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Easy to get to and very well maintained trail. First half is a wide, uphill path with the second half being a stepper trail up stones. There is a long line to take a photo at the top though. Got up in about an hour really pushing the pace.

Lovely trail and very quiet in the cold weather but river trail blocked with construction work.
Road is blocked to the visitors centre because of the shutdown.

I have never gone hiking before and this was actually my first. So for newcomers like me, I would suggest moderate level of fitness, 2-3 full bottles of water, and shoes with good traction.

I came during February, so the weather was amazing, would not recommend this trail during the summer time. The climb down is a lot easier and faster, but be careful, because it is much easier to slip up going down.

It's not very shady and a pretty difficult hike when it's hot but of course worth it for the photo op! It gets very very busy so earlier better than later!

Hiked yesterday as cold front was whipping in. Snow on the fire road was about 3” deep and it made it a little sluggish after the climb. Ascent was beautiful but trickier than my many others due to ice. Glad I had my hiking poles. Note to newcomers —park straight in, aligned with road. Lately a lot of early arrivals parking perpendicular to entrance taking up two spots. It fills up quick and road in does not accommodate more than 5 cars

Amazing hike to Potato Chip Rock, the wait wasn’t bad. People were very good about trading phones for pictures , if you took their picture , they would wait for your group to go out to the rock and take your picture. Some people complain about the wait, it’s not bad especially if you work as a team.

Beautiful views! And a bit of a workout but worth it!

Wow those views make the slightly perilous conditions worthwhile! Rain a few days earlier made the rock faces very slippy!

Be careful and wear good shoes and you are in for one hell of a view

Amazing place!! We are looking forward to doing it again. We did the entire loop. I would consider it a moderate trail but we do a fair amount of hiking. It's like something from a lost land or another planet. Stunning rock formations and beautiful forest views. I would HIGHLY recommend doing the entire loop if you have the time and the ability. Another great thing about this place is you have the option of just going to the arches which is about 1.5 miles and it is breathtaking! One of my favorite places now. Don't forget that you will be in an active bear habitat so don't be stupid. If you don't know how to behave in bear country and what NOT to do then do everyone (and the bears) a favor and stay away!!

This is a great workout trail, and the view on the top is amazing.

Love this trail! Have done both ascend and descend. Prefer the ascend. Trail is covered in snow (roughly 12”) but pretty packed down along the traveled trail.

Great hike this morning. Really crowded but still happy to do it since we were in town. Lots of scrambling and gloves would have been nice but we made it just fine. If we were to do it again we’d wear our hiking boots vs the hiking shoes just for the additional ankle support. The hike down was a little tough on ankles and knees but worth it.

Beautiful hike, gave it only 4 stars because there was a ~45 min wait to climb potato chip rock for a picture.

Good hike but always busy on the weekends

My favorite hike in the Smokies.

I enjoyed Camelback. It was challenging, and had good views. I liked climbing up the rocks!

To be completely honest, I don’t think it is super special that I’d want to drive out there often and around so many people of different skill levels. It is a good hike, but to me, it’s a little overrated.

What a challenge! very steep climb and I kept thinking going down would be more difficult, and it was. Had to remove the tri-focals to have better depth perception. I'm and avid hiker in the Rockies and this was tough for me. But I did it! I envy those that can do it quickly and are steady on their feet. I've got a new workout plan for the gym to help with that. 65 and feeling alive! rock on☺️

on Dragon's Tooth Trail

backpacking
5 days ago

Good hike. Moderate trail. Some rock scrambles but makes it more of a challenge. Views up top are great on a clear to partly cloudy day.

Very Strenuous to the average person like myself (29 years old not in the best shape I could be), but it was worth it! The waterfalls on the incline and decline were all incredible.

Short hike but good workout! lots of rock scaling.. good hiking shoes and water a must. Took 1 hour going moderate speed to get to top and 25 minutes to go down going fast. No problem with parking mid week at 10 am. This hike wouldn't be fun in the heat. Very steep sections.

Bring a pair of gloves! I brought my fingerless weightlifting gloves and cut up my finger tips. Amazing hike! Take it easy going up there and listen to your body. I thought it would be extremely difficult, but this felt like a moderate hike for me. 3/4ths of the way up was rock scrambling. Also bring good sturdy shoes for traction. Gym shoes won't cut it.

Hiked this on 1/15/19. Cold day - 10F at bottom at start, with 15-25F mph wind forecast. Started up Falling Waters route based on advice. Due to previous cold weather the streams were low and not a factor. Waterfalls were frozen over in veils of ice, like bells - but neither of our phones worked due to cold temps, so no pictures. Hike to Little Haystack is challenging and steep, lots of switchbacks and was fully snow or ice covered. Off the packed part of trail in snowy areas you can post-hole up to mid-thigh. Ridge hike that day was tough - wind gusts to 50-60MPH or so and steady at 30-40, and hard to stay on trail! We pretty much flew through the ridge - very brutal and exposed in those conditions. We were layering up right below treeline on the way up and two hikers passed us. They came back 5 minutes lighter with wide eyes and started layering up!! Trail is very well marked along ridge - with rocks on either side or frequent cairns. After Lafayette on the way down we did have a little difficulty keeping track of the trail and got a little off the path for a while a couple times - be very careful. It was like being on the moon that day - above treeline was a whole different environment. Once we got below treeline on Bridle Path the hike down was quick and easy - clear and calm conditions. It took us 6 hours without much stopping - just snacks, water, etc. No time wasted on the Ridge Trail - so on a clear day with time for gawking I'd budget 7 hours. Micro spikes were essential and worn from lot to lot. Great hike, quite challenging - my dogs are barking today.

Loved the challenge and the views from the top! Good traction on your shoes and a backpack with 2 liters of water are going to help you here! This trail is very crowded even on weekdays, so not the hike for you if you want solitude or don’t like lots of moving out of the way for other hikers (uphill has the right of way!) Other hikers are very friendly and encouraging.

Pretty intense in the snow

The descent is incredibly dangerous. I slipped on a boulder and was an inch away from bashing my skull into another boulder. Easily the most difficult trail in Phoenix, so be careful!

backpacking
7 days ago

Superb uphill hike from Bowlens Creek. Beautiful waterfall scenery at the begining of the hike, midway up you're greeted by a neat flooded mine on the right of the trail, as you ascend the scenery changes from massive trees to smaller evergreens. We hiked in the snow a week ago and it wasn't too hard to navigate. You come out to a spectacular overlook at Celo Knob and continue on the crestoine towards Mt Mitchell from there. The trail is much more narrow on the crest with some rock scrambling here and there (it was very slick and covered in ice when we went) compared to many trails around the area but i personally prefer that on hikes. The winds were blasting over us around 40-50 mph and the Lee side parts of the trail were a relief. This hike is honestly my favorite thus far in the Smokies. Challenging and unique.

Was a awesome climb and beautiful day with my
Daughter

hiking
8 days ago

My favorite hike in the valley! It is definitely a climb, but so much fun! I highly recommend taking an Uber to the trail head due to limited parking.

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