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Lots of switchbacks but still pretty steep. Fairly difficult but the view is worth it.

good hike or backpack to the top and camp overnight like we did. better be in good shape to hike this one, nice vertical ascends, some narrow areas plus a few wet areas. take emergency supplies with you if your just hiking, plenty of water, maybe some light first aid. there was only one problem we didn't have enough time to hike more. this is absolutely beautiful you have to see it for yourself. get out and enjoy our state and national parks. we are headed to Colorado next then back to the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains.

backpacking
5 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.

View at the top is worth it! Very muddy right now, and our watches showed 3 miles each way

Dear lord this was a hard trail. Me and my two best friends went camping together and we spontaneously decided to do this trail for some reason. The whole thing is pretty much uphill but the view... my god the view was incredible at the top. It was so breathtaking it made the whole hike worth it. Just a note: the three of us are not in peak physical condition. I’m moderately fit but have hypoglycemia and a syncope problem, one friend has asthma and hypoglycemia but she runs frequently, and the second friend just casually works out. It took a while to go up and down this monster but we managed it.

Loved the view from the top, but there wasn't much of a view at all till the overlook. Some of the other climbs we hiked had a several views along the way, this one was forest until the overlook.
Still, a fun hike, with a breathtaking view. The single vantage point, and reasonably heavy amount of traffic will probably keep me from going back, but I think it was absolutely worth doing once!

Great views. Not too difficult of a hike. Definitely worth it!

Fun trail with breathtaking views at the top! It’s a decent hike up - also super muddy from all the rain. There were also a ton of people hiking this trail. After you get through the switchbacks, it’s a steady incline up. Bring a snack and enjoy the view at the top.

Hiked on 12/29.

Terrain: Trail was rockier than expected. Combined with the trail conditions, this made for a technical hike. Elevation gain per mile is much milder than similar hikes, so it probably balances out.

Conditions: Wet. You cross creeks that feel like rivers (including a quite treacherous crossing at 1.9 miles) and there are several sections where the trail becomes a creek. After we made the final right turn to get on the ridge, we saw a significant amount of snow/ice. We didn't have microspikes and were fine, but it did make for slightly slow walking.

Views: Once you get on the ridge, there are amazing views.

Parking: Drive through the Boy Scout camp. There is designated parking for hikers at the far end of the camp. It feels like you are going to get on a government list somewhere, but if you keep going through the camp you will end up in the right spot.

Did a portion of this trail before the rain set in. Looking forward to returning and completing the trail! Beautiful wildlife and views.

Overall I would rate a B+. Experienced Hiker. trail as not strenuous at all. a touch but muddy. Not to many people on the trail, popular trail for the dogs though. Old Britsh man at the top asked if I wanted to share a pint with, I accepted the gracious offer. View was decent. Over all a good hike.

Hiked this yesterday (December 19)! would recommend going at a different time than my group did if you have inexperienced members! One of my friends nearly took a plunge of some icy rocks. Snow also made it difficult to see crevices between rocks you could easily break your ankle in!! My group hiked up profile trail to Calloway peak, then took grandfather trail to the parking lot and hitchhiked back to the car. The views and adventure were absolutely stunning, but the trek is certainly not for the out of shape or faint of heart! One of the best trails I’ve hiked!

Not a bad hike at all, first mile is kinda steep but don’t let it fool you it’ll slack up some. The views are definitely worth the hike, bring lunch

great trail to challenge your leg strengths. I am a beginner hiker and it was a bit hard. it was worth to see the view on top!

Do the hike several times a month.
Great hike,magnificent view from the rock face.
One of my favorite hikes.

Great hike! Good trail running parts of it as well, especially on the descent. The view was beautiful, but wish there was a bit more to it. Recommend, though!

Awesome hike. Straight up to 6100 ft with just a few flat areas to recover. Late fall conditions- mud at the trailhead, leaves over trial to about 4800 ft, inch of snow rest of way up, with heavy ice around 5700 ft up. Started snowing for a few minutes, but clear at the top. Best trail ive done in the area. Had to turn back at Celo Knob due to conditions, but cant wait to finish the trail to Mt Mitchell.

Was apprehensive but the most fun and rewRding trail. Beautiful views. Very technical. Must be comfortable with heights and climbing ladders

Wouldn't rate this as "hard" but decent hike up with a nice view at the end.

It was amazzzzing! it was fairly long, taking us about 4 hours, including stopping along the way and at the top. lots of zigzags, and an upwards hike at almost every location on the trail, but the view is totally worth it! you're so high, and youre standing on a stone face overlooking miles and miles of mountains and trees, and it is really just breathtaking. really makes you feel in tune with nature!

This trail is so much fun. We didn't investigate it before taking it on with our 4 kids. Probably would not have taken them on this until they were older. Dangerous for younger kids. I definitely recommend it for older kids and active adults. Exhilarating.

hiking
1 month ago

Solid hike with a nice reward at the top. The view off the rock face was great. Pretty steady incline the whole way that is not hard. I hoofed it pretty quickly so I actually did feel it a bit the next day.

Overall a nice trip if you are looking for something in between leisurely and challenging that has a unique lookout at the top you will remember. Seemed like a great date hike or family hike.

I went on a beautiful fall day so there was a steady stream of people. Quite a few dogs (maybe 15 or so) making the hike up since the incline is reasonable and no real climbing needed. Almost all were on a leash although two were not - plus there was a sign for a lost dog. :( Sounds like a lot of dogs but over the course of 6 miles it wasnt really much.

Great workout on the way up, and the view is worth it!

Absolutely amazing. Some parts are hard especially if caught in the rain. But well worth the view.

scenic driving
2 months ago

My favorite trail in the mountains!

hiking
2 months ago

I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

Fun trail with great panoramic views! I do feel you can get similar, awesome views simply driving along Blue Ridge and utilizing the overlooks, however this trail offers up to experience both sides of the ridge at once. BE CAREFUL when it's windy out!

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