Gregory Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald

HARD 115 reviews

Gregory Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald is a 11.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 3,359 feet Route Type: Out & Back




horseback riding

trail running



wild flowers


no dogs

13 days ago

Highly recommend this hike! It was strenuous at times with a pretty good constant climb up but the view at the top makes it all worth it. The azaleas were in bloom too, which added to the breathtaking view. Access the trail via Cades Cove loop. Around mile 2 there is a nice spot to rest, and it is also a common camp site. At mile 5 you’ll reach a fork in the road and trail sign leading you to the AT (left) or top of Gregory Bald (right). Another .6 miles or so and you’ll reach the summit.

17 days ago

This trail was challenging but well worth the experience! I love to push myself and this hike was perfect.

23 days ago

This is a lengthy trail, but the elevation gain is not difficult. Trails offers everything from thick lush vegetation to streams to the bald at the summit of course. People complained previously on here about the road to the trailhead and I am not sure why. You will leave the cades cove loop and take a well maintained and scenic gravel road to the trailhead. You do not have to make any turns just drive to the end. Go mid June and catch the flame azaleas and enjoy the 360 degree views. Saw turkey, a small bear, and several harmless snakes along the way

great hike. didn't seem as strenuous as Alum cave to leconte or Ramsay's Cascades trail. it's more elevation gain then both those trail's but it's a steady climb. One of those you never have to stop on if you pace yourself. I think for the people that consider it tougher it's because everything looks the same until the top. almost feels like you're on a treadmill at times.

This one tests your will to reach the top. A number of downed trees over the trail but not impassable, for most folks.

1 month ago

Compared to other hikes in the smokies, I feel that this one falls short, especially considering how much of a pain it was to access and the alternatives with similar level of efforts. Be aware that the last portion of the drive is a single lane scenic loop where people drive ridiculously slow in the hopes of seeing wildlife. It drove us nuts. It took us an hour to complete the last few miles because of it. No signs or bears or snakes. Saw a total of about 12 people during our hike. It was chilly at the bald. The azaleas seem to be a week or two away from blooming - maybe that would have made the hike more special but without them it was a little meh.

2 months ago

Amazing every time! Beautiful walk through the woods and the views are stunning at the top.

over grown
washed out
2 months ago

April 27, 2019 starting temp 39 ending temp 72. Started out clear ended partly cloudy spitting rain. Started at trail head of GB off Cades Cove loop down the closed Parsons’s road to Little Gregory to Gregory Bald to Gregory ridge to my starting point 13.6 mile loop. I made a day of it. 8 hours. First 8 miles was peaceful and no humans. Arrived at the Bald and was welcomed by 3 nice ladies horseback riding. Beautiful horses they had. There was 10 or so hikers napping on the Bald. What a spectacular 360 view. Worth the 8 mile incline up. The 6 miles down was steep. Camp sites were busy but no one walking trail. Pack a big lunch and take the hike. Excellent exercise trail. You will burn 2500-3000 cal doing the loop. No bears but there was tons of evidence fresh. Did see a turkey all fanned out. Lots of bugs and bees. Giant wood peckers. Next time doing just the closed road 16 miles out and back. Only did 3.5 of it today. Only negative was fighting the Cades Cove Motor Trail folks looking every blade of grass. Admittedly I did see 5 bears driving out. Great day!

6 months ago

My husband and I did this trail last last September. It's a good trail, but you spend 90% of the hike in the deep forest, just guessing when you'll reach the clearing... With little to no scenery... Only when you get to the top do you see the beauty...

7 months ago

Great hike! The trail distance and terrain was described well for this hike. Saw several traces of bears but no actual sighting. Enjoyed the hike and especially the view at the top. We were fortunate the weather was cool and the view from the top on this clear day is spectacular. Hiking poles, water, lunch and something to lay on at the top will make this hike special.

10 months ago

Great hike! Great views at the top!

