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

great trail and a lot to see. loved the old farm house and barn.

I have previously hiked other trails up LeConte and was happy to see a change of scenery on this trail. The different rock features were interesting and the Bluff was neat. I started out early so I was able to easily find parking and avoided the crowds.

Definitely a must see if you're in the area! 4 miles up and 4 miles down. The first 2 miles are mostly up hill but don't get discouraged! It is definitely worth the hike. When you eventually get to the "Charlie's Bunion" sign, most people take a left toward the "Bunion". I recommended taking a right to stay on the AT. There is a small trail as soon as you form to the right on the left hand side.. Take that straight up to the trail less traveled for an even BETTER view of the Smokies! This is the highest point t possible to view the Bunion. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks!

Great trail. Took my 7 yr and we had the Bunion to ourselves for 40 amazing minutes today. Trail is absolutely moderate, not hard but not easy. First2 miles is uphill but then levels out to a nice high forest. The length should not be a deterrent if you bring enough food and water. Great views but the Bunion is small. Could be dangerous when crowded.

hiking
2 days ago

Very well kept trail. Challenging but doable!

Fairly steady climb, not too strenuous. There's a steep right turn about 0.3 miles from the top that can be easy to miss as that part of the trail is not as obvious.
The views are spectacular. When we got there, we were on top of the clouds. After several minutes they broke and we could see for miles.
I would definitely recommend it if you are wanting a sunrise hike as well, as the vista faces east over the valley.
Approx 2 hours up, 90 minutes down. Expect a lot of traffic, and set off early.

Challenging trail but, the views are amazing.

hiking
2 days ago

A lot of trees covered some of the great views but the ones we found were spectacular. A great hike into a temperate rainforest.

hiking
3 days ago

A great hike, the stairs through the rock makes the hiking interesting. At the top of alum Cave, the view was ok, but the cave is magnificent. My 5 year old enjoyed it.

on Rainbow Falls Trail

hiking
3 days ago

A good hike. Only opens on Fridays to Sundays. Mostly unpaved, with rain it could be a bit muddy. My 5 year old did it. It took a bit time to hike up, but coming down was a breeze.

Fantastic hike, amazing views

My favorite hike ever!! We started the hike at about 7:15am so there were only a few other people along the trail so early. Inspiration point at about 2 miles is beautiful! Alum cave was pretty neat too. Above there is where the hike really gets interesting to me. Such amazing views and some of the cliffs you are on just make it a great experience. A long hike but worth the effort. We went to the lodge and Cliff Top. I am so glad we did the spur to Cliff Top, the views were stunning!! Felt like we were on top of the world! Took us roughly 6 hours start to finnish. One piece of advice, bring food, we did not and were starving for the last few miles. The Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg was the best $40 I ever spent afterwards.

Starting off in the parking lot the views blow you away. We left early in the morning so the trail was not as busy. Absolutely breathtaking once you reach the Jump Off. Great views along the way also. Once we reached the summit of Mt Kephart we weren't sure if that was the jump off but had to go through some brush to continue. Once we got to the Jump Off there was no mistaking it. Absolutely incredible! Highly reccommend.

Amazing views well worth the trek up the mountain side, the hike will take your whole day. One of my favorite places in the smokies for sure.

This was one of the most beautiful hikes to date.. I highly recommend it but be ready, We did it in 4 hrs but well worth it!!!

AWESOME TRAIL! The Alum Cave makes a great, scenic half-way point to sit and rest or eat. The second half is way more strenuous, but SO MUCH FUN! Even though it was foggy at the top, the lodge was a joy and the hot chocolate was pleasant. Looking forward to doing this one again.

My ABSOLUTE favorite hike in the Smoky Mountains. I always hike up to the Jump Off then back Down to Charlie's and it is always worth it. My gps clocked it at 9.2 miles to complete the Jump Off, Icewater Spring Shelter, and Charlie's Bunion. This hike never disappoints.

This was our second time taking this trail up to the lodge. Beautiful trail and the views at the top are amazing. Unfortunately on this trip at the top the fog and clouds were socked in. Still worth the journey up there.

hiking
7 days ago

Saw bears at two different areas, great hike

little bit of a workout but totally worth it

This trail was beautiful! We hiked to the bluffs and the view there was fantastic! The scenery, bridges, arch and so much more made this trail very interesting. Something different at every turn. Will do this one again.

This hike was beautiful!

This is a great trail. Starts out along the river, cross a nice bridge, and come across the falls. When we went it had rained heavy for days before. I've never seen the river so angry and the falls flowing so well. The river had to be nonstop class 5 rapids. very impressive

Amazing hike. Nice seeing the different types of plants as the elevation changes. Leconte is awesome! We saw a large black bear driving there early in the morning as well. it poured half the trip but it was still 100% worth it.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice enjoyable hike, it took only a hr to hike up to the falls. The falls are well worth the hike.

THIS IS A MUST SEE TRAIL. One of the best views I’ve ever seen the whole way up. Every .25miles you have an amazing view whether it’s an overlook, a cave, a natural waterfall formed by the constant stream, or the huge cave opening. Highly highly recommend this one.

Very enjoyable trail, even though it was pouring on us nearly the whole time. We took the time to go see the Jump Off and I’m sure it would have been beautiful had it not been so misty that morning! There were some difficult sections on the boulevard trail section with steep uphills but the views paid off. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a more secluded approach to LeConte. We did it in three days (1st day: Road Prong Trail+Appalachian Trail with sleep at Icewater Springs Shelter, 2nd day: Charlie’s Bunion back to Boulevard Trail and sleep at LeConte Shelter, 3rd day: coming down LeConte via Alum Cave). Overall an easy paced trail, with us getting done with hiking in early afternoon. Would recommend taking time to see the different viewing points like Myrtle Point and Charlie’s Bunion if you have the time.

Amazing views! Absolutely breathtaking.

Went early like most of the previous reviews suggested (we were on the trail by 7:45am and only saw 2 other cars in the parking area). Ran into about 4 ppl total on the hike to the Bunion, so pretty much had the hike to ourselves.

Lots of steps and scrambling over rocks, which made this trail unique and absolutely fun! The Bunion was masterful; climbed out onto it and had a 45 minutes break with snacks, sunshine, birds, butterflies and stunning, mile-high views.

Headed back to the car, we had to yield frequently to hikers headed up (it was 10:30a by this point) but still were able to make the round-trip hike (including the 45 min AT the Bunion) in just over 4 hours. Our hike ended just after 11am, and by this time the trail head was swarming with people, dogs, kids...and the parking lot was overflowing.

So glad we did this hike early!! And so worth the trek!! Will do again, and will start even earlier (would suggest 7am).

This trail is exactly moderate. Offers lush vegetation, bear sightings, and the occasional salamander.

The views from Charlie’s Bunion are amazing whether it’s clear sky’s, or dissipating clouds. Get an early start to avoid crowds. Most folks don’t get out to the trail until after 9 am. Get up early and enjoy the breathtaking view with limited to no company

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