Hiking Trails

Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be a fun and exciting experience. It is a great way to both see and experience the beauty of the Smokies. Below is a list of some of the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. The distances shown are round trip.

The cabin, chalet and condo rentals at Ski Mountain Chalets in Gatlinburg, TN are all conveniently located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and downtown Gatlinburg. Hiking in the Smokies is easily accessible from our Gatlinburg cabins, chalets and condos.

Hiking the Smokies is the best way to experience the beauty of this area we call home!

Trail Breakdown

Trail Length Difficulty Description
Alum Cave 4.4 Miles Moderate to Difficult It includes Arch Rock, a natural arch, Inspiration Point, and the Alum Cave Bluff. Inspiration Point offers a spectacular view of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River’s upper basin. The trailhead is at the Alum Cave Bluffs parking area on Newfound Gap road (Hwy 441).
Andrews Bald 3.6 Miles Moderate This hike heads downslope to a bald. Excellent views open to the south, toward Fontana Lake. The Andrews Bald trailhead is at the Clingmans Dome parking area off of Newfound Gap Rd (Hwy 441) This trailhead is not accessible by car from 12/1 to 4/1.
Anthony Creek Varies Moderate This is Cades Cove’s easternmost trail. It begins in the Cades Cove picnic area. The trail follows Anthony Creek to its headwaters. After three miles the trail reaches backcountry campsite #9. After another mile the path merges with Bote Mountain Trail. Destinations include Spence Field, the Appalachian Trail, and Rocky Top. Rocky Top holds one of the Park’s best vistas.
Cades Cove Nature 2 Miles Easy This is a great trail for families. It is less than one mile past the Cades Cove Visitor Center, and begins along the loop road. The two mile loop hike takes about an hour. A brochure explains more about the Cove’s cultural and natural history.
Charlies Bunion 8 Miles Moderate to Difficult Following the Appalachian Trail, this hike goes out to rocky crags along the State-line ridge. It has excellent views. The trail head is at the parking lot at Newfound Gap.
Clingmans Dome 1 Mile Easy but Steep Clingmans Dome is the highest place in the Smokies. An observation tower at the top provides spectacular 360 degree views on clear days. The well maintained trail is wide and paved making it easy to push a stroller (although it is very steep).
Chimney Tops 4 Miles Difficult It is a steep climb to two rock spires 4,730 feet in elevation. From the top they provide a spectacular 360-degree view. The trail head is at the Chimney’s parking lot on Newfound Gap Rd (Hwy 441).
Gregorys Bald 8.5 Miles Difficult Cades Cove most scenic, but strenuous, hike is the Gregory Bald Ridge Trail. The trailhead is on Forge Creek Road. Follow Forge Creek Road two miles. It ends as a parking lot. The trail to Gregory Bald begins here. This tough trip gains 3,000 feet in elevation. Old growth forest, with eight-foot diameter tulip poplars, and the 10acre bald highlights this trail.
Look Rock .5 Mile Easy The easy half mile hike leads to an observation tower with spectacular 360 degree views of the mountains. The tower and the view is similar to Clingmans Dome, but much less crowded. There is also a nice picnic area. From Townsend take a left on the Foothills Parkway 11 miles to the trail head.
Mt. Leconte 10 Miles Moderate to Difficult For viewing spectacular Smoky Mountain sunrises and sunsets, there is no better place than Mt. LeConte. View the sunrise from Myrtle Point The trailhead is at the Alum Cave Bluffs parking area on Newfound Gap road (Hwy 441).
Sugarlands 1 Mile Easy The path was designed for people with disabilities. It is paved and fairly level making it easy for people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities. It is also good for children in strollers and older visitors. Park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center.