11 months ago

Very tough trail for the occasional hiker. Round trip took about 6 hours. views were fantastic at the top even with cloud cover. Bring plenty of water and snacks along with a blanket or eno to enjoy the views at the top

Monday, July 09, 2018

This is one heck of a hard hike! 13.4 miles in and out. Saw a rattler around mile 4 and had to wait awhile for him to move on. On the way back saw a bunch of snake holes in the ground for about a mile stretch. Around the same spot as the rattler. They must really like that location. Dodged a few bears along the way. Thought we were only gonna be doing 12.2 miles, so the extra mile and some change surprised us. Took about 7.5 hours round trip. This is definitely not for the weak of heart. My husband, I and 2 kids made it the whole way. Only saw one other woman on the trail, everyone else was an adult male. No other kids. Lightly traveled, maybe 8 hikers total today. View was great, flowers were almost completely out of bloom, glad we saw a few. Would have been a great place to camp overnight. Checked this one off the bucket list. Would not go back unless flowers were in full bloom.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Great hike! I did not think it was as difficult as others have stated. Take a lunch and enjoy the view from the bald.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Great hike! We encountered bear, snakes, deer, etc...great wildlife hike. It rained so we did not get to see the view from the bald (still worth it). I hiked with my two boys, 11 & 14 yrs old. It challenged them but they loved it.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The azaleas were really pretty but don’t go when there’s a chance of rain unless you wanna get soaked and not see the view.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lots of roots to trip on and not much to see as you go up as far as overlooks. Steady incline and the azaleas are amazing. Worth the hike, it was a workout!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hard hike, beautiful at the bottom and the top. Azaleas in bloom in June.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Nice hike. Azaleas were in bloom so very pretty at top. Gradual elevation gain of around 3,300 feet makes it a moderate hike.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wonderful hike in the back of Cades cove with views of the valley. First half of the trip follows the stream until the campsite, then a steady uphill climb to the top. Flame azaleas in mid June are worth the trip.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A gorgeous hike. It starts off next to a rushing creek with many bridges and waterbeds to cross (wear boots- almost wore my sneakers to save my older boots the wear and tear, but I was thankful I opted boots once I hit a few spots where you're forced into shallow mud or water.) After you leave the rushing waters it pretty much a gradual uphill with some areas steeper than others but there was usually always a slight reprieve somewhere. The whole route in general is fairly smooth. At the very end toward the bald I would say it was the steepest and had some loose rock but nothing serious. I loved the different environments the trail enters and even with a packed parking lot, the trail was secluded and we rarely came across anyone. Overall, I would say if you are in okay shape (can walk on the treadmill for extended amounts of time at above a 10 incline) then this is actually a moderate trail. One last thing.. LEAVE EARLY TO GET THERE!! I did not look at the route to drive in.. did not realize it makes you take the one way loop through Cades Cove... so if you leave late.. you will arrive very very late ( and frustrated). Also the Azaleas are blooming right now!

Monday, April 23, 2018

A great hike with an amazing view. Walking up a creek/spring along a couple points at the beginning of the trail. A solid elevation gain with some roots and mostly leaves and dirt. The view is wonderful! More secluded and not as used. Easy to find. A must!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One of my favorite trails in the Smokeys. Very tough and relatively long which means only the hardcore show up. It's getting harder and harder to find lightly trafficked trails in the Smokeys. This is still one of them. Not much to see "view-wise" until the very top.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

This is a very difficult hike. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail. My wife sprained her knee on the way back down from the bald. She was in agony for the last four miles. I'd recommend taking an ace bandage to wrap a sprained knee or ankle if the situation arises.

Monday, October 23, 2017

It was a beautiful view from Gregory's Bald. This hike isn't for beginners, you need to be in serious shape. The hike to campsite 12 is moderately difficult but the remainder of the way to the Bald is strenuous and difficult. The view is breathtaking and worth the hike but we aware it isn't an easy hike, I think it is harder than Mt LeConte from Alum Caves trail.

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