Tag - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome – Smokies

Clingmans Dome – Easy to Moderate (N 35.5545, W -83.4950): Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Smokies and Tennessee–6,642 feet. The view is astounding when the weather’s good. Start early–later in the day the parking area gets crowded and the air gets hazier. A few trails...

Oconaluftee River Trail

Oconaluftee River Trail

Oconaluftee River Trail (N 35.5131, W – 83.3066): One of the park’s best walks combines two separate experiences. The 1.5-mile ORT leads from the Mountain Farm Museum, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, to the town of Cherokee–or from Cherokee to the farm. Hiking either way (or out...

Gatlinburg Trail Smokies

Gatlinburg Trail – Smokies

Gatlinburg Trail (N 35.7034, W – 83.5160): This 2-mile greenway style path between Gatlinburg and the Sugarlands Visitor Center is a great walk, run or bike ride. The path winds along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River beside Newfound Gap Road. It passes under the Gatlinburg...

Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail

Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail (N 35.6795, W -83.5312): The easiest of the park’s nature trails make nice walks. The Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail is a half-mile wander through a mossy, high elevation Canadian Zone forest at the park’s highest elevations. It’s very level...

Big Creek Trail SMokies

Big Creek Trail Hike – Smokies

Big Creek Trail (N 35.7518, W – 83.1097): For a longer but still gradual walk, Big Creek is great as an out and back waterfall hike of 4 miles. Take a left up the gated road just back from the picnic area parking. The old railroad grade rises easily its entire length along one of the...

Chimney Tops Hike Smokies

Hike Chimney Tops – Smokies

Chimney Tops – Strenuous (N 35.6357, W -83.4699): This 4-mile roundtrip hike is a true peak experience. Great views and exhilarating exposure are both found at the top of this rocky summit. This hike is not easy, but it’s one of the park’s easiest high adventure hikes. Head up the...

Appalachian Trail Smokies

Appalachian Trail – Smokies

Appalachian Trail – Strenuous (N 35.6110, W -83.4248): Everybody wants to try the storied Georgia-to-Maine footpath. From Newfound Gap, the trail heads east to fabulous views at The Jump-Off and craggy Charlie’s Bunion. Head up the AT to start this 6.5-mile out-and-back hike to the...

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls Trail – Smokies

Grotto Falls Trail – Moderate (N 35.6804, W -83.4626): The 2.6 mile roundtrip hike to Grotto Falls is fun because the trail swings behind and below the cascade. Llama teams regularly use this trail (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) to resupply LeConte Lodge so you might see them going...

Alum Cave Trail Hike

Alum Cave Hike – Smokies

Alum Cave (Great Smoky Mountains):  Moderate to Strenuous (N 35.6288, W -83.4508): Tennessee’s LeConte Lodge is the East’s highest overnight hostel and a stay is great fun. Many people take this shortest trail to the hut, but there’s a great view half way up and much to see...