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To echo other reviews, Fiery Gizzard is a rock festival almost the whole way through the gulf. You'll want to be sure footed and a trekking pole or two is a near necessity. This is mainly what makes it "hard" as the elevation changes are pretty minimal. After the climb up the boulders are fewer, and Dog Hole is pretty clear until it drops back down.
The trail is well marked by a combination of tree tags and paint. It gets a lot of traffic so pretty well worn as well.
There are some interesting rock formations, the river has several falls from medium to small, and a couple of good swimming holes. Not much in the way of views even with the leaves off until Ravens Point. Dog Hole has a couple of overlooks as well.

This trail is great. It has beautiful overlooks and cool natural features. It isn’t very hard either.
Also near the beginning of this trail, there is a short trail that leads to a waterfall. This trail is kind of hard but worth it.

We did this trail Fiery Gizzard up to Ravens Point and then Dog Hole Trail back down. There were areas of the trail that were not well marked due to down trees. Very rocky terrain. We definitely felt a sense of accomplishment when we finished in 7.5 hours. Beautiful scenery along the trail.

One of my new favorite trails! Challenging but the views DO NOT disappoint! Absolutely gorgeous.

Great trail with wonderful views! I was impressed with how well the trail is marked throughout the route. I would also strongly echo what others have posted - go clockwise (big creek gulf first) or else you are in for a very steep scramble at the end of 9 miles!

hiking
1 month ago

Easy access but a very well kept secret, not a lot of traffic at all and it truly is a beautiful overlook. Perfect located for a picnic or sunrise/sunset hike

I've done the Fiery Gizzard to Raven's Point twice. It does not disappoint. I suggest you take the Fiery Gizzard trail out and return on the Dog Hole Trail. Your quads and knees will appreciate it.

I've also done the Savage Gulf trail referenced in the review below. I will agree that the climb out of the Savage Gulf is harder.

My last trip to the Fiery Gizzard was November 3, 2018. On my first trip, which was in early May, 2018, I only recall missing one turn and I quickly realized I was off trail, back tracked to last marker and picked up the trail again pretty easily. On this last trip the there were several large trees down on the trail and I missed several turns, At least twice I caught up with other people who had stopped to look around for trail markers. Maybe it was the downed trees, maybe it was because of all the leaves on the ground, I don't know. But something was making the trail disappear at times. This is not to say the trail isn't well marked - it is. You have to look for white tree markers. A lot of the trail is rocky. Full of rocks. boulder size rocks. If you don't feel like you are on the trail, go back to the last white tree marker and look again. It would be hard to get completely turned around on this trail. But the trail does seem to disappear at times.

This one's definitely worth the effort. The scenery is beautiful, but rugged. The terrain is very rocky through the gulf. I hiked down through the gulf and returned along the rim via the Dog Hole Trail after Raven's point, as the map here suggests. After climbing out of the gulf (this is the hardest part - pretty much straight uphill), the return trip is pretty easy. Be careful of loose rocks in the gulf, and pay attention to the trail markers. I hiked this trail alone and got turned around a few times. The trail markers are hard to spot in some places. The view from Raven's Point is magnificent. The point sticks out into the gulf, so you're surrounded by expansive views on 3 sides, and there's plenty of space, so it doesn't feel crowded even when other people are there.

If you've hiked through the Big Creek loop at Savage Gulf, this route is very similar. I think Savage Gulf is harder than Fiery Gizzard, but based on the reviews for both, it seems like there are mixed opinions on that.

Awesome trail. The views are excellent. We did the full loop clockwise, which I would highly recommend. Going down into the gorge was very steep and rock filled. The gorge itself was lovely, and the river was flowing pretty strong. The way back up to the rim was not near as steep as the descent (again why I would recommend clockwise). Overall a good challenge but very doable if you are active.

Not for the faint of heart, but oh-so rewarding!!!

Wanted a good workout and I got one. The trail is lovely and the blazes are solid (only had to check the map twice.)

Fiery Gizzard is smooth and easy til about a mile or so past the first bridge. After that you'll be doing a rock scramble until you get to the turn off for Raven's Point. One word: if you're out there in the cold and rain, take your break further back from the overlook, as the wind will break your heat bubble and hit you hard after being in the cleft.

Heading back on Dog Hole is easy, and a welcome cool down after ~3 mi. of scramble.

Only one bad spot right now: had no choice but to go into ankle deep mud due to what looks to be a mudslide and a fallen tree that took out a chunk of path as it slid into the water. Also had to cross several streams, but that was probably just the rain.

A tough one in full packs. We were preparing for a long trek later in the fall. Rock fields are persistent. Wear solid boots and pack light.

However, worth the effort to see the river in those settings. At one point water disappeared into a karat feature only to return further downstream.

On balance - a challenging trail through beautiful place.

Gorgeous alternative to our planned Molly’s Den ridge trail hike, which was closed for hunting season. Beautiful vista views. Waterfall. Cable crossing. Even a ladder climb along the way. Martha’s Pretty Point was our halfway point for lunch with a view! ‘‘Twas a great day!

