Explore spring break - 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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Today the 2nd day of December ended up a great day on the trail. It was 60 degrees and the clear. The trail is great. If you want a good moderately difficult trail this is it. Also can be mtn biked.

this by far is my favorite hike with a reward at the top...gorgeous 360 degree views.

Saw more people than I would have liked, but the views were amazing. Go all the way to Myrtle Point. If icy, crampons are worth carrying.

Make sure you turn right at the fork with the medium size pile of rocks at the top to see the view. I went passed it and kept following the blue trail for awhile but not much there. Steep hike but nice enough view.

Most beautiful trail in the park. If I could only do one this would be it for sure.

Amazing views, not too difficult. Just too many people, but still worth it.

Great short hike with two amazing caves and two great waterfalls. Can’t beat it for a short easy hike!

Hiked this on a foggy, muddy Sunday morning. Despite the conditions, this was highly worth it and highly recommended. There's a decently large parking area. No restrooms at the trailhead. Very muddy and slippery right now, but all the bridges are in good shape. Hiking poles would have been nice to have. A couple of smaller trees have been blown across the trail, but the bigger trees that fell on the AT portion have been taken care of. We didn't get any views because of the weather, but it was still hauntingly beautiful. Only passed 3 other sets of people (including two rangers). Must not get much traffic on a winter Sunday.

Stats:
7.51 miles
3:09 hours

Lunch looking over the Buffalo. The price for the view is paid on the way out. It was not busy at all today and had the bluff to ourselves for lunch. Be sure to stop in at BOC in Ponca..

hiking
10 days ago

This is an awesome trail overall. Hardly hiked, so in the summer there will be spider webs. There's a lot of wildlife on this trail, so if you're quiet, you will see a fair amount of deer, does, etc. I spotted a beaver, fox, and two doe on this trail. The trail changes quiet a bit.

hiking
10 days ago

Everything you’ve read about how relentlessly steep this trail is? It’s all true. Had we not been training for several months for this hike, wife & I probably wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed the next morning. Trekking poles are A MUST for this steep hike; your thighs and calves will thank you.
Even in the segments that don’t contain long flights of stairs, it’s still nearly always an uphill climb. All that said, the views from the overlook are pretty amazing. The bare “chimney tops” themselves are clearly visible from the overlook, so there’s really no need to follow the trail beyond the overlook (where it dead-ends at a gate).
After lots of rain a few days earlier, the trail was extremely muddy on the day we hiked it.
This trail is definitely showing signs of being “loved to death” by scores of hikers. (Wonder if some sort of daily lottery to manage the number of hikers might be the answer?)
Encountered a young couple on the trail with their dog, and had to politely let them know that dogs aren’t allowed on most hiking trails within the park.
Be sure to start this hike early enough in the day that you’ll arrive back at the parking lot before it starts to get dark. On our mid-afternoon trip back down, we encountered a number of folks just getting started who almost certainly would be coming down all those steep stairs in twilight.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the overlook before heading back to the trailhead and the pain reliever of your choice. Sunscreen and bug spray are wise precautions.
Although parking area is fairly large, it appears to fill up quickly, so plan to get there early to avoid having to park along the busy roadside and walk to the trailhead.
After completing this challenging but rewarding hike, treat yourself to a burger in Gatlinburg – you’ve earned it!

Wife & I hiked this trail to the bluffs and back for a total distance of 4.6 miles. This was perhaps our favorite of all the trails we hiked in the park, not so much for the destination but for the trail itself.
The first segment of this hike is just delightful, with gorgeous views up and down Alum Cave Creek. We did this hike after a day of heavy rain, which made the creek particularly full and active – and scenic.
Nice, wide path from the trailhead all the way to the bluffs. Numerous crossings on bridges or sturdy footlogs. Climbing the rock stairway through Arch Rock is a unique experience. The last segment past Inspiration Point is rather steep.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the bluffs before heading back to the trailhead. Even though much of this trail is shaded, sunscreen is never a bad idea. And since the trail is near the creek much of the time, bug spray is advisable during the warmer months.
A couple of days later we drove past this trailhead and parking was INSANE! Dozens of cars lining both sides of the road in both directions! This is most definitely a situation where you’ll want to be at the trailhead early in the morning to avoid the crowds – and an extra half-mile walk from your car to the trailhead!

