Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Tennessee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

scenic driving
5 hours ago

This always gets high reviews but both times I've gone I was underwhelmed. Also, people stop for everything and once you are in loop it is hard to get back out if you don't want to wait.

hiking
9 hours ago

Great out and back trail with a beautiful waterfall! They advertise at the park that it is 2.5 miles each way but it is more than that.

hiking
9 hours ago

Had a awesome family hike with my wife and two kids. We all had a blast. Waterfall was beautiful!! Love Tennessee!!

So we “accidentally” decided to do this hike once we got to alum cave. Don’t be like us and not pack snacks but do know the LeConte Lodge (yes a magical snack-filled mountain lodge!) sells snacks and such from 12-4 pm. We luckily had cash on us so once we got to the top we got a few snickers bars and upped our blood sugar for the hike back down. It’s a gorgeous hike, but definitely leave yourself some time!

One of the best hikes ive ever done! Beautiful hike along a stream til the Arch Rock which is amazing to walk through. Inspiration Point was so beautiful, especially with all the rhododendron blooms. The hike to Alum Cave is sorta hard so be prepared for a steep incline past that point. The hike to Mt Leconte is very difficult and recommend yall have an early start if you wanna reach the mtn. The best view is on Myrtle Point past the cabins.

hiking
16 hours ago

Great 5.5-mile hike to beautiful Rainbow Falls and back with smaller water falls and running water along the way. Hiking shoes are a plus if you have them. Getting to the falls was well worth the uphill trek that takes at least 1 1/2 hours at a moderate pace. We’re from flat Florida and fairly fit, but still found the hike challenging. Enjoy!

It’s gorgeous. For the first time hiker, I can see why it would be rated Hard. Definitely worth it. The views on your way to the top are just as gorgeous as the ending at the top.

Great views. Difficult but well worth it.

Absolutely loved it!!! It was somewhat difficult but It is all worth it once you get to the waterfall!

Great family hike. 3hours round trip. Make sure to get there early. Was crowded on the way down and not much parking. closed monday-thursday to work on trail.

This is a great trail. Very challenging, but well worth it at the end. I recommend hiking boots/shoes not Chacos! :^)

This trail was amazing. Wear good hiking shoes/boots and bring snacks. We started at 7:10 am and finished at 2:15 PM. It was perfect but we were glad to have packed food and extra water so we could hang out at Myrtle Point longer. The hike down was difficult on the knees.

We hiked to the cave and the scenery along the way was beautiful. The cave was a little disappointing because of the man-made stairs, however it was a enjoyable hike. this is not recommended for the weekend because of the crowds.

Very beautiful hiking. Intense but worth the work. Do yourself a favor, and only bring one package of Chana Masala. Double check the map, because when you’re tired, you go the wrong way... twice.

This trail was great. It’s within walking distance to cafes cove camp ground right across from a visiting center with trail maps. Trail is marked really well and easy to follow. Definitely on the upper scale of moderate a lot of elevation. We saw a lot of bear poo on the trail but no bears.

road biking
2 days ago

The Loop was beautiful, we saw 2 black bears and got an excellent workout in. With a road bike definitely an easy ride, but in those rental cruisers I’d say moderate because they don’t handle hills well, and there was definitely a lot of them. If you decide to bike this go In the morning, they shut the road down to vehicles on Saturday between the hours or 7 and 10. We went when the roads were open and it was pretty much traffic and dodging cars. Still an excellent ride and I’m happy we did it.

This was the first hike we did in the Smoky Mountains. The first three miles are tough, as it’s just up, up, and more up. This is where most of the elevation gain occurs. After the first few miles the trail connects with the Appalachian Trail, which you then take to the Mount Cammerer lookout trail spur. The views from the lookout are spectacular and make the tough hike up worthwhile and rewarding. It’s also cool to go inside the lookout tower on top. This hike was very quiet and peaceful as well. We only saw a few people on our way up, and this was on a weekend in June.

