Chimney Tops Trail

HARD 754 reviews

Chimney Tops Trail is a 3.7 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
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,289 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

As of June 2018, several users have reported that the last portion of the trail is closed. 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Due to the proximity to Gatlinburg and reasonable distance, this is one of my favorite hikes in GSMNP. Plus it’s fun and absolutely beautiful! There are four bridges that cross the river and have spectacular cascade views & photo ops. This trail is rated as hard and it really is, despite the shorter length. This is mainly due to the elevation gain during the second mile. The elevation gain is thanks to eight - that’s right, EIGHT sets of stairs starting at mile 1.45! Every time I thought we were done climbing stairs, we were surprised with another set, but they’re evenly spaced well-maintained steps, not the weirdly shaped & spaced steps one often sees on trails (i.e. Sharp Top). Again despite the shorter distance, hiking boots and water are a must on this one. If you have any knee issues at all, some kind of knee elastic or KT tape (I prefer the latter) and trekking poles are super helpful on this trail (up and down) because of the steps. It’s true that the area around the pinnacles is closed, but it may never reopen to hikers as the fire has left it unstable and therefore unsafe. There’s a manmade observation point one-quarter of a mile below the former end of the trail; this observation point provides great views of the Chimney Tops pinnacles and Mount LeConte. Highly recommend!

Definitely hard.

1 day ago

long uphill with no payoff, the actual top is closed. wait to do this when the top peak opens.

2 days ago

first mile is easy last mile is STAIRS!! no joke.....one mile of mostly stairs
nice view at the end but like most people have reported the last .2 is closed off with a giant gate blocking the path and no way around it. the "new" view was still beautiful.

hiking
4 days ago

I went with some friends in the first week of August...we went early in the morning and were thankful the fog lifted by the time we got to the top. Too bad we couldn’t go to the final part of the trail as it was closed off. We also almost ran into a bear (it crossed right around the corner from us in front of two other people)!

4 days ago

Amazing Views after a challenging hike, streams the kids could play in. We loved it!

5 days ago

Views at the end are really nice!

5 days ago

Really nice hike! we went early morning (around 8am) and only crossed a couple people. Unfortunately it was extremely foggy and our view from the top was non-existent. We are seasoned hikers and felt this to be a pretty tough hike even with the shorter distance. Even without seeing the view from the top , this was an awesome trail!

5 days ago

Wow, loved it!

7 days ago

All time favorite trail. Bit of a trek on the way up and the top is closed off because of the wildfire, still worth the view.

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail! Lots of stairs with a nice trail that followed a little river. Very rewarding! Pack plenty of water and even a snack for the top!

11 days ago

Very challenging trail but the view at the end is well worth the sweat!

14 days ago

Short distance, great hike though.

hiking
17 days ago

do not let the short distance fool you into thinking this is a short and sweet hike. there are millions of stairs that go on for what feels like forever.
this hike was really tough for me, but the end was well worth it!!

18 days ago

It’s an amazing hike even though it’s somewhat shorter since the fire

hiking
18 days ago

Holy crap this was a tough trail for someone from Michigan!! But it was also very rewarding with the spectacular views!! Very beautiful scenery, but the stairs kicked my ass! They are not even at all, which leaves a very uneven pace. BIT I MADE IT!! If i can do it you can at least try!! Coming from someone thats 6' and 220 lbs, it was a very rewarding achievement! Hopefully next year I will be in better shape and it won't be that bad!

hiking
26 days ago

One of the most rewarding hikes I’ve ever been on. Went at the end of July.

1 month ago

Absolutely loves hiking this. Was a challenge but once we made it to the top, it was well worth it.
The view is absolutely breath taking.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this hike and would do it again in a heartbeat.
The cardio workout was excellent. View was wonderful!

1 month ago

Difficult on the way up but the virws are beautiful. Much easier on the way down. Worth the climb!

1 month ago

Great views!

hiking
1 month ago

I can't give this anything better than "average" until they reopen the full trail. Pretty tough hike for anyone not in shape, straight up most of the way with a few views. End section to the Chimney Tops is closed (gated and spiked). Park Service built a little overlook pad but doesn't compare at all to the chimney tops. Park Service needs to make reopening this a priority!

hiking
1 month ago

So many steps but a very nice view once you hit the top. Unfortunately the second half is still closed but you still get a great view of the mountains and the chimney top.

hiking
1 month ago

Our group really enjoyed the hike. It becomes easier when you do it with a group. Towards the end of the trail there are lot of steps ,good to be prepared for that. Trails has lot of beautiful water falls . Beautiful hike overall

hiking
1 month ago

I enjoyed the trail very much. The last part to the tops is closed. But that does not affect the beautiful view of surrounding mountains!
We faced thunderstorm on our way back and it was pouring!! Memorable hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved the views from the top! Very steep and difficult considering a thunderstorm.. the rainbow and sunset was worth it!

1 month ago

We took this trail last week and a shout-out must go to the fine people who built and maintain the trail. So excellent!! Do not let the difficult rating discourage you from taking this trail. My husband and I are over 60 and not big time hikers, but we were easily able to do this trail. We just took our time. The trees were amazing on this trail. Huge beech and cherry trees. As others have mentioned, the very end of the trail is closed due to last year’s fires, but the views at the end are beautiful, and I was wishing I could go back when the leaves are turning.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Very difficult trail with quick elevations. A LOT of stairs. Walking sticks recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Quite a challenge but worth the awesome views.

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