Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Trail

HARD 80 reviews

Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Trail is a 10.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cosby, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
10.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3215 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

no dogs

This hike to Mt. Cammerer begins from the Low Gap Trailhead in the Cosby Campground. Although it's a roundtrip hike of 12 miles, it's still the shortest and most commonly used route to the 4928-foot summit. From the trailhead you'll climb Low Gap Trail for 3 miles before hooking-up with the Appalachian Trail. This is a steep and relentless climb, over several switchbacks, that takes hikers through a beautiful and mature hardwood forest as they proceed up the Cosby Creek valley. Upon reaching the junction, turn left onto the Appalachian Trail to continue hiking towards the Mount Cammerer Trail. Along the early sections of the Appalachian Trail you'll continue climbing, however, the elevation gain isn't quite as steep as the Low Gap Trail. Hikers will cross over a grassy ridge that offers views of the Cosby Valley, Snake Den Ridge and Inadu Knob, as well as several fine places to take a break before turning onto the rugged spur trail that leads to the summit of Mt. Cammerer. This spur is slightly more than half-mile long, and is fairly level, but does involve some rock scrambling as you follow the narrow ridge out to the fire tower. Take your time and watch your step. At 4928 feet in elevation, the summit of Mt. Cammerer sits on the edge of a rocky outcropping overlooking the Pigeon River Gorge. On a clear day the views are simply awesome; some even say the best in the Park. For an even better vantage point, step up to the deck of the stone fire tower. This "western" style tower, which was fully restored in 1995, provides hikers with excellent 360 degree views. Look in any direction and see row upon row of mountains. The mountain directly across the gorge, with the white aviation tower at the top, is 4263-foot Snowbird Mountain. Below you and outside of the park is the water tower for the hydro-electric plant in the Big Creek area. To the south is Mt. Sterling with another interesting fire tower on its peak. And of course, towards the west, is the seemingly endless expanse of mountains called the Smokies. The octagonal fire tower at the summit was built by local laborers and the Civilian Conservation Corp in the late 1930s using hand-cut stone. Men working on the tower drilled and blocked the stone right out of the mountainside from a quarry just 100 yards downhill from the tower. Some of these stones weighed as much as 600 pounds.

1 day ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

It was so hard up AND down but the top was worth every ache and pain! If this pair of 40 somethings can do it, so can you! Wear shoes meant for hiking. Take food and plenty of water. Watch your footing near the edges at the top. If you have joint problems, this hike isn't for you.

17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

21 days ago

I did this trail today. it was tough, there isn't much to look at on the way up. but the view at the end is great! very buggy at the bottom.

hiking
28 days ago

The Mount Cammerer trail from Cosby Campground is a very underrated hike. Out of the four hikes we did on our Smoky Mountain trip this was the most strenuous to me, but worth every bit of it and made the top of my list! The hike was a steady uphill the whole way, so more of a test of endurance than having to navigate obstacles. Because of the climb it is a killer on the knees on the way back down so be aware and prepared for some burning!! It is a long hike that requires some climbing over and up large rocks at the end. When we went it was foggy so we didn't get the views but we're still impressed and it is on the top of our list for next time. I have heard the views are second to none!

At the top you can go in the tower to relax, see the views on a clear day and have a snack. We met some really nice people up there and sat and chatted for a good half hour. We were then able to walk back down with our new hiking buddies, such a nice treat to meet fellow hikers and learn about and enjoy other's company. We saw a black bear on the way down, he was eating berries on the trail. As we got closer he went just a bit up the hill and watched for us to go past so he could continue his snack. He was quite a lovely site to see!

If you visit the Smokies and enjoy hiking don't miss this one of a kind hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

Love it. It's gonna hurt unless you're a fit master. But it hurts so good. Once you make it to the Appalachian Trail it's smooth sailing. You will eventually have to climb some rocks and wiggle through brush but the views are worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Left from the "hiker parking" lot at cosby campground and used the Low Gap trailhead located right next to the parking lot (a little different from the route marked on the map). The Low Gap trail was tough!! The AT and spur trail were much easier with some nice views. Beautiful rhododendrons and amazing views near the top.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

It was a very difficult hike both ways. My knees were screaming on the way down. The views were more than worth it

hiking
1 month ago

This mileage is not true. We parked at the low gap trailhead and walked to the Appalachian trail like it tells you to. It's 5.5 miles to the AT. Once you get to the AT, the mile marker tell you that it's another 2.3 miles to Mount Cammemer. These last 2.3 mile are straight uphill dodging roots and boulders the entire way. One way is 7.8 miles. This is a long hike and it is not easy. Be prepared because this one is serious.

hiking
1 month ago

An amazing hike with awesome 360 views. My wife and I will be back to hike it again in the Fall. Can not wait!!

2 months ago

Strenuous hike but well worth it. Highly recommend it.

hiking
2 months ago

The views are amazing!!

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was HARD, and I'm a pretty experience hiker. Funny enough, the way up was rough, but I was in way more pain on the way day. It's a constant ascent up, which was hard on my lungs, but it's a constant descent down, which was relentless on my knees and ankles. Ugh. It's also a pretty darn rocky trail with a ton of roots just waiting to turn your ankle. Oh, and there had apparently been a fleet of horses that had just been up since we had to avoid all kinds of poop piles the entire way.

However, the view is pretty spectacular. The fella and I had to stop quite a few times on the way up, so it took us a good 3.5 hours to get up. We hung out at the fire tower for about 20-30 minutes eating a snack and taking in the view. Then it took us another 2.5 hours to get back down, moaning and groaning the whole way because of our old legs.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a beautiful trail. Very challenging, especially the approach to the AT connection, but well worth the effort. The views from the watchtower are stunning so you'll be happy you made the trip. Also, the peak is a perfect spot for lunch and there are plenty of good rocky out crops to sit and rest and trickling streams to fill up on fresh mountain water along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is hard !!! but so worth it when you get to the fire tower.
I'm 6'2" and over 250lbs. great workout. it took roundtrip about 8 hrs that's stopping and resting and taken in the scenery. got to see several A.T. thru hikers which was a bonus . So glad I pushed myself to do this . go now!

hiking
4 months ago

The views are comparable to the best in the park (Mt. Leconte); however, it is also one of the more strenuous hikes. Be prepared for a steady incline for the entirety of the trek to the watch tower. Once there, the views are phenomenal!