One more thing of note: The bugs were bad on this hike. I get bothered easily by the constant buzzing and flying around my face, so I wore my Buff pretty much the whole hike. I didn’t notice the bugs being a problem on any other hikes in the park except this one.

Fun hike! Although Mother Nature did not cooperate (it was rainy and cloudy all the way up and halfway down) this was still a great hike. I just wish we got the great view from the top that everyone was raving about! Next time :).

I loved the varying terrains throughout the hike. You never seemed to be bored! My wife remarked that she enjoyed being cliff side for most of the hike instead of in the woods/forest (like Mt. Cammerer). It offered more scenic stopping points and small payoffs.

This was our favorite hike in the Smoky’s! We included the Jump Off on our way to Charles Bunion (an extra 0.6 mile). The trail starts at the Newfound Gap parking lot, and it’s about 4.4 miles until the Charles Bunion lookout, which is absolutely breathtaking. We could have spent all day at the lookout! Highly recommend.

We hiked this today, a Wednesday. We headed out early so we wouldn’t get caught in the slow moving
Cades Cove Loop traffic. But we outsmarted ourselves, since the Loop is open to only bike traffic until 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want an early start go a different morning. The trail is as advertised, moderate ups and downs all the way. Some parts are more rocky than I like. The mountain laurel was still blooming in many places. The falls are quite pretty with nice areas to rest and regroup before heading back.

Love this trail, even in the pouring rain! I wish there were more signs on the trail to Myrtle Point. We saw a couple turned around after seeing a pile of rocks and so we did too. After talking to other hikers, they suggested to keep going. The view was priceless!! We took 3 hours up to LeConte Lodge and about 2.5 hours down to our car.

Tried to do this trail counterclockwise, blazes were pretty poor. Could be a nice trail, but there are tons of unmarked side trails and it's pretty easy to get off the main trail. Got off the trail somewhere around mile 2 and had to double back, got fed up and left. May try again this winter, tons of spider webs. Saw 2 deer and a camper that decided to squat and pee right in the middle of the trail.

Do not hike this trail unprepared. Not the hardest hike I've been on but I've been on very difficult hikes. We ended up going 11.0 miles with 1890 ft of gain on a hot June day. Big laurel falls was cool along the away and the sheep Cave was cool as well. We went on a low water day so we were able to explore a little bit more. We ended up taking a little bit longer of a route so your trip may not be 11 miles. Unfortunately there was a bit of trash and a fire that wasn't put out all the way. So please be responsible for others and animals around you.

the trail infrastructure was top notch. My son and i hiked to the top in 2hrs, hung out at the lodge and the cliff summit then took another 2hrs to hike down. Breathtaking views! maybe it was the hike up that took my breath ... lol.

hiking
4 days ago

The trail has a slow elevation climb to the top of the falls so you never have to worry about a steep climb. Hardest part of the trail were stepping over large rocks/tree roots. Trail is well maintained. There are some creek crossings so if it rains heavy the day before, you may get your shoes wet. We got to the trail at 9am and it wasn't crowded, took us 3 hours round trip and on the way back there were lots of people. I'm your average couch potato and I made the hike, but plenty of people were stopping along the way for breaks. Keep in mind there are some small falls you'll see along the way, so if you don't feel like you can make the journey and want to turn back, you will have still seen some beautiful scenery.

Overall good experience. Had to turn back halfway due to part of trail being closed off. Very quiet. Our group was only ones on trail during that time.

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!

I did this hike in late March. The falls were roaring! Absolutely spectacular! It was strenuous, but all of the waterfalls and boulders kept it fascinating and our interest peaked. I would recommend at least 3L of water for this hike during the summer. The hike out definitely tested my limits, but going at a steady pace helped a tad. Will definitely do this again in the fall!

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

This is a nice, tough day hike. The trail is a great alternative to the busy stone door side of the park. I completed this on a beautiful Sunday in June, and I only saw two other hikers. Long sections include hopping over wet rocks, so it is slower hike.

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