Snake Den Ridge Low Gap Trail is a 12.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cosby, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers 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: 12.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,937 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

This would be a great hike for those who are car camping in Cosby Campground or just picnicking at Cosby as well. There are several creeks for cooling off on a hot summer day or trying your luck at trout fishing. The first part of the hike is a steady ascend before you reach the A.T. Once you reach the A.T. it's a welcome feeling as the trail levels out for a while. There are some great views along the A.T. looking west into Cosby and east to Mt. Sterling. You may want to stop off by Cosby Knob Shelter for a rest or just stop by to check it out. Once you pass Cosby Knob you will come to the Low Gap Trail take this to return to Cosby Campground.

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8 months ago

that was a tail kicker

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bugs
over grown
rocky
Sun May 26 2019

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blowdown
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muddy
over grown
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Wed Apr 24 2019

#1. Wear pants. Poison Ivy and other irritable vegetation are overgrown on Snake Den especially. Bugs are reason also. #2. Wear repellent. Mosquitoes and other flying insects were overwhelming. Another reason to wear pants. #3. There was horse manure all over these 13 miles. Not sure if horses are permitted, but they shouldn't be at all. They tore up the trail in many spots. Starting out at Cosby Campground, I took the Low Gap Trail. Note: It is not "low" per say, but rather one long incline to the AT, and keeps inching as you are in the process of climbing Mt Guyot. Then when you reach Snake Den Trail, it is one constant descent with many switchbacks. I never did see a best or snake, but did find fresh bear scat a few hundred feet from the campground.

Thu Nov 22 2018

Great trail takes about 6 hours with limited stops

Tue Jul 03 2018

Hiked up the Snake Den trail to the AT. The climb was difficult and it took nearly 3 hours to reach the AT. The first 2.3 mikes were refreshingly easy, the next 2.4 miles easy, but more rocky. The descent down the Low Gap trail was steep, but the trail in great shape (probably it was once a logging road). It was a good workout. Took 7 hours.

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Thu Jul 27 2017

Ascended Snake Den Ridge and hiked the AT to the Cosby Knob shelter where we tented for the night. Walked through several rain showers and had rain almost all night, be prepared for quickly changing weather! Not a ton of good views, but this is a great one night backpack for folks trying to hone their trail legs.

hiking
Sat Jun 03 2017

Great loop for a long day hike. Took my wife and me about five and a half hours. We are in our fifties and in good shape. We started with Low Gap to the AT then back to Cosby on Snake Den Ridge. Great views along the ridges and water near the bottom on both trails. We were hiking on June 2 and the weather was pleasant.

hiking
Sun May 28 2017

We started at the Low Gap trail head to the AT connection and descended the Snake Den Ridge. Seeing how slow and grueling the Snake Den is I would highly recommend you begin by ascending Low Gap. It is a very steep 2 mile climb, but worth it in my opinion for the shorter (albeit more intense) ascent. It was very foggy, so even though we didn't get any views, it lent the entire hikers enchanted forest effect. This was my first time in the Smoky Mountains, and I found the rainforest climate fascinating. It transplanted me to past trips to Central America. The hike was demanding but very satisfying. It's not for beginners, but I still highly recommend it!

hiking
Mon Aug 22 2016

Mixed review. Snake Den Ridge is long and hard. There is a lovely old growth forest at the bottom, but not many views. It is unrelenting uphill all the way to the AT. It main advantage is being the shortest access to the Old Black/Mt. Guyot section of the AT. Water available on the bottom third, pretty dry the rest of the way.

hiking
Tue Apr 28 2015

I did it in reverse (starting on the Low Gap Trail) because its a shorter climb to the AT. It is a "low gap" though, so you'll continue a moderate climb until making a modest descent down to Camel Gap. From there, its a pretty good climb to the Snake. It was a cloudless day last January, with a thin layer of snow on the AT. There was a pack of fox or bobcat tracks that accompanied me from the Cosby Knob Shelter all the way to the Maddron Bald Trail. Just me, the trail, the tracks and the sunshine - not a soul around the entire loop! I've never hiked up the Snake Den. Although it seems pretty formidable going down, it's been my experience that trails always look more difficult on a descent, than they really turn out being. Regardless, its a real calorie chewer! I shot some really cool pics coming in from a sunny, almost spring-like ridge into a winter wonderland hollow - check 'em out!

Sat Apr 25 2015

Wonderful hike wild flowers on lower portions of trail. Snake Den has been made out by others as terribly difficult but if you are in decent condition will not be bad. Not a real hard hike with the steepest in the beginning the rest was mostly little ups and downs on the AT. Going down Low Gap was really nice with carpets of wildflower.

hiking
Fri Jul 04 2014

Nice hike, it was foggy all day so no views for me, did locate the plane wreckage from the 1984 crash, not much left anymore.

Sun Jul 14 2013

Great hike, but difficult on the Snake Den Ridge portion. Take some pictures of the small waterfalls along the way. Not many views on the AT ridge.

hiking
Sat Oct 01 2011

Pleasant trail. Wasn't to difficult, but not for anyone that is out of shape. Starts out gradually on a gravel road then goes to a trail bout a mile or less from the start in the Cosby campground. Theres an old cemetery about a third of the way up. A famouse poet that wrote about the smoky mountains is buried there along with folks from the early 1900's to as far back as early 1800's. Many headstones were so old they could not be read. Seen a Bear and a very large Doe.

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Sat May 25 2019

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Sun Dec 30 2018

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