Explore NC - 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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scenic driving
7 hours ago

Very pretty, a lot of wild animals with was cool

Strenuous 1/2 mile hike (one way), slightly to very crowded depending on day/time, totally worth the views.

Challenging but rewarding hike!

They say it's only 0.5 miles up and 0.5 down... The hike up is on a paved path but it is STEEP. Maybe it's because we had just hiked 8 miles for Charlie's Bunion.. The views we're worth it, though. Make sure you bring a light jacket. On top of the observation towers, it's 20 degrees cooler. If there's fog, just wait 5-10 minutes and it'll move! Panoramic photos are a must!

So pretty! Saw lots of wildlife and the kids loved it! We got out and walked at a few spots! Great if you don't like to hike but still like to see the views!

It is just a path up to a viewing point. Not a hiking trail at all. Crowded at the viewing point also, unable to snap a picture without others in the way.

There are some very steep areas but the loop is still a very nice and short walk. There is a nice bridge where the water fall is that has a bench. We took our two year old with us and she loved it. She walked most of the way and she got to play in the water. I will definitely go back.

The view was amazing! However, the hike was paved (which in my opinion takes away from nature) and it was highly populated and a steep climb with 3 littles!

Love love loved it! Last hike we did before we leave for home. Glad we waited to do it last. Was not difficult at all.

This should not be rated hard. Sure there are rocks and some roots on the trail but it’s not a sidewalk. I consider a hard trail one that requires all fours to go up and over, or at least some scrambles and that’s what I was expecting from these reviews. Didn’t happen. This was a moderate trail with a lot of switch backs that make it long but at no point was it a hard trail. I made it up and back in exactly 4.5 hours and that included all stops and my big 15 minutes at the summit to take in the views. I’ve never done a 10+ mile trail rated hard in that time. Anyway, fun hike with a lot of terrain changes (clay, dirt, sand) the switchbacks were annoying but you could see why they were needed. There was just no other way up the mountain. Tower at the top is kind of cool.

short and steep, perfect for highpointers! probably not worth it if you're not interested in bagging all the high points but still a nice little hike.

Amazing hike, we hiked it on a rainy day but it was still a great time. I highly recommend for everyone!

on Cades Cove Loop Road

scenic driving
3 days ago

Absolutely beautiful view. A good place to view the mountains from the ground level. We even saw a few animals, black bear, fox, turkeys, deer. A few of old houses.

If you are looking for an easy trail that gives great 360 views- this is one of the best in that regard

Awesome trail, little traffic and awesome views at the top.

I did this hike today and it was very nice. The view is so beautiful at the end! The hike isn’t too strenuous and I would rate it moderate to hard at the very end. Be careful with yellow jackets (there was a nest), I got stung and ended up with a severe allergic reaction and a rescue team had to come get me. So if you’re allergic, take your pen/meds with you!

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.

First thing to note is that this is a different trail than looking glass falls which several people seemed confused about. The only water fall is a very small one near the start. The trail is not steep but the 3 miles out is entirely uphill. The view at the top is definitely worth it though!

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

Lovely views, lovely hike. The climb is never steep, just steady and moderate. We hiked up for sunset and soaked in our first Eastern sights of the Milky Way along with a hand-full of meteors from the Perseid shower. Other than a few passers-by, we had the place to ourselves.

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

Great workout. Not a scenic “hike”.

Loved the scenic trail and the destination is breathtaking! Hike is very strenuous but worth it in the end!

The view is worth the hike!

hiking
11 days ago

Paved trail to the summit. Slightly steep but well worth the trek up for the 360 degree views.

on Craggy Pinnacle Trail

hiking
11 days ago

Great short hike to the summit from the parking area. You ascend around 400ft over 3/4 mile so not to bad. The trail is dirt and rocks. Great views at the top.

hiking
12 days ago

Made an over night loop of this trail and a few others. The Mount Mitchell trail is fine, plenty of water sources, really gradual pace to the top and well traveled. The summit was crowed but pretty much what you would expect if you've seen mountains before. The rest of the trails are where this place shines. Every thousand feet the surrounding radically changed from mossy woods, to pine forests and dense brush. The Pisgah is always rewarding.

Challenging hike with lots of rocks and roots. Dense forest most of the way and good views at the top if you get a clear day (hit or miss). Was heavily trafficked at the top by people who drove up. For us, it was a do it just to check the box hike but not the most beautiful or rewarding we have done. 3.5 hours up and 2.5 down. Early morning start (7am) meant cool temps throughout but still very humid in July. Cool that it's the highest peak East of the Mississippi.

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