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My favorite hike in the Smokies.

Lots of switchbacks but still pretty steep. Fairly difficult but the view is worth it.

So beautiful. Not a lot of traffic we saw only 1 other person on our way out! Be prepared to cross a river!!

hiking
2 days ago

Pretty winter hike. Trees and shrubs at higher elevations were dusted with ice crystals. As others have said, the trail is quite steep and rocky for a little over two miles. After the turn to the Pinnacle the trail gets much easier and your legs get a nice break. Great views at the Pinnacle - be sure to follow the small trail through the underbrush to reach the Pinnacle at the very end. I had a Raven circling right over my head at the top, calling. The steep downhill on the way back takes a toll on your legs. I’d recommend extending trekking poles on the way back. If you’re finishing in the dark, like I did, be sure and take a headlamp. The rocks on the trail look like they’d make great ankle-turners.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a tough trail due to the incline going up. Lots of nice openings where you catch a glimpse of small town Sylva. Once you get to the “top” where you break off and go toward the pinnacle (1.4miles I believe) it’s cake. Every drop of sweat was worth it when you walk out of the clearing for the view. It was amazing. Brought my jet boil and had some lunch and tea and made my way down. It was cold (35) but that was nice while hiking up. Definitely doing it again in the spring!

good day hike. remember to pack enough clothes with elevation change from bottom to the top the temperature and weather can change pretty quickly.

good hike or backpack to the top and camp overnight like we did. better be in good shape to hike this one, nice vertical ascends, some narrow areas plus a few wet areas. take emergency supplies with you if your just hiking, plenty of water, maybe some light first aid. there was only one problem we didn't have enough time to hike more. this is absolutely beautiful you have to see it for yourself. get out and enjoy our state and national parks. we are headed to Colorado next then back to the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains.

2/3 of the way is pretty basic. The last 1/3 was more fun. Stepping through and over more creeks, trees, rocks. The terrain became more intense. Once I reached the waterfall, the temperature had dropped and the rocks were iced over. It was beautiful, very private and reclusive.

Went in November 2018. Right after a decent snow. About halfway up it was all snow and ice. Massive ice icicles were falling from the top of Alum Cave. Was a little daring trying to hurry up the frozen ground to get under the protection of the cave. Highly enjoyed the excitement of it all. The steps at Arch Rock were a solid sheet of ice. Fell only one time going down them. I enjoy the harder trails with a little twist of ice and snow.

Beautiful hike, even with sleet. 4.9 miles on the loop.

Really not terribly difficult, the stair portions are the hardest since they are quite the incline (calves and quads will feel it). The rest of the trail is moderate incline the whole way. The view at the top is pretty good but as of recently the last part of the trail has been closed, which is where the good view is.

Hiked on New Year's Day. A little muddy but overall in good condition. Falls were flowing beautifully. A great short hike.

We hiked this trail Jan 11th 2019, about 3/4 of the way up there was a bad icy patch, not un-crossable with out clips but definitely not for the feint of heart. There were 9 of us and 4 were inexperienced hikers. This trail was hard but entirely worth the effort. The views from the top were worth all the pain of falling on the ice. Bring lots of water, it gets warmer as you ascend due to the sun shining on the mountain. There are plenty of places to rest and take great pictures.

It was a bit rainy when we went but that just made the waterfall look even more spectacular. Great view of Rainbow Falls, didn't go all the way to Turtleback because we had the dogs with us and they weren't really behaving well that day but would love to go back!

Worth all the effort! from the moment you see arch rock you know this is gonna be a cool hike. inspiration point should be enough to propel you to the end of this hike, but if that's not enough allum bluff is a wonderful turn around point and not much further past inspiration point. 10/10 will definitely do this hike again.

Worth the visit. Very well kept and friendly folks around. Waterfalls are amazing. Would definitely come back for another run.

Spectacular views with just enough challenging sections! Great for either a day hike or an overnighter.

hiking
11 days ago

Easy to access trail ending with a beautiful waterfall with lots of areas to hammock and enjoy the upper and lower falls. Usually fairly crowded given the easy access but lots of lesser traveled spur trails to access from all sides of the trail. Sandy pines to rhododendron - beautiful!

Great day to do the hike, especially since the state park was closed so not may tourists around. Total mileage was 12.2.

View at the top is worth it! Very muddy right now, and our watches showed 3 miles each way

Wow! Awesome hike to a sprawling bald. Low effort, high yield. Just be prepared for hoards of people at the top on a nice day. Fortunately there are off-shoots and other trails in the vicinity you can explore to get away from the crowds. Definitely would do again, and would plan a camping trip to see sunrise from there.

Dear lord this was a hard trail. Me and my two best friends went camping together and we spontaneously decided to do this trail for some reason. The whole thing is pretty much uphill but the view... my god the view was incredible at the top. It was so breathtaking it made the whole hike worth it. Just a note: the three of us are not in peak physical condition. I’m moderately fit but have hypoglycemia and a syncope problem, one friend has asthma and hypoglycemia but she runs frequently, and the second friend just casually works out. It took a while to go up and down this monster but we managed it.

hiking
13 days ago

One of my first hikes!

Beautiful flaming azaleas on the bald!

Just amazing. Simple as that.

Great views at the summit
Overnight camping you can experience sunset And sunrises

This place is one of my absolute favorite! I did an overnight backpacking trip here and the view was beyond breathtaking. My now fiancé also proposed here at sunset and it was so dreamy! The hike isn’t bad and only took 15 minutes to get to the top. I would recommend wearing boots as it can be a little muddy.

15 days ago

beautiful hike, a little muddy from the rain but not difficult. hiked with my 9 year old.

Fun and challenging trail’

This should be on your top 10 list!

Great for people with a desire for a big pay. You will earn the view toward the top but it’s worth it. Can be muddy and slippery so wear proper shoes and take it slow.

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