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. Goal was to hike to HIH, but we ended up hiking to the river instead. Missed the last “To Falls” sign on a tree (which is probably about 0.5 miles away from HIH) and instead saw the “To River” sign. So I’ll say keep your eyes open for the “To Falls” sign on a tree to your left once you pass the “0.7 miles to falls” post. We saw the sign on our way back up but wanted to get back as we had another trail to hike before dark. We were the only ones on the trail the entire time we were there. It was nice, quiet and peaceful. The hike back up gives your thighs a good burn (also didn’t help that I had leg day the day before). In total it took us about 3 hours RT. We stopped to take pictures a few times and also spent about 10 minutes at the river.

8-17, One of the best east coast hikes. The overlook is so picturesque and emblematic of VA’s AT. We went on a very clear afternoon. Lots of climbing but well worth it. Took us about 4 hours.

Great trail, a lot of fun! The first section is relatively easy, and follows a little stream which can attract some wildlife. The last .7 or so is a bit of a rock scramble, but nothing super difficult by any means. Those with mobility issues may have some issues, but we saw small children and even a dog who seemed to handle it okay. We went mid-week in mid-to-late November and only only a handful of others on the trail, so can only speak to the few we encountered. Views at the top are spectacular, especially if you can scale the “tooth” at the end! Only downside was there were a few downed trees that you needed to work around.

9-29-17 one of the most beautiful trails out there. Cute log bridges and interesting features along the way. We sighted bear scat. At the top we had a foggy view but the smell of pine and lush flora made it more than worth it! We hit the trail very early and had some solitude at the way up- as always the further out you go the less people you see. Took us a little over 5 hours.

Great hike with great views. One of the best hikes I have done on the east coast. Not sure what makes it “hard” as it was pretty level. The hardest part was dodging the pony droppings.

just loved all aspects of this hike...the waterfalls were beautiful and the hike was worth every step!

Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
13 days ago

What beautiful colors! 1st trip for the fam and it won’t be the last! The cave was cook, make sure you bring a flashlight!

Best trail to the top of Mt. LeConte. Absolutely the prettiest views. At times you'll feel like you want to quit, but once you get to the top you'll see that it's worth it. After getting to the top, I recommend spending a couple of hours to recharge before the trek down. Maybe eat some lunch over on Cliff Tops. If the store is open, pick of a shirt to commemorate the year you hiked it, and don't forget the pic in front of the lodge. Remember, no gifts for people that didn't make the hike.

Easily the best view of any hike I’ve been on in Arkansas. Amazing! Once you get to what you think is the view, keep going, it only gets better. It took us 2 1/2 hours total. Mainly uphill all the way back but if you’re in good shape it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t recommend taking little kids. Too dangerous. I am terrified of heights and had to force myself to walk across the big bluff. It was so worth it. And the juniper trees look like works of art. Unbelievable view.

had a freaking big cat try to eat me!!
I've hiked this and floated to here many times. but I've never hiked at night intell my last hike.
be careful out there!!!

Definitely a challenging hike but WELL worth it! This was the most beautiful hike we did on our trip by far. My 10 year old son handled it like a champ. Even after twisting his little ankle, and lots of tears, he made it to Alum Cave!
The first half of this trail is breathtaking along the river. We had lots of photo ops and the kids LOVED stopping to climb up the rocks, on fallen trees and play in the river. After a pretty steep climb it opens up to amazing views. You can see Alum Cave from that point but still have a good half mile to climb. There are areas with stairs where it gets really steep.
Beware going during early fall, when we were there on 11/21 water froze into giant icicles atop the cave and were melting and dropping down from above over the trail. I nearly got hit by a huge one that fell 3 feet from where I was walking up the steps and shattered.
Overall an amazingly beautiful trail that we will definitely hike again on our next trip!

It is a decent loop. We walked it fast because we were excited to do the summit trails.

The hike is actually 4.2 to the Overlook..take the AT to the Knob, better trail but I took the fire trail down to Rt 311 parking lot.. total trail was a 8.6 mile loop. Both trails lead to the outlook trail inlet
Definitely worth the seeing this on a sunny day you can see mountains for miles.

This hike was a bucket list one for me and it did not disappoint. The last mile or so is the hardest but the view is one of the greatest i have ever seen. Me and a buddy at lunch there on one of the quieter spots on the cliffs just did not want to leave.

Go as early as you can! The falls are so peaceful alone and the sunlight at around 10:30a was beautiful on the waterfall. We saw several groups backpacking in on our way back up but had the falls to ourselves and had lunch in the fall basin. The trail is absolutely difficult but totally worth it. The fall/winter is probably the time to go if you want a drier hike. Overall very positive experience. But the hike up kicked our butts! We’ll probably try again in the spring to experience the green and water crossing.

Fairly difficult, fun and scenic hike. Very crowded. Both All Trails and local signs say 10 miles round trip but the All Trails GPS clocked us at nearly 15. Took just over 5.5 hours to complete.

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