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

Absolutely gorgeous, both along the rim and through the gorge. I started at Stone Door and hiked the loop clockwise, going down through the gorge first, and finishing the loop by hiking the trail along the rim. The trail through the gorge is difficult, trust the reviews and be prepared for uneven terrain and a strenuous climb out at the end. Also, watch your step. We saw 3 snakes while at the bottom of the gorge, and 2 of them were copperheads. Regardless, this hike is incredible, one of the best I've found among the dozen or so areas I've hiked through in TN. After emerging from the gorge, the hike along the rim is pretty easy and there are multiple overlooks that are ideal for taking in some stunning views of the gorge from above. This one is definitely worth the effort!

Great trail to day hike. About 5 hours return, up the Fiery Gizzard and down the Dog Hole. Lots of rock scrambling which made it fun and a good steep climb out of the gulch (but it’s not too long a climb). Beautiful scenery walking alongside the stream. Nice views from Ravens Point. Interesting how much the temp changes from down by the stream to up on the ridge. Loved it.

It is a beautiful hike perfect for a family hike!

Great hike. The gulf will test your meddle a little. Took the trail clockwise saving the push up out of the gorge until after the creek trail. It will give you a great cardio workout, Was tougher than the climb down from the Stone Door area other than the rocks but they were not bad at all. Watch out for the climbers by the SD. Didn't want to put on water gear to cross to Ranger Falls. I will catch it next time. Creek was high and running fast. The rim is good but there is a lot of forrest time. Great overlooks just would love to have seen more. There was a group of Hawks hunting up and down the gulf flying right above my head. Really a great tough hike. I clocked in 10.2 miles and 1945 feet elevation. And 4 hours of moving time. (Take your lunch down at the creek bed you will love it.)

Went after about a week of steady rain and the river was roaring the whole way through the gulf. Fantastic views, lots of great spot on the rock bars to stop for lunch, and the falls were rolling.
Crossing to Ranger Falls was at least waist deep and pretty swift, so didn't get to see that. This trail earns its hard rating as BCG is pretty rocky. The climb down from Stone Door is bouldery but you can stay upright the whole way so not quite a scamble.
Very cool tough trail.

what an awesome hike! I decided to go counter clockwise so my first 3 miles were along the ridgeline; some great photo opportunities while on the ridge. the return was through the gorge and although it was just as fun, coming out was a bit tiresome with the extreme accent; the valley line would have been more enjoyable if I had come after a rain, because there was no water

The bolder field with test you. Best to wear boots. The climb out of the gulf is steep. Be ready.
I love this trail and the complete Fiery Gizzard Gulf.
Pack water.
The view from Ravins Point is something you will remember!
Don't forget to stop by Warner's Overlook on the Dog Hole Trail.
Thi is part of the top 25 trails in the US and it's easy to see why. If you agree please donate to the parks to help keep it alive. And pick up any trash you find. I did find some to carry back myself.
I will be back!

this trail is TOUGH. My dad and I went hiked the Gizzard trail up to the point where you can go back down the Dog Hole trail. 75% of the trail going up is straight rocks so be sure to wear shoes with A LOT of ankle support because every 30 seconds your ankles are going to be tested by nature. It is a very challenging, long hike so if you plan to make the whole loop so just prepare yourself. The trail itself is beautiful but because of how difficult it was, i’m not sure if i’d ever do it again. It took us 7 hours to make the whole thing and we only stopped 2 or 3 times to rest. Also, having a walking stick is big help going up those rocks. We just cut our own sticks from inside the woods so don’t waste your money buying one. Good luck!!

We went Labor Day weekend 2018 and just did the short loop with all the smaller falls... we took kids ages 6-10 and they had a great time jumping in the water and hiking. Safety first: my husband got in the water first and made sure what the depth was before the kids jumped!
Beautiful trail! So peaceful and was fun for the kids as well! We just did a shorter loop 4miles or so...

Made a day hike out of this loop. Took clockwise route beginning with big creek gulf trail out of stone door. Views around the cliffs at stone door are some of the best around. Descent into the gulf was fairly technical at times with some large boulder scrambling, not too difficult though due to the short length. Added ranger falls trail at the base, nice lunch spot and good water source (worth it). Ascent out of the gulf up to the rim was a steady climb with a few steeper switchbacks and had fair share of lose rock, but again like the descent it is a fairly short run to the top. Made quick time of the flat and easy rim trail. Several nice lookout pointe along the way similar to those around stone door with similar views. Did this trail in 5 hours, plenty of time spent taking pics at bluffs and hanging by the waterfall. Water sources were available throughout most of gulf trail. Could see making this an overnight trip if adding greater falls or connector to Collins section. My fitbit clocked this trail a little over 11 miles, park map has it at around 10 (including ranger falls trail)Happy Trails

Awesome...We know why it is one of the USAs top hikes

Most scenic and peaceful trail I've ever hiked.

This was a beautiful hike I took with my 16 year old son and 50 lb dog. We went in the morning so we could finish the trail well before sunset, so started about 9 am. I am so happy I consulted all trails before going, because some other reviewers mentioned that they didn’t bring enough water. I took 108 oz split between our backpacks, and we drank it all. Other reviews mention a section which has large jagged rocks, and that it would be easy to twist an ankle on those. I second that. Hiking boots strongly encouraged.

Our hike was last year, and I can’t wait to hit this trail again in the fall.

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