Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion

MODERATE 205 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.

DISTANCE
8.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2086 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

rocky

snow

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

Awesome views. Great day hike.

hiking
11 days ago

Perfect weather today for a great hike. We stopped to see the shelter, grabbed some more water from the pipe, and continued up. Almost an amazing 360 view from the bunion. We stopped at the jump off on the way back and we were glad we did.

13 days ago

Great view at the bunion. I also did the drop off which only adds .6 miles total. Moderate difficulty but it's lengthy and well maintained. I did everything in under 3 hours.

hiking
14 days ago

Good payoff...fun visiting with the thru hikers!!!

17 days ago

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21 days ago

One of my favorites. Great view

hiking
21 days ago

Trail's not too difficult, as long as you're in good shape. Lovely flowers and great views leading to the Bunion, but the Bunion is truly the main attraction. There's not much else I can say that others haven't, but truly some of the best, most expansive views in the park

hiking
27 days ago

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1 month ago

Amazing views throughout this peaceful hike. We arrived at Newfound Gap around 3pm and made it to Charlie's Bunion around 5:30pm. I'd say the section of this hike takes about 4.5-5 hours. Definitely worth it! We saw most tourists and hikers at the beginning of the trail, but few people stayed on the AT besides thru hikers. Lots of wildlife and birdsong, plenty of lush forest at every turn. So far it's my favorite trail in this part of the country.

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