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Pigeon Forge Tourism


Smoky Mountain Hiking Information

Hiking in the smokies

There are many great trails to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains. Below is a list of popular trails in the area with information such as Elevation Gain, Mileage, Rating, and what features you will see when hiking on the trail. Hiking is great fun for the whole family, but can be dangerous. Please follow caution while hiking in the park.

One of the most daunting tasks facing hikers is choosing a trail. Start by deciding on what you would like to see. Waterfalls? Old-growth forests? Endless views? Then decide how far you would like to hike. If you haven't hiked much recently, be conservative. Five miles roundtrip is a good maximum distance for novices.

Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete your hike before dark. As a rule of thumb, hikers in the Smokies travel about 1.5 miles per hour. Many people travel slower. Sunset times vary from just after 5:00 p.m. in December to almost 9:00 p.m. in June

Hiking Safety Information

Your safety depends on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention. Backcountry hikers should be in good physical condition and be able to survive on their own. Proper equipment and the knowledge of how to use it are essential for a safe trip. Your safety is your responsibility.

Take only pictures, leave only footprints

Here are a few basics to help you get started:

  • Let a responsible person know your route and return time. Have them contact the park at (865) 436-1230 if you do not return within a reasonable time.
  • Always hike with another person. Keep your hiking party together and stay on officially maintained trails. Always keep children in your sight when hiking—do not allow them to get ahead of you or fall behind.
  • Carry a current park trail map and know how to read it.
  • Carry 2 small flashlights or headlamps—even on a day hike. If you have trouble on the trail, darkness may fall before you can finish your hike.
  • Take adequate water—minimum 2 quarts per person per day. All water obtained from the backcountry should be treated either by filtering or boiling.
  • Carry a small first aid kit.
  • Check the current weather forecast and be prepared for quickly changing conditions.
  • Wear shoes or boots that provide good ankle support.
  • Avoid hypothermia (the dangerous lowering of body temperature) by keeping dry. Avoid cotton clothing. Dress in layers that can be easily removed or added as you heat up or cool down. Always carry a wind-resistant jacket and rain gear—even on sunny days!
  • Don’t attempt to cross rain-swollen streams; they will recede rapidly after precipitation stops and the wait may save your life! When crossing any stream more than ankle-deep: unbuckle the waist strap of your pack, wear shoes, and use a staff to steady yourself. Additional water safety information.

Rating Key: E = Easy,M = Moderate, S = Strenuous

Gatlinburg / Mt. Leconte Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Alum Cave Newfound Gap Road Views / Interesting Features
S
1125
5.0
Baskins Creek Falls Roaring Fork Motor Trail Waterfalls
E
953
3.0
Brushy Mountain Roaring Fork Motor Trail Views / Wildflowers / Falls
M
1745
6.8
Bullhead Roaring Fork Motor Trail Views / Interesting Features
M
1607
5.9
Chimney Tops Newfound Gap Road Panoramic Views
M
1350
4.0
Grotto Falls Roaring Fork Motor Trail Walk Behind Falls
E
585
2.6
Husky Gap Newfound Gap Road Quiet Forest Hike
M
1240
4.2
Rainbow Falls Cherokee Orchard Road 80' sheer drop
M
1685
5.4

 

Newfound Gap / Clingmans Dome Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Andrews Bald Clingmans Dome Road Park's Highest Bald / Panoramic Views
M
899
3.5
AT - The Jump Off Newfound Gap Panoramic Views
M
1275
6.5
Charlie's Bunion Newfound Gap Panoramic Views
S
1640
8.1
Clingmans Dome Clingmans Dome Road Panoramic Views / Viewing Tower
Deep Creek Headwaters Newfound Gap Stream
M
1480
5.0
Fork Ridge Trail Clingmans Dome Road Old Growth Spruce-Fir Forest / Wildflowers
S
1500
8.0
Noland Divide Clingmans Dome Road Views / Forest Diversity
S
1679
7.2
Silers Bald Clingmans Dome Road Panoramic Views
S
2152
9.3
Spruce-Fir Trail Clingmans Dome Road Spruce-Fir Forest
E
25
0.4
Sugarland Mountain Trail Clingmans Dome Road Views / Solitude
M
1090
7.0

 

