Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 340 reviews

Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail 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
1991 feet
Out & Back





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.

7 days ago

Wow! crazy how weather changes so fast..
60° and sunny down below.. foggy, misty and cold up high (duh)

glad I brought spikes.. alot of this trail was pure ice and I did take a 6 foot spill which I thought was the end of me haha.. This trail was hard with the ice for sure... and the bunion was socked by fog.. Still great hike

8 days ago

A favorite of mine!! Love hiking along the ridge line and how quickly you leave the crowds behind

10 days ago

Definitely a nice relaxing day hike. Watch out for ice in the winter (my friend fell a couple times). The views were great!

17 days ago

I love this hike! I’ll def do it again. The trail was solid ice in several sections so I would rate it difficult if done in the winter.

24 days ago

Moderate Trail.
Completed 24DEC17. A lot spots to stop and take beautiful pictures.
Good for Family.
Dec is very foggy at the morning, for some reason is called Smokies Mountains, however between 1pm to 3pm you will appreciate the views!

2 months ago

Beautiful hike, easy to moderate. We completed in around three hours, left at 1:50p returned around 5:00p. Not too many people on the trail in mid November, the views are amazing!

2 months ago

This is truly a heavily trafficked Trail. The beginning is all uphill for a couple of miles. The return begins the same for about 1.5 miles. It’s a tough but fun hike.

2 months ago

Great way to sample the AT. A few good outlooks on the way up help break up the climb. Charlie’s Bunion is worth the trek. The folks who maintain the trail do an excellent job- especially around the shelter.

2 months ago

Great trail that goes to a great overlook. But Charlie’s Bunion gets super crowded with people who don’t mind littering and otherwise being obnoxious.

2 months ago

Great moderate hike with great views at the end.

2 months ago

Great reward for the output.

3 months ago

great trail with fantastic view.

3 months ago

3 months ago

The views from the Bunion are excellent. Somewhat busy at the end of September. Nice day hike for sure.

Beautiful! Mountainous jungle hike with great views. Definitely pack a lunch (i recommend a sandwich from Old Dad's in gatlinburg) and get an early start. Take your time. Much to see on this trail!

3 months ago

3 months ago

This was an great hike. Felt like you accomplished something without being too brutal and the views were great. We also did the Jump Off and it was worth the effort.

4 months ago

This was a very fun trail. Great views and it covers part of the AT.

4 months ago

Hiked this trail on Thursday. Incredible views especially at the top of Charles Bunion. A little more difficult than what I was expecting. Thought the first mile was the hardest since it's basically all up hill. Took us about 3 hrs going up and 2 hrs down. I would definitely recommend this trail to anyone. Even if you do not hike a lot.

4 months ago

We hiked it today. Great views!! For a novice hiker like me and my wife, it took 7hrs to complete the round trip plus the jump off. This is the longest single day hike we have done, well worth the effort, beautiful woods and the views are outstanding!! If your novice like us and in your 40s, it's a workout! Bring plenty of water and good hiking shoes and socks.

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