Chimney Tops Trail

HARD 469 reviews

Chimney Tops Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1371 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

This trail sets off from the rear of the Visitor Center. Due to the spectacular views and short length, this is one of the more popular hikes on Newfound Gap Road, but that doesn't mean it isn't steep! Pace yourself, as the second mile is steeper than the first with almost 1000 feet of elevation gain in the last mile alone. After a 2016 fire, this trail re-opened in September of 2017 thanks to the hard work of local firefighters and trail crews. The hiking trail now goes to a new observation point with a rebuilt platform that makes for a great picnic area.

hiking
17 hours ago

Amazing view!!! The hike to the top was steep and for the out of shape (me) it was difficult but completely worth it! Had to take a hand full of breaks along the way. Trail is very well maintained. Some sections have stairs but I found them more difficult going up and for coming down was much much quicker. Jog back down due to the incline. The top is VERY steep ledge and only the really steady and brave should climb. It took everything I had to do it without chickening out. Took few hours to complete. Trail wide enough it was comfortable meeting people. Great experience lots of beautiful pictures. Make sure you have good shoes and a backpack with water and snacks.

3 days ago

If your not use to hiking, then take it super slow... I am not in shape and it took me 1-2 hours to climb up. Also be prepared for steps!! The view is worth the climb!!

hiking
7 days ago

already knowing I wasn't going to climb the chimneys so that wasn't a negative factor in my eyes. wet and muddy but not cold.. made it off the trail 5 minutes before it got pitch black out

shout out to the dudes who recognized my Charlie's bunion post.

hiking
14 days ago

We did this trail last week. It was extremely icy around some of the stone steps. We saw several people just sitting on the side of the trail contemplating going on. I won’t give this trail more than a 3 star rating, however, because the last quarter mile is closed off due to forest fires from last year. The lookout point was crowded with people and not exceptional. I would love to go when the chimney tops portion is reopened.

trail running
16 days ago

great workout with excellent views.

17 days ago

There were 2 trails, one Indiana Jones dangerous the other steep but easy. Had to keep girls from slipping constant as there were numerous 4' increments in elevation like giant steps. I was with an international group. A Japanese girl sat in the trail and cried. There was a truck- sized boulder to hug your way around. the footing was earth over a root system and the first sag was pretty alarming. There was a rock face to scale. A flying camera fell and hit me, almost ending me..thanks Marty! If it had hit my head I would have fallen to my death. The very top seemed a 190°climb, but finding the handholds made it doable. There were 50 places to die on that climb. we took the easy way down. We ran down it, as it was easier on the legs and much faster. The hard way will be fun for skilled climbers, but it was too dangerous, and the guys left the girls behind in a mad rush to prove their manhood. There was just me to make sure the girls made it alive ;-)

hiking
28 days ago

The only reason I gave this a four is because we didn’t make it to the top

hiking
1 month ago

Great hick if you are looking for a leg workout! But worth the views along the way and the view at the top

1 month ago

The view to the new lookout point was definitely worth the difficult hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is a total of 4 miles, out and back with some pretty tough elevation gain in the second mile up. We made it up and back in about 2 hours. Well worth it! We actually only hiked about 1.75 miles, as the remainder of the trail to the actual chimney tops was closed at the time.

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult climb ascending over 1200 ft in under 2 miles, but the view is worth it. I do wish the upper portion of the trail was open to make it to the original summit. Hopefully they’ll reopen it in the near future.

1 month ago

Follows a pretty creek the first mile, and has magnificent views at the new platform at the top; but until they open up the last .25 miles to the chimney tops rock formations, not worth the intense elevation change and 400 steps in my opinion.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough hike with lots of stairs! Beautiful views! Part of the trail, .25 miles was closed yet due to the November 2016 fires.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike today. It was well worth the elevation climb. The bridges and creek beneath were very photo worthy. We love the park.

1 month ago

loved the trail and the optional rock climbing at the peak one exceptional view hiked it 1 week before the fire hoping to hike it Thanksgiving weekend

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is now re-opened. However, the final .25 miles of the trail is still closed off to all hikers. The hike is still 1.75 miles to the new outlook. The view is well worth the hike. Pretty strenuous on the way up. Took about 75 minutes to get up and 45 minutes to get down. Highly recommend this hike if you’re in the area

hiking
2 months ago

We witnessed SO many people unprepared to hike this trail. It's a hard trail! Stairs forever. Bring water and wear good shoes. The view is nice up top where they've built the temporary summit.

hiking
2 months ago

my legs will be feeling the results of that elevation gain tomorrow! just bummed that the chimney tops pinnacles is still closed off from the 2016 fire damage. should it ever re-open, i will definitely come back.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a very strenuous hike. However is well worth it and doable if you take your time and set your rhythm. The top of the chimney is ver steep and sharp.

2 months ago

Many fond memories from hiking as a kid, and I still love it. Strenuous hike with breathtaking summit.

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