Explore the most popular camping trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice trail. Loved the large footbridge. Made one mistake and kept hiking 1.5 after the waterfall. 6.88 total a bit much for an older guy.

Great hike! View was amazing from Charlie’s Bunion! There’s a toilet at the shelter (FYI

I go here by myself at least twice a year just to get in the river after a good sweat.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! Did this with the wife on 5-11-18 and had a great time. The creek was next to the trail for the majority of the hike lending to the hike the wonderful sound of running water. The forest was so very lush and green this time of year as well adding to the overall experience. Not too crowded, plenty of solitude...

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

fairly moderate for the most part. there are a couple of rough patches, but more than worth it for the view.

As a novice hiker, I chose this as my first hike. I am 40 yrs old and in slightly less than decent shape. with that being said, this hike is doable for those who are motivated. the first 2 miles go by fairly easy. the 3rd mile is a bit more challenging, and the 4th mile is grinding. but, as in many cases, the effort is worth the reward as the cascades are absolutely beautiful. please keep a close hand on the little ones once you reach the cascades, especially in wet or cold weather as rocks become slippery. otherwise, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

this is a difficult but doable hike for those in decent shape. the hike becomes more challenging as you progress. starts off easy for the first couple miles, moderate for the 3rd mile, then it gets more difficult. pace yourself and the effort is worth the reward. absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend starting this hike as early as possible on warmer days. you won't be disappointed if you reach the cascade. enjoy the fruits of your labor!

hiking
7 days ago

Trail was absolutely beautiful! Great place to enjoy Gods creation. It feels great if you go in the early morning but watch for snakes! Beautiful river and beautiful landscape!

Had a great hike. Fantastic trail with amazing views.
Enjoyed the day with my best friend.(wife)

This is an excellent trail with some spectacular river/waterfall views. Though this trail is rated as moderate, I found it to be an easy hike due to its gradual climb. The best views are only about 4 - 5 tenths of a mile from the trailhead. A must see if hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

Great hike out of Cosby Campground. Steady climbing all the way up Snake Den Ridge. Snake Den offered a few subtle views, but no stellar overlooks. It’s all steady down Maddron Bald which is a neat stretch that offers slightly better views. Albright Grove loop featured a lot of old growth and large trees. Gabe’s Mountain trail had some ups and downs but mostly easy hiking. Hen Wallow Falls was much larger than I anticipated, and a great place to have a snack. This is also the most crowded stretch as it is only 2.2 miles from the campground. My suunto ambit clocked the loop at 19.75 miles (including the walking through the campground and an additional 1.4 I added by going all the way up to the AT). Long for a day hike, but a great walk and much less crowded than the hikes in the more popular areas of the park. An early start afforded me the opportunity to spend the first 2 hours and 45 minutes (~7 miles) without seeing anyone.
Bottom line: nothing in this hike is overwhelmingly spectacular, but the climbing, the wide spectrum of vegetation and a waterfall allows this hike to truly embody the Smokies.

We just did the first part, about 1+ mile in and turned around and went back. It’s very easy with just a slight upgrade on a wide, paved trail. You are no further than 30 yards from a beautiful babbling brook the entire time. Just beautiful.

I was completely blown away by this trail and the view at Charlie’s Bunion. We actually started in the wee hours to reach the Bunion for daybreak. If you’re a fairly skilled hiker in possession of a headlamp, definitely consider that option. What a unique and breathtaking experience to have the space all to ourselves, hear the forest come alive, and watch the mountains slowly gain color. The trail itself is also beautiful. There’s something about the mossy trees and wildflowers that was really enchanting. Plus it’s cool to walk a section of the famous Appalachian Trail and see some thru hikers this time of year. Fully recommend.

The waterfall at the end is worth seeing, so I’m glad I did the hike, but I often found myself a bit bored. Most of the trail doesn’t have much to see besides a little bit of the river. The last mile or so is also brutal, with endless climbing over rocks. Still, not a bad trail at least once.

Enjoyed a full day hiking in the mountains. Breathe taking views from the top.

This trail was a bit difficult, after you pass the gravel part. Glad I did it but I wouldn't do it again. Didn't have any views on the trai.

scenic driving
14 days ago

Great drive with spots to pull off and take pictures!

backpacking
14 days ago

Very easy trail leading up to Campsite 37

beautiful hike and the falls are amazing,did the whole thing in 5 hrs including the chill time at the falls

This was the first big backpacking trip for my son and I, he was about 13 at the time. We did it but this is no easy walk. It was a great hike with memories we will treasure forever, perhaps the high point was all the other hikers we met (mostly thru hikers). Biggest drawback on this hike are the national park regs requiring section hikers to use specific shelters each night. This forced us to hike some short days and some days that were crazy long. Water sources were frequent enough but not big, some required forming a funnel with a large magnolia leaf to channel water into our filtered bottles. Be prepared for some serious ups and downs in the terrain. The shelters were often crowded but everyone had a great time. Not a hike to get away from people, at least no in May. But if you enjoy camaraderie it is a very fun hike. We stayed our last night at Standing Bear Hostel near Davenport Gap which was very entertaining too!

scenic driving
20 days ago

Lots of cars but it was still nice. Saw a mamma bear and two cubs napping in a tree.

Pretty tough hike in the pouring rain! We got wet and it was really cold at the tower but we loved every muddy step!!

This is a nice 17 mile loop up to Gregory Bald from Twenty Mile Ranger Station and back. It’s virtually all uphill to the bald and all downhill coming back. We camped at campsite 92 on the way up and campsite 95 on the way down. We encountered 3 bears, but they were in the distance and scattered pretty quickly when the heard us. Despite gorgeous weather, we only saw about 20 people, most of them on the bald. The bald is the highlight of this hike with 360 degree views of TN and NC and a nice overlook on to Cades Cove below. There are several creek crossings on this hike, so plenty of water sources. Depending on water levels, you may want to bring water shoes for some of the crossings.

Great trail!! Panoramic views along the way and once you reach Charlie’s Bunion you will be left speechless! Highly recommend

Boulevard is a good alternate route to Leconte versus the more popular Alum Cave or Rainbow Falls routes. Although an out and back on this trail is longer, the trail has a steady mix of ups and downs - but not too much of either at once. The side trails to “the jumpoff” and Myrtle Point are worth the stop if you want to do some extra and have the time. Trail is in good shape with the most rocky portions at the beginning and the end on the climb from Newfound gap to Ice water springs area. That is also the most crowded section as it overlaps the route along the AT to Charlie’s Bunion.

Would be a good running route if that’s your thing.

Boulevard is a good alternate route to Leconte versus the more popular Alum Cave or Rainbow Falls routes. Although an out and back on this trail is longer, the trail has a steady mix of ups and downs - but not too much of either at once. The side trails to “the jumpoff” and Myrtle Point are worth the stop if you want to do some extra and have the time. Trail is in good shape with the most rocky portions at the beginning and the end on the climb from Newfound gap to Ice water springs area. That is also the most crowded section as it overlaps the route along the AT to Charlie’s Bunion.

Would be a good running route if that’s your thing.

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