of Mt. Leconte it’s a must to go to cliff top! Have fun!

Love this hike loved it more when I could climb to the top, I personally think this is harder than hiking to Mount Le Conte. I recommend doing some hills and longer hikes prior to this one. The view is still stunning from the overlook. This is a must do hike in the park

Did this trail back in March, wonderful views and long enough for a great workout.

Easy trail to the bluff with an amazing view!!!

Great trail to visit after a few rainy days. Beautiful waterfall but the hike is difficult particularly toward the end.

hiking
15 days ago

Everything you’ve read about how relentlessly steep this trail is? It’s all true. Had we not been training for several months for this hike, wife & I probably wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed the next morning. Trekking poles are A MUST for this steep hike; your thighs and calves will thank you.
Even in the segments that don’t contain long flights of stairs, it’s still nearly always an uphill climb. All that said, the views from the overlook are pretty amazing. The bare “chimney tops” themselves are clearly visible from the overlook, so there’s really no need to follow the trail beyond the overlook (where it dead-ends at a gate).
After lots of rain a few days earlier, the trail was extremely muddy on the day we hiked it.
This trail is definitely showing signs of being “loved to death” by scores of hikers. (Wonder if some sort of daily lottery to manage the number of hikers might be the answer?)
Encountered a young couple on the trail with their dog, and had to politely let them know that dogs aren’t allowed on most hiking trails within the park.
Be sure to start this hike early enough in the day that you’ll arrive back at the parking lot before it starts to get dark. On our mid-afternoon trip back down, we encountered a number of folks just getting started who almost certainly would be coming down all those steep stairs in twilight.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the overlook before heading back to the trailhead and the pain reliever of your choice. Sunscreen and bug spray are wise precautions.
Although parking area is fairly large, it appears to fill up quickly, so plan to get there early to avoid having to park along the busy roadside and walk to the trailhead.
After completing this challenging but rewarding hike, treat yourself to a burger in Gatlinburg – you’ve earned it!

September 2017- such a pretty hike on the NC/TN spine. The overlook was very cool. Would highly recommend this one at the park. Took us about 4 hours.

just loved all aspects of this hike...the waterfalls were beautiful and the hike was worth every step!

I’m not this fittest guy in the world but for most of this trail I was thinking it was more moderate than hard. Then I reached the last section (the rock scramble) and oh boy, it’s definitely a calf burner and a knee killer on the way down. But overall I really enjoyed this trail! Fantastic waterfall at the end. It took just over 5 hours to complete.

Pretty Day for picnic. There is a flat rock up the hill a little past the Water Fall

A great hike to do and the overlook spots had beautiful views.

Great trail! Variety of terrain. lots of rocks and tree limbs to traverse made it fun. Have to keep your eyes on the trail especially in the fall when the leaves cover

My son and I hiked this trail this morning. It was challenging, but definitely worth the effort and we were glad we chose to do it. We will definitely hike this one again and hopefully the top portion will be opened up again soon.

hiking
23 days ago

Lots of people! Great views! Wonderful waterfalls! Just. Go. Early. Or go on a weekday. Great gift shop for last minute forgotten items. Friendly staff!

backpacking
24 days 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
25 days 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

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

hiking
28 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

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Pleasant trail. Many viewpoints along the canyon ridges. Expect heavy traffic on weekends...

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful scenery. Absolutely beautiful during fall whenever the leaves are changing.

on West Rim Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic trail, Lots of beautiful lookout points. Include the waterfalls trail and you have a great 7 miles of waterfalls, Streams and gorgeous canyon views.

Nice hike to do in the fall. We loved the water features along the way!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy trail with pretty overlooks of mountains.

Breath taking!

Did this in early November and the contrast between the autumn colors at the bottom and icy trees at the top was so cool. Slow burn on the way up, but not too bad. Make sure to stop at the lodge and warm up by the fire!

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