Cades Cove / Townsend Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Abrams Falls Cades Cove Powerful 25' Falls
M
340
5.0
Ace Gap Rich Mountain Road Quiet Forest / Wildflowers
S
400
11.0
Chestnut Top Townsend Views / Wildflowers
S
1486
8.6
Gregory Bald Cades Cove Panoramic Views / Flame Azalea / Old Growth Forest
S
3020
11.3
Lumber Ridge Townsend Views
S
1150
8.0
Middle Prong Townsend Cascading Stream
S
2074
8.2
Rich Mountain Loop Cades Cove Views / Wildflowers / Historical
S
1736
8.5
Rocky Top / Thunderhead Cades Cove Picnic Area Panoramic Views
S
3665
13.9
Schoolhouse Gap Townsend Quiet Forest Hike / Wildflowers
E
513
3.8
Spence Field (Anthony Creek) Cades Cove Picnic Area Panoramic Views
S
2842
10.3
Spence Field (via Lead Cove) Cades Cove Panoramic Views
S
3100
9.4
Spence / Russell Field Loop Cades Cove Picnic Area Panoramic Views
S
3050
13.3
West Prong Townsend Quiet Forest Hike / Historical
M
900
5.4

 

Elkmont Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Cove Mountain Little River Road Waterfalls / Old Growth Forest
S
1776
7.7
Cucumber Gap Loop Elkmont Stream / Wildflowers / Historical
M
830
5.6
Curry Mountain Little River Road Quiet Forest Hike
M
1000
6.6
Husky Gap (Little River Trail) Elkmont Stream / Wildflowers / Historical
S
1080
10.0
Laurel Falls Little River Road Waterfalls
E
314
2.3
Little River Trail Elkmont Stream / Wildflowers / Historical
M
412
4.9
Meigs Creek Little River Road Stream
M
800
7.0
Meigs Mountain Trail Elkmont Quiet Forest Hike
M
661
4.6
Sugarland Mtn. Trail (lower) Little River Road Quiet Forest Hike
M
800
6.0

 

Cherokee / Deep Creek Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Chasteen Creek Smokemont Stream / Waterfalls
S
2499
10.0
Deep Creek Loop Deep Creek Waterfalls / Wildflowers
M
579
4.6
Indian Creek Falls Deep Creek Waterfalls
E
150
1.9
Juney Whank Falls Deep Creek Waterfalls
E
194
0.5
Kanati Fork Trail Newfound Gap Road Wildflowers
M
1495
4.0
Kephart Prong Newfound Gap Road Stream / Wildflowers
M
830
4.0
Lonesome Pine Deep Creek Views
S
2640
6.0
Mingus Creek Oconoluftee Visitor Center Historical
M
748
4.5
Newton Bald Smokemont Quiet Forest Hike / Views
S
2800
10.0
Oconoluftee River Trail Oconoluftee Visitor Center Stream
E
70
3.0
Smokemont Loop Smokemont Stream / Wildflowers / Forest
M
1260
6.0
Toms Branch Falls Deep Creek Waterfalls
E
47
0.6

 

Greenbrier / Cosby Area

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Albright Grove Cosby Old Growth Forest / Wildflowers / Historical
S
1500
7.0
Hen Wallow Falls Cosby Waterfalls
M
520
4.4
Mt. Cammerer Cosby Panoramic Views / Fire Tower
S
2470
12.0
Porters Creek Trail Greenbrier Waterfalls / Stream / Flowers / Historical / Old Growth Forest
M
699
4.0
Ramsay Cascades Greenbrier Waterfalls / Old Growth Forest
S
2375
8.0

 

Balsam Mountain / Big Creek / Cataloochee / Fontana Lake

Trail Location Features
Rating
Elevation Gain
Miles R/T
Balsam High Point Balsam Mountain Views
M
1217
7.0
Flat Creek Falls Balsam Mountain Waterfalls
M
600
4.0
Hemphill Bald Loop Balsam Mountain Panoramic Views / Old Growth Forest
S
2170
13.7
Rough Fork Trail Balsam Mountain Quiet Forest Hike
M
600
5.2
Big Creek / Mouse Creek Falls Big Creek Waterfalls
M
580
4.0
Mt. Sterling Big Creek Views
M
2000
5.6
Big Fork Ridge Loop Cataloochee Old Growth Forest / Historical
S
1800
9.3
Boogerman Loop Cataloochee Historical / Streams / Flowers / Old Growth Forest
M
850
7.4
Shuckstack Fontana Village Views / Wildflowers
S
2120
7.0
Twentymile Loop Fontana Village Stream
M
900
7.5