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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!

good hike and mostly uphill

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.

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!

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.

one of my favorite triangle trails. great little rock scrambles too.

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.

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.

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

I have seen other places and talked to other hikers who have rated the loop trail as strenuous. It definitely is exhausting if you walk up the steep side from the lower trailhead parking area. The views are amazing and well worth the effort. If you can go up the steep side do it. I'd rather have the long gentle slope going back down than try to negotiate down the steep steps.

Absolutely so beautiful. A huge gorgeous water fall, beautiful view of the side of Stone Mountain and beautiful nature trials in between.

The view is worth the hike!

hiking
11 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.

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

For what it is, this was fun. A steep walk up, but the view from the lookout is breathtaking. If it’s cloudy or foggy, wait 10 minutes, and it’ll clear.

Don’t go at lunchtime, as we found out it was a great place to picnic. Cleared out by the time we were down at 2:00.

hiking
13 days ago

Good walk in the woods, some of the trail has water nearby which makes for a nice background noise.

The road to Clingman's Dome is just off SR-441, which is the Gatlinburg bypass. It is a long and beautiful road through the Smoky Mountains but there are no gas stations so fuel up in Pigeon Forge (southbound) or Cherokee (northbound) as the mountains will drink your fuel. The parking lot is large and paved and affords great views without getting out of the car. The paved trail to the top is a steep half mile that levels near the top where there is a short trail over to the Appalachian Trail. At this point you can walk the AT in both Tennessee and North Carolina as the trail hugs the border. the tower provides a 360 degree view of the Smoky Mountains with views reaching from 20 miles to 100 miles depending upon visibility.

Good endurance hike. I liked it because it wasn't too close to any big touristy areas resulting in a decreased number of yuppies.

Be ready for plenty of roots and rock on this trail. There are a few outlooks but the power lines spoil some of the best views.There is a nice creek near the half way point and a few more near the four mile mark. The forestry young men and women are doing a wonderful job on trail maintenance. Having make this hike 30 times I can tell you it can be a challenge but well worth it.

Well. We had Mount Mitchell on our bucket list for a while and decided to tackle it around New Years 2018. It was a challenge for sure as much of the trail was iced over and we made good use of the spikes on our trekking poles. Several times we had to cut a new path around the ice and we fell and slid couple of times in dramatic fashion, which was nice to add to our story when we shared the tale of our adventure with amazed friends and family. This hike started as a fun adventure because of the road down to the trail head, the beautiful stream, and nicely packed trail at the beginning. The fun soon faded though as the views never changed and those we did enjoy included power lines. Perhaps we are just spoiled hiking snobs! We read reviews that described this hike as technical but didn't appreciate the validity of that until we were on it and realized that this is a hike you do to DO, not to SEE. Your hiking skills will be tested as you navigate roots, ice (in winter), and sometimes vertical climbs. As you approach the summit, there are signs that teach you about the area and you go through some beautiful forested areas. Emerging from the trail onto the tourist sidewalk was humbling. As we struggled to eat our lunch with frozen hands and melt the water in our bottles, we forlornly watched warm travelers return to their cars, knowing what lay ahead of us on the descent. About three miles from the end, we began singing, "this is the trail that does not end...." Seeing the bridge over the stream at the end felt great, and as we climbed into our car and blasted the heater, we agreed it felt good to have a check mark next to Mount Mitchell, we felt awesome for having done it in freezing temps over ice, and that we did not feel the need to do it again. Hot soup, homemade bread, and a thick beer back at the cabin were much appreciated and we enjoy knowing that we did it.

Great trail with spectacular views. I think this should be marked as strenuous. Definitely recommend taking the summit direction first, not the waterfall first like I did. It was so easy the first 2 miles by the falls then I got to the summit and nearly couldn't make it up. So worth it though!

on Sycamore Trail

hiking
19 days ago

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail and would do again when we come back to visit our friends who live a very short distance form the park. We went on a weekday around 7:30am shortly after the Crabtree entrance to the park opens which is 7am all other entrances open at 8am. Parking was free and easy. Was well shaded which kept the temperature down and the creek that you walk along side where the trail loops was great and not really any bugs attacking you although we did bug spray ourselves well prior to which is pretty good considering it was late July. Nice, even well maintained trail much more so than the CA trails that we're familiar with. Had quite a few roots and some rocks but we weren't bothered by this as we were wearing hiking shoes/boots but this trail is definitely doable in sneakers just a matter of personal preference and comfort level. I wouldn't personally consider this trail moderate it was a nice, relaxing hike but still kept your heart rate up with some changes in incline here and there and of course the humidity which was to be expected. Just FYI, there was not any drinkable water available at the time of our hike on 07/26 to refill our water bottles halfway through the hike as the nearest water fountain was out of service and the sink located outside the restroom nearby is non-potable water which it clearly indicates on the side of the water pipe so plan to bring plenty of water with you. We had not brought our Camelbaks like we normally would have as we were visiting from out of state and were attempting to keep the packing on the lighter side but will do so next time, lesson learned. But overall a great new hiking experience.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful 6 mile loop (approximately). Shaded the entire trail. Some nice elevation gains throughout. Sounds of the flowing river in the background. We had a blast!

Amazing waterfall, quick & easy to get to from visitor center. Continued on the loop, the summit was AMAZING, so beautiful, so many places to sit & chill on the side of the stone mtn. Worth the hour & a half ride to get there. The trail was shady, breezy, & not too terrible

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful dense forest scenery is the majority of this hike, a few views along the power lines at different points of the ascent, still pretty in my opinion but no denying the best views aren’t until the summit. Challenging hike.

hiking
20 days ago

I may be biased as I just moved here from the mountains of NC, but this trail was pretty bland in my opinion. I’d consider this more for running rather than hiking. I thought that there was gonna be a nice river on the trail; however, it was also pretty dull/bland and it’s not very appealing.

Incredible hike. One of the most serene but strenuous hikes I’ve done thus far. If you want something that’s challenging but doable in a FULL day this is it. Took me about 5.5 hours to do the whole thing out and back on the blue diamond trail. I’m young and an avid hiker but still not in the best shape so go for it if you think you can. 4 stars because I absolutely loved the hike up and some of the views on the way up (besides the power lines) but if you are going for the summit view, I recommend passing on this trek. Absolutely not worth going into this over crowded tourist spot where you walk into a parking lot. The decent was more tough in my opinion just because you were so focused on dodging roots and rocks. Overall, do it for the hike, not the view.

A little bit of a bummer because the tower was closed, but it was beautiful out there and the kids enjoyed it. There were some offshoot trails we explored which was fun too.

The first 30-45 minutes of this one was a good workout. The scenery was awesome. I’d like to go back and do this one for time. It’s a good challenge but the views are worth it.

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