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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.

This was a trail that was totally worth the view at the top. All paved trail that has a steady and tough incline the whole way. The view from the observatory at the top is great. 360° view of the mountains that is very photo worthy. The most challenging part of this trail is parking. It is an absolute nightmare. Narrow two-lane road with cars inventively parked on both sides and a line of cars that goes halfway to Gatlinburg.

This trail definitely requires your full attention and a clear head but once you reach green knob, it is so worth it! You can eat dinner and watch sunset and wake up to sunrise from your sleeping bag with a full color spread across the sky.

I lost the trail less than ten minutes in. I definitely recommend bringing a paper map of the middle prong wilderness with you because as much as all trails saved me, it is always better to use the real thing. I was stressed that my phone would die which luckily it didn’t but in the future I will definitely use a paper map.

The trail starts by running parallel to road 215 with multiple water sources along the way. After about 15 minutes, it should switch back and begin climbing up the mountain going west. The trail switches back a few times with 3-4 stream crossings. You’ll reach a dense pine forest and it is easy to lose the trail here and it is really easy to miss the right turn up the green knob trail. When I hiked this, there was faint red/pink paint on the tree where you need to turn. VERY easy to miss! The trail is flat for a few minutes and then there is a steep incline. Once you get towards the top of this first mountain, there are 4 side trails that are pretty pronounced and the one you need to take goes a little to the left but mostly stays straight and goes through the forest. The trail from this point never gets wider than 6 inches. You’ll go up and over 4-5 mountains before you reach green knob. There are multiple side trails for campsites. If you accidentally take one, just back track and get back on your main trail. It meanders a lot but for the most part it feels fairly obvious if you are used to orienteering.

It was fun to hike this trail! I want to go back and test my orienteering skills.

Good luck! It’s worth it =)

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

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.

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.

Hiked on 12/29.

Terrain: Trail was rockier than expected. Combined with the trail conditions, this made for a technical hike. Elevation gain per mile is much milder than similar hikes, so it probably balances out.

Conditions: Wet. You cross creeks that feel like rivers (including a quite treacherous crossing at 1.9 miles) and there are several sections where the trail becomes a creek. After we made the final right turn to get on the ridge, we saw a significant amount of snow/ice. We didn't have microspikes and were fine, but it did make for slightly slow walking.

Views: Once you get on the ridge, there are amazing views.

Parking: Drive through the Boy Scout camp. There is designated parking for hikers at the far end of the camp. It feels like you are going to get on a government list somewhere, but if you keep going through the camp you will end up in the right spot.

Very much enjoyed the hike.

Wait for a clear day and go early to make sure you get a parking spot.

December 27th hike around 12:00 noon.
We parked on the road not knowing about the upper parking lot and went in around the AT, I think.
Went up to the summit first, back down and then around the backside of the trail to the main parking lot.
We then walked back to our car down the road about 200 yards or more.

there was a bunch of snow and some ice, as well as crazy wind at the summit.
We loved this trail and can't wait to see it in the spring or summer.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful day. Great views. Recommend micro-spikes for winter ascents. Ice covered sections of the trail near the top. I also have to question that 10.4 mile out and back rating. It's more like 13 to 14 miles. Definitely on the difficult side but well worth the effort.

hiking
25 days ago

The trail map and this app says the trail one way up the west fork to the top is 3.5 miles. My gps logged that it is almost 5 miles to the top. We had a hard time ascending to the top partially due to half way up past the first camp site the whole trail was covered in snow and ice. Yea it is extremely steep climb but you have to realize you’re hiking up a mountain. The view from the top was great and the hike down wasn’t that bad except for sliding on the ice. Shoe spikes and trek poles are definitely a must have if the trail is covered in snow. Trek poles are useful on the descent with all of the loose rocks. All in all we had a wonderful time and it was a great painful hike.

We went to this place in hot August, but it felt like an autumn day even in the parking lot on the mountain. There were birds, bumblebees, and beautiful flowers all along the trail. At first, we could see the valleys below. When we got to the highest point it was all clouds. It was peaceful, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

It was absolutely breathtaking. We went as a cloud moved in but getting drenched while in a cloud was incredible.

Hiked this yesterday (December 19)! would recommend going at a different time than my group did if you have inexperienced members! One of my friends nearly took a plunge of some icy rocks. Snow also made it difficult to see crevices between rocks you could easily break your ankle in!! My group hiked up profile trail to Calloway peak, then took grandfather trail to the parking lot and hitchhiked back to the car. The views and adventure were absolutely stunning, but the trek is certainly not for the out of shape or faint of heart! One of the best trails I’ve hiked!

Great hike! It was muddy, icy, and had snow so prepare accordingly. We didn’t quite make it to the end due to time restraints. I definitely want to go back to get to Calloway peak!

This was an incredible hike!! With the new (super nice) parking area, this trail is now over 8 miles. All the water crossing were high, We made it to Shanty Springs in knee deep snow and had to turn around due to trail conditions. Super slippery at the top. Can’t wait to go back when the snow has melted and finish up the last .4 miles!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike! I went back today and there was a sign that said it was closed due to fallen trees. Hopefully they clear the path soon! :)

My favorite Hike Gorgeous!

Steep with a rewarding view. Make sure you follow the green arrows on the ground after you come to what you might think is the end. That's where the view is.

nature trips
1 month ago

Such a great hike during the off season. Lots of wonderful wildlife sounds and fresh air. You’ll love it! Not too strenuous. I’ve climbed much more difficult...It’s a great day hike. Enjoy!

This trail is one of my favorite trails in N.C. It has beautiful water features in the first section of the trail and stunning views from the top but do not expect this hike to be easy because it is a burner, especially towards the top. I have two dogs that I’m glad stayed at home for this one since it is, in some sections, very technical as there are ladders and exposed rock faces where a slip or loss of balance could result in injury to you or your dogs. Also, I would caution anyone who is hiking this in winter weather to be prepared with the right equipment.
I hiked to Calloway Peak and then went over to Raven Rocks before heading back down. Spend some time at the top because the views are awesome. All in all I hiked a little over 10 miles in about 5.5 hours according to the AllTrails app.

Beautiful hike!

very nice climb, though view is boring.

One of my favorite hikes of all time, hands down!

Was apprehensive but the most fun and rewRding trail. Beautiful views. Very technical. Must be comfortable with heights and climbing ladders

great trail but make sure you are in decent shape. I made it up the mountain but needed a nap and some snacks. beautiful but challenging

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