Explore The Great Smokys - 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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This was a rather easy hike. especially if you go left first, it makes the trail easier. but this one was one of the most rewarding hikes i have ever been on! the most beautiful scenes at the top, and this was not too hard of a trail. a MUST!

hiking
2 days ago

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

scenic driving
2 days ago

Very pretty, a lot of wild animals with was cool

I live up here and this is my favorite hike to take especially when fall hits.

Strenuous 1/2 mile hike (one way), slightly to very crowded depending on day/time, totally worth the views.

Steep trail, but worth the view. Beautiful flowers and butterflies along the way.

hiking
3 days ago

Took two older dogs on this trail. Had to fireman carry them back down. Great views otherwise.

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!

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!

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.

So pretty! Saw lots of wildlife and the kids loved it! We got out and walked at a few spots! Great if you don't like to hike but still like to see the views!

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!

Fairly steady climb, not too strenuous. There's a steep right turn about 0.3 miles from the top that can be easy to miss as that part of the trail is not as obvious.
The views are spectacular. When we got there, we were on top of the clouds. After several minutes they broke and we could see for miles.
I would definitely recommend it if you are wanting a sunrise hike as well, as the vista faces east over the valley.
Approx 2 hours up, 90 minutes down. Expect a lot of traffic, and set off early.

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.

on Cades Cove Loop Road

scenic driving
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful view. A good place to view the mountains from the ground level. We even saw a few animals, black bear, fox, turkeys, deer. A few of old houses.

Fantastic hike, amazing views

Starting off in the parking lot the views blow you away. We left early in the morning so the trail was not as busy. Absolutely breathtaking once you reach the Jump Off. Great views along the way also. Once we reached the summit of Mt Kephart we weren't sure if that was the jump off but had to go through some brush to continue. Once we got to the Jump Off there was no mistaking it. Absolutely incredible! Highly reccommend.

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.

Really great hike. Good trail for beginners as there are not many difficult parts to it, but one is still rewarded with breathtaking views. I suggest going around noon or in the afternoon as in the morning the views are a little limited.

Easy walk paved trail with great sunset views.

I must see what an adventure

My ABSOLUTE favorite hike in the Smoky Mountains. I always hike up to the Jump Off then back Down to Charlie's and it is always worth it. My gps clocked it at 9.2 miles to complete the Jump Off, Icewater Spring Shelter, and Charlie's Bunion. This hike never disappoints.

Great hike especially with younger hikers. Awesome views and a real sense of you made it to the top for the young ones.

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

Clockwise is the easier route.

The view is worth the hike!

on Waterrock Knob Trail

hiking
13 days ago

This is a great hike and it’s a half mile to the top. It is steep and you ascend 480 ft in that half mile. The first half is paved and the second half is a dirt/rock stair trail. About half way up at the end of the paved trail is a viewing platform(if you don’t want to make the trek to the top).

Amazing views! Absolutely breathtaking.

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

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