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This is a well marked trial, but the dozens of fallen trees make it harder to navigate. The views from the lower trail are better, but this trail still had a lot to offer. It is marked as an overnight trail, but it can certainly be covered in a day.

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.

road biking
11 days ago

Beautiful, scenic loop. We did that on bike around 2-5 pm, which seemed to be a rush hour for cars. Everybody is driving slowly, there is not much room to overtake, so we had to stop every time a car would pass or we would overtake a car which slowed down for taking pictures. Next time we would rather go in the morning or on Wednesday and Saturday morning when it is completely shut for cars. Otherwise it was a lovely biking, would highly recommend.

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.

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.

Beautiful in the snow, would highly recommend! Take lots of warm clothes as it gets cold at the top. Took around 6 hours with breaks up and down for reasonably fit people.

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

scenic driving
1 month ago

I have done this drive a few times while staying near Gatlinburg; usually during the summer. The loop can be a slow drive if crowded and this is the reason why I give it a four star rating. There are some places to park and exit the car to explore.

Great trail went yesterday with my 12 year old son and my wife. Tuff for the kid in the 1st leg but after that no issues beautiful hike.

trail running
1 month ago

Fun trail. I went clockwise and got lost pretty early on and agree that signage could improve a little. I cant wait to go back. I enjoyed the diverse ecosystems that you get to experience throughout the run.

This was a wonderful fall trail with interesting changes in topography. The trail could be marked a little better, but if you use the trail map from this app on your phone to double check your location you’ll be fine. I started on the opposite side of the parking lot and didn’t have a problem. The forest was very quiet, somewhat eerily so, and hardly anyone was there in the middle of the week.

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.

Amazing place to spend the day. Cold water and beautiful waterfall. Not very much during the summer though. We took a dog too and had no issues. Lovely place. Kinda hard hike down into the canyon though.

Very diverse trail with all types of terrain. At times it can be tough to navigate. It took us around 6 hours to complete with a few stops along the way. We backpacked in and set up camp along the creek side. Beautiful park!

Great views at the top, especially if you go during the fall. It’s one of the hardest hikes in the Smokies in my opinion, just due to the first 3 miles up. It’s definitely doable, but pack plenty of water. The trail is not hard to follow. We went at the very beginning of November and saw some beautiful snow/ice on the trail (not enough to make the trail more difficult, just enough to make it look like a Winter Wonderland)

trail running
1 month ago

This is a legit 10 mile loop, I absolutely love it. Minus one star only because there are some parts where you can inadvertently go off trail because of some rogue trails blazed by lost folks thinking they were still on the correct trail. Some signage at these junctions would solve this problem.

Can’t beat the Panoramic views from the tower during peak color in the fall. Maybe the best views in the smokies. Pretty tough on the way up.

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

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a pretty easy trail. I like to do it clockwise and hit the ore pit trail at the end. Good overnight for beginners. Really like seeing all the creeks, lakes, beaver dams and such.

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.

started off on chesnut branch up to cammerer, dropped packs at the spur trail. went down walnut bottom and camped at 37. nice spot, with all the warning I did think a bear was going to eat me but the worst thing to happen was a mouse kept bothering my friend and I. hiked up sterling trail 2 miles but turned around to big creek due to weather change. great trail

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.

1 month ago

beautiful scenery

This is a gorgeous trail, but the red loop shown on the map is misleading. In order to complete the loop you have to climb a ridge/cliff, unless there's something I missed.

The views from the lookout make this worth the effort. 360 degree panoramic views of the Smokies and beyond; probably the best views of all the GSMNP trails I’ve hiked. We went on a cool fall day which made the all-uphill manageable. Some rock scramble at the very end. About 4 hours up and 2.5 coming down (2 middle-agers, average fitness)

Nice, scenic route. One of my favorite parks in TN and a great escape from the heat in summer months.

Wonderful self guided drive through the Cade’s Cove area of park. No “ hiking” necessary so this is good for seniors or mobility impaired. The midpoint offers an excellent place to stop and learn the history of the area. Don’t miss the sawmill and a chance to buy authentic stone ground cornmeal and sorghum. Behind the buildings, a small riverside trail leads left to where you might see a family of river otters! Traffic is steady, so allow 2-3 hours for the11 miles if you want to stop along the way

Hiked Upper Loop. It still has a lot of garbage and even signs from an endurance event a month ago all over it. Lot of downed trees. I lost count of how many we climbed over. Missed a turn and had to back track cause a tree had fallen on a sign. The AllTrails app got me back on the trail. Good white blazes on one half of the trail going counter clockwise but the last 1/8 of trail had minimal red emblem blazes. The garbage really needs to be cleaned up. Any future events should require the participants to trek out their litter. Also should note, there is really no scenery on this hike. I only took pictures of the many water crossings. I saw zero people all day, but I went during the week.

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