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hiking
12 hours ago

Starts hard, gets easier as you ascend. Water is pretty regularly found so no worries for pets. Good afternoon hike, beautiful views and not very busy on a Saturday

Short and amazing views! Worth your stop!

This is my favorite place to be! It's so peaceful at the top.

hiking
1 day ago

The water was absolutely amazing and cold! The views were good too. We went to the lookout point of snow lake first, then snow lake, which took about 1.5 hours. The hike down took about 1 hour. Swimming in snow lake was really nice, not crowded at all, would recommend, great life experience to swim in an alpine lake.

hiking
2 days ago

Phenomenal hike, definitely harder than I thought it would be but totally worth it. Snow Lake was colder but it felt so good to swim in such a clean lake :) View from the top before heading down to the lake is so worth it!!!

hiking
2 days 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!

Second on in and out and back to Big Butt Mountain. Little Butt has a heck of a climb from the gap below Point Misery. Thanks to the High Country Conservation group for installing stairs and maintaining this very narrow trail. On the back side are some great views east and west towards the rest of the Black Mountains and the Craggy Mountains. Unfortunately, the clouds closed in soon and I hiked in the rain from thereafter.

hiking
2 days ago

amazing trail! We got caught in two thunderstorms but it really made the whole temperature rain forest vibe.

Great trail with interesting historical attributes. Branch right where the river turns and you get a beautiful set of waterfalls.

A tough but enjoyable trail. A lot of steep steps. Trail is well maintained.

hiking
2 days ago

Loved it. The stairs were rough but after that, it was amazing. The difference in views around each corner was breathtaking. Then of course the payoff at the end. ♥️

hiking
2 days ago

There are two ways to get to Big Butt: a stiff steep hike from NC 197 at Cane Gap or a longer ridge and multi peak climb from the Walker Knob Overlook on the BRP about 5 miles south of the Mount Mitchell State park entrance (NC 128). I took the latter route which longer, but ultimately more rewarding as you climb Brush Fence Ridge, and up and over Point Misery and Little Butt before arriving at the side trail to the summit of Big Butt.

These peaks form the western rim of the Black Mountain and lie thousands of feet above the Cane River Gorge that can be head roaring below when you get to Little Butt. The forest resembles the Mount Mitchell Trail flora and fauna, event though the elevations do not exceed 6000 feet. The trail is well maintained by the the NC High Peaks Trail Association and included hundreds of wooden step that make the climbs much easier to maneuver. The best views lie on the ridge between Little Butt and Big Butt. Unfortunately clouds rolled in when I hiked this track and so was only able to catch short glimpses of the valley to the east (and not the Black Mountain Crest). Hiking this route in early spring or late fall should give you a better chance of good weather and less foliage blocking vistas.

From the Walker Knob Overlook, take the trailhead to the SOUTH. **Be careful here as an old forest road and the Mountains to Sea also converge in the field behind the overlook parking lot. You will descend over a hundred feet before gently ascending to the top of Brush Fence Ridge and finally to the summit of Point Misery (the name was not indicative of this side of the mountain - the return trip up the backside will give you an appreciation of why it is appropriately named). The HP is just off the trail and there is a Geodetic Marker as well as several marked bearing trees nearby.

From there, descend steeply over 300 feet to a grassy gap and then ascend up a series of stairs around giant rocks to the inauspicious peak of Little Butt Mountain. The trail continues a very narrow ridge reminiscent of the Amphibuolite Mountains. Look for rock outcrops to the right and left of the trail for some tremendous views of the Black Mountains (east) and the Craggy Mountains (west).

Continue along the ridge ascending gently to a well marked side trail to the left that will take you via an interesting semi-open trail to the summit of Big Butt. No ascertainable views here, but I accidentally surprised a nide of about 30 pheasants. The tremendous fluttering and so much wing flapping and feathers flying gave a feeling of both being on the the set of THE BIRDS and of marveling at the sight of these beautiful creatures. Then the rain started. It continued off and on on the hike back and was so intense at times that I felt more like this was the Amazon rain forest, not western NC. And yet, once I got wet, it was pleasant. Only real obstacle was the relentless climb back up to Point Misery.

Of course once I got back to the car, the rain stopped and the sun came out! For completists, cross the road and hike to the crest of Walker Knob on the M-to-S trail (see separate entry for more detail on this peak and others described above).

Viewed the lower falls and then hiked to the upper falls. The trail to upper was pretty muddy but not at all un-passable. We hiked back to the parking lot by going on the graveyard fields trail to add some variety. Lower falls were very crowded but the hike to upper falls had more solitude and when we arrived at the upper falls we were the only ones there.

Beautiful hike, we love it

hiking
2 days ago

It was harder than i thought, but the view was worth it. Wear your hiking shoes, u wont regret it. We started the trail at 7am, so it was not crowded.

Amazing views, first half of the hike was rough for us. Cross the river three times in lower section. If there is heavy rain, expect to get wet.

hiking
3 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.

Beautiful trails and waterfalls!

This was a beautiful hike but it is NOT a loop. The map doesn't show it as a loop either. There was a fork in the trail towards the beginning, we followed the trail marked John Holder. The creek was wonderful! There were lots of places to wade and swim. We followed the creek for a while then backtracked a bit to get back on the trail.

Best hike in Michigan

Definitely a must see if you're in the area! 4 miles up and 4 miles down. The first 2 miles are mostly up hill but don't get discouraged! It is definitely worth the hike. When you eventually get to the "Charlie's Bunion" sign, most people take a left toward the "Bunion". I recommended taking a right to stay on the AT. There is a small trail as soon as you form to the right on the left hand side.. Take that straight up to the trail less traveled for an even BETTER view of the Smokies! This is the highest point t possible to view the Bunion. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks!

nature trips
4 days ago

very nice trail! for sure worth the short hike! don't forget your swimsuit because there's a nice swimming hole at the bottom.

Great trail. Took my 7 yr and we had the Bunion to ourselves for 40 amazing minutes today. Trail is absolutely moderate, not hard but not easy. First 2 miles is uphill but then levels out to a nice high forest. The length should not be a deterrent if you bring enough food and water. Great views but the Bunion is small. Could be dangerous when crowded.

Snow Lake is beautiful, lots of people on the trail. Not difficult so a lot of day hikers. Beautiful campsites and quiet at night.

hiking
4 days ago

A lot of trees covered some of the great views but the ones we found were spectacular. A great hike into a temperate rainforest.

worth the trip down to the lake once you've "gotten to the top".

Fairly heavy traffic when I was out, so don't plan on escaping into natural solitary. Overall a fun hike on the strenuous end of moderate thanks to some steep climbs and scrabbling. I would recommend proper footwear for maximum enjoyment and safety, on a wet day like today I was grateful for the tread.

hiking
5 days ago

great trail to take the kids on.

Great hike. Gorgeous views!!

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
5 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.

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