Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Trail

HARD 86 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.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
8 days ago

We went during late fall, the color of the mountain is AMAZING. The ground is completely covered with golden leaves, the valley was decorated with green, yellow, and garnet. We enjoyed the view of the valley as much as the top! Fall is definitely a great time to go. With that being said, the fallen leaves can make the trail slippery especially when it rains. I wore my workout shoes and I slipped couple of times on the narrow trail (the other side was deep valley) and my feet was hurting stepping on rocks. So bring good hiking shoes. It took about 6-7 hours round trip, so start early and plan a whole day.

10 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Pretty tough trail, but definitely worth it in the end! Once you get into Cosby Campground, the parking area is right before the campground check in, there is a lot to your left. The trailhead here is a little confusing. But to follow Low Gap, you'll walk between the creek and the campgrounds (creek should be to your left). After a few minutes you'll see a readable trail sign, and it's easier to understand the route from there. The first 45minutes are pretty laid back, but after that, it's a steady uphill climb until you reach the sign for AT. It's up and down after that. The tower is cool, few rocks to scramble up at the end, but nothing crazy. Nice spots to sit and rest or eat. Good views for nice photos. Few muddy spots due to being shared with horses. Didn't see much wildlife activity at all. Way more traffic than we were expecting, but still had a lovely solitude feel to it. Going to hit it again in the fall!

23 days ago

26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month 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
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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!!

3 months ago

Strenuous hike but well worth it. Highly recommend it.