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Hiked 9.22. Great for a first 14er but a bit to many people on my way up, especially at the summit. Took the east side of the mountain down to the lake and hooked up to the abyss trail to make a loop out off this (makes for a 10+ mile hike). Much more secluded just watch your step as you are hopping boulder to boulder on the way down the side of the mountain. One wrong move you'd go down pretty hard but that was the most fun part for me. Also easy to lose yourself in 6' tall and dense shrubbery. Had to just power through some sections to find the trail again on the abyss portion.

Steep with a rewarding view. Make sure you follow the green arrows on the ground after you come to what you might think is the end. That's where the view is.

This is a great hike with an excellent reward at the top. Moderate, quick hike for such a beautiful view. We went counter-clockwise which was probably a little tougher with steeper climbs but that’s the way we like it.

I love this hike. very scenic And moderate hiking conditions.

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.

Muddy trail but real nice views

Pleasant trail with great views. Clockwise was great!

We camped near a waterfall and hiked to other falls, nice area with several trails

Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice hike. The views at the research station are great. There are several picnic tables and bathrooms there. Don't miss the old cabin.

Numerous beautiful views on this < 2 hr loop trail. A little muddy today and lots of fellow hikers but worth it

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy uphill walk on a wide graded road. Beautiful views at the top! My 1st time here so I was a little confused when you come to the fork in the trail where you can either go up the grassy trail, shorter but steeper, or continue on the gravel road. Both end at the science center and views. I missed the turn for the Ferguson cabin and didn't have time to go once I realized my mistake. But I will definitely try this one again!

Very nice area to hike on a day trip from Charlotte

wonderful panorama's at the very top. one of the few trails that I traveled that is all uphill on on the way to the top with no downs, and all downhill on the way back. great facilities at the top and the research station is amazing

Follow Garrett's directions. very helpful regarding parking and the gate at the start...loved the trail.

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

Great hike and fantastic views

Great hike & gorgeous views along the way as well as at the summit. Not too difficult if you are in good shape. Some ice in the beginning to middle of the trail that turned into slush on the way back down in the early afternoon (boots definitely got muddy on the way down). Doable with just hiking boots, but yaktrax and hiking poles are helpful if you have them. A good amount of snow as well as wind during the middle to end of the way up to the summit. Top of the summit was quite windy and only stayed up there for about 15 minutes due to this. Way back down was much easier if you had a hiking pole to help with the snow & ice, but again, doable without. Would recommend multiple layers, hats & gloves, handwarmers to put inside gloves (those were a huge plus!), as well as a ski mask or something to pull up and over most of your face for the way down, as the wind was almost unbearable at points. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot at the start of the trail. I recommend starting in the morning (8am or earlier) in order to avoid some of the snow & ice melt that turns the trail into mud on the way down.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike and views.. Not as challenging as some other 14ers but there was a good amount of snow and ice from the half way point up. If you want a more enjoyable hike definitely bring micro spikes and some walking poles. Poles aren't necessary but will make your hike easier. There is a false summit that leads to a bit of a scramble to actually summit. On the way down the spikes made descending much faster and easier. I took mine off about half way down as the weren't needed anymore. When you get about half way down all the morning ice and snow pretty much turns to mud.

2 Mile Gentle Loop with exceptional views. Best hiked clockwise. Extremely overused, steps are in place all over the mountain. This is a Sacred Space, but one can feel the drained Energy and Spirituality. Mostly Yuppie Tourists. I have never seen so many soccer moms scowl at locals and power broker Dads scrambling to close deals on their cell phones. Hiked on a Monday and still the trail was crowded. Wonderful place to take epic photos if you are in a hurry. I had to stop and take breaks off trail because of the loud, nonsensical ramblings of the Country Club Visitors. Ridiculous. Respect. Please do not gape at me strangely if I do speak with the trees. The second star is because I met a group of 20 Ugandan Citizens on a Paid Expedition. They were so friendly and interested in my type of culture. Wonderful people. Peace, Love, Happiness, and Gooooo...

hiking
1 month ago

Straight up for just under 4 miles but was very worth it. Loved the view from the top!

We had a great time making this a two day trip and camping. Only negative experience was since a recent rain a lot of the trail was swampy.. but that is my only complaint! had a great time.. even in 36 degree wet weather! thanks! I would have a map for a couple areas, we hit a couple different trails to see things.

Great hike. it may have been 34 at the trail head but half way to the summit the wind had to be 30+ mph. Deeper snow as you head up to the ridge. Definitely need poles or micro spikes.

hiking
1 month ago

Did it today. Beautiful weather. Started at 8:30am, summited at 10:45am. Only stayed up there for 10 minutes and i think it took me about an hour and thirty minutes to get back down.
I put on my spikes about half way up. The snow was nicely packed, only deep in a few spots. It was windy in a few spots but not bad for the most part.
It wasn’t easy due to the wind but not very difficult since it’s a fairly short hike and there is zero exposure.
My first Colorado 14er!

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