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 wide trail over stream bridges along rushing Road Prong and turn right in 0.9 mile at a junction. The trail gets steep then more gradual when the ridge leads out to where the Chimneys rise into the sky. This last climb is a rocky scramble around and up the crag. Use caution on this route! For the less adventurous, there is an easier route around the right side. The Newfound Gap Road lies below. Mount LeConte towers above.
Directions: The Chimney Tops parking area is on Newfound Gap Rd., 7.1 miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center, 2.5 miles south of Chimneys Picnic Area, and 22 miles north of Oconaluftee Visitor Center.