Explore Smoky Mts - 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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Beautiful views! And a bit of a workout but worth it!

hiking
5 days ago

Really nice trail ! One creek to go through without any bridge but River was not that high! About 5-6 areas w trees down. Snow all the way up! Finally got to see the sunshine and blue sky ! Too bad there is not any look up up there. It s actually 3495 feet elevation not 4172.

Not sure why All trails does not list Bull Head trail but kinda thankful it doesn’t because no one uses it so no traffic. In my opinion it’s longer but a bit easier trail to Leconte than Rainbow falls. Can do a loop and go back down Rainbow Falls. That’s what I did yesterday.
Very steep and hard trail but with views of Gatlinburg and mountains most of the way. My favorite trail so far in the Smokys and I’ve done about all the good long ones.

Hard but worth every step‼️Absolutely beautiful❤️

Did a two day trip up to the summit and stayed in the shelter up top. Ice was on the trail, snowed about 2” over the day, beautiful views. Plenty of hikers still on the trail. Hiked up Rainbow falls and descended Bull Head, I prefer the views of Bull Head more than I do Rainbow Falls. Take caution if snowing on Bullhead due to the slip hazards, otherwise, spectacular hike. Squirrels were present on trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Very nice trail. We saw very few people on our hike. The old farmhouse and cemetery were awesome, as was the old hiking lodge. Debris and fallen trees along the way, I cleared out what I could but I'm only one man and I didn't have a chainsaw. Beautiful photography opportunities if you take your time along the river and explore.

Beautiful views. A perfect hike for a beginner to moderate biker. A good workout!

Beautiful trail! Loved that it was very secluded, we only saw a handful of people as we were walking back to our truck. It’s completely uphill the entire way with rocks and plenty of mud so make sure to wear good hiking boots! The loop trail is much smaller with more mud and several downed trees to cross over, including one very large tree that requires some maneuvering to cross. All in all a beautiful trail and a great workout for the day!

I hiked this in the Summer of 2017, and not many people were on the trail. It was calm getting up there, but the waterfall was amazing and definitely worth the trip.

hiked this trail 6-22-18. took me 13hrs. watched the Lama's go by.

Mild hike with a loop through grove with unique trees. A portion of the hike is underwhelming but has sounds of water, fascinating history and worth it for the river and grove loop.

Leg smoker, lots of rocks on the trail, so wear good boots! The view from the top is incredible. This is a popular hike so once you make it to the end, there are quite a few people climbing on the rocks for photo ops.

My friend Chris is a professional hiker and trail runner. We recently did this trail together and he absolutely smashed every Strava KOM on the map. Truly a freak of nature as we tried to keep up with his record blazing pace. The hike was OK but his performance was incredible definitely would give it a 12 out of 10.

Pretty muddy hike today! There are a few trees down here and there, and the water is high in places from all the rain we’ve had, but overall still a great time!

Did it Saturday, very very tough hike. Steep the whole way up to Spence field.
Great views there, the last mile to Rocky Top is a butt kicker! I hike every week and done most of the hard hikes in the Smokys and this is number 1 or 2. As hard as Rainbow falls to Leconte if not tougher.
Worth it, good views and good bragging rights.
Too us almost 7 hours up and back with very short breaks.

Absolutely breathtaking! My opinion, the most rewarding view in the Smokies. Low Gap Trail earns the hard rating but once to the AT the steep grade levels out somewhat. Like others have mentioned it took me 3.5 hours up and 2 down.

Really nice trail running along the creek the entire length to campground 31. There’s about a mile section at the beginning that is a wide, gravel path suitable for anyone. At a mile there is an old farm area with a couple of restored/preserved buildings. Kind of cool to walk around.

After that the trail narrows a bit, crosses the creek a couple of times, and begins a moderate climb that you will need to get used to. It isn’t difficult, but continuous. On the way down the rocks and roots will make you be aware of where you step so I’d say this falls a little between moderate and easy.

I’m the fall you will have great looks at the creek at almost every turn. There was a lot of rain recently so it made for a really high water level. I’d almost give this 5 stars but I think I’m the summer it would be less enjoyable because the leaves would obstruct the views, and in the spring I’d bet the trail is wet. Anyway, it was a really nice day

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The views were great from Charlie’s Bunion as it was a cloudless day. Still it was a bit disheartening to see the brown pall of smog in the Tennessee valley. Absent the smog, one could see forever, well almost. There was a lot of snow and ice on the trail. Depths ranged from 6 to 18 inches. The snow was no problem except where hard packed in places by hikers. There was also considerable ice, particularly on the frequent natural or man made steps. My wife’s bad knees combined with the ice made the return trip a bit hazardous. Because temps were above freezing at New Found Gap there was a lot of muddy slush the last 1/4 mile or so to the parking lot. But, we made the 8-mile round-trip without incident, albeit slowly. This is a great hike with excellent views into both NC and TN. There is no way this is a “hard” hike. It is moderate at the most, as the elevation change is minimal given the 5000 foot starting point. Snow cleats would help right now, and hiking poles are recommended. Our hike was 12/26/18.

A lot of snow made it a hard trail, views were amazing. Took us about 7 hours and 45 minutes to complete and get back to car. Not a hike for part time hikers but a great hike if prepared. Snow was about 2 feet deep, you can see a lot of fire damage as well.
I’d do this hike again and plan to this Spring

Hiked December 23rd. Nice.

Beautiful hike, especially along the river

Absolutely breathtaking at the top! The air and atmosphere at the Bunion itself is pure and blissful. Our trip was a little precarious due to icy paths in Mid-December, but it is well worth the trip! Not to be missed!

saw the eclipse from here back in 2017, saw it today w the ridge covered in half a foot of snow and ice fog, amazing both times

There was a very good amount of snow at the top, which made it somewhat challenging. The view at the very top is so worth it! Dress warm! The way down was challenging too, there are lots of trees down and debris. Overall more than we expected which made it wonderful. The bullhead way down was fairly muddy, and very much less traveled.

Once you make it up to the top of Mt. Leconte it’s a must to go to cliff top! Have fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with 2 kids, ages 9 and 4. The river was beautiful!

My favorite Hike Gorgeous!

Best hike in TN so far ! Steady slope on the way up ... last mile might be a bit more rough but the view at the top is so worth it just stunning ! 3 hrs up 2 hrs down
Enjoy !

September 2017- such a pretty hike on the NC/TN spine. The overlook was very cool. Would highly recommend this one at the park. Took us about 4 hours.

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