Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion

MODERATE 224 reviews

Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

8.7 miles
2086 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly





nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



old growth



washed out

no dogs

Nice hike along the summit of the Smokies, with views of Charles Bunion. The trail starts off with a gradual ascent of about 300 feet in the first mile. For the most part, the trail is tree covered, but there are a few views on the way to the Ice Water Spring-AT shelter. The shelter is one of the nicer structures along the AT in North Carolina. It sleeps 12, but a permit and reservation are required through the Park Service. Some of the comments in the AT logbook note that Elk have been seen in this area. The trail continues onto a side trail about a mile north of the shelter. This trail is well marked and goes left to Charles Bunion. This is a large rock out cropping created years ago by a fire, rain and subsequent landslide.

1 day ago

1 day ago

1 day ago

You'll see clear signs to Charlies Bunion. At the top, it splits. You can go right and then take the first left off trail up the hill. Thats the top of the bunion. Or you can just stay left and go to the Bunion and then rock climb to the top like I did. Great views either way.

4 days ago

9 days ago

11 days ago

My family and I made the trek today and we loved it! What a magical ending at Charlie's Bunion in between thunderstorms.

12 days ago

13 days ago

15 days ago

15 days ago

My first but hopefully not last trip on this trail. It was hard but worth it. Lots of scenery along the way. My trekking poles were very helpful for climbing up and down. It was foggy when we got to the bunion so missed some of the views. I am scared of heights so I didn't climb up on the rock but I did go out to it. It was nice talking to some other hikers and some through hikers who were passing through.

20 days ago

Hard hike but worth the view

23 days ago

23 days ago

26 days ago

27 days ago

Great Views at the Bunion. A few slippery rocks here and there, but no big deal for anyone with decent footing. Saw a lot of people with tennis shoes on, but I wouldn't do that. The trail to the jump off is clearly marked and extremely close to the Boulevard split. Just take the left to Boulevard and notice the sign, step up the rocks to the right of the sign and the trail is right there.

28 days ago

28 days ago

Need to hike in the early morning if you want great views! By 11 it was pouring, and the rest of the day was foggy due to the rain.

29 days ago

1 month ago

Awesome views. Great day hike.