Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Charlies Bunion [Suggest Edits]

38 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

If you're looking for sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains, few places will reward you the way that Charlies Bunion will. Don't be scared off by the name, as the route was the result of a hike shared by early park proponents Horace Kephart and Charlie Conner. When the pair reached the summit, Charlie removed his shoes and socks to reveal a feature that looked remarkably like the outcrop that the men were sitting on.

Though there are numerous peaks in the mountain range, dense vegetation will often obstruct the sweeping views that might be expected. The summit of Charlies Bunion is "bald," meaning that the rocky surface of the peak prevents vegetation from overtaking the area. In addition, a wildfire cleared many of the trees from the sides of Charlies Bunion, which only enhances your sight lines. The result is that Charlies Bunion provides some of the best views of the entire park.

Upon reaching the bald, take your time to soak up the beauty that the summit has to offer. This point offers some of the farthest reaching views, and visitors will be able to see all the way from Mount LeConte and Mount Kephart to the west and northwest, to the Sawteeth Range in the east. This incredible panorama is lovely and unique.

This is one of the most popular viewpoints in the park, so make sure to set out early or during the winter season to avoid most of the crowds. With a spectacular reward, and a chance to hike on the famous Appalachian Trail (AT), it's no wonder why the area sees so many visitors annually.

Additionally, the area surrounding Charlies Bunion is populated by cliffs and other steep topography. You'll want to be extra cautious around the bald.

Half-Day Hike: Visitors will have to undertake an 8 mile (roundtrip) hike to reach the bald.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

Jul 6, 2019
TJ Wilson
Jul 2, 2019
janelle mo
Jul 1, 2019
Haixuan Ye
Apr 28, 2019
K Flatford
Mar 27, 2019
Marcin Teczar
Dec 29, 2018
Landon Reynolds
Nov 18, 2018
Chelsea Root
Nov 16, 2018
Wes Pitt
33°... snow on the ground and ice on the trees! Should be a fun hike!

Nearby Trails

10.7 mi 17.3 km Alum Cave - Cliff Top Out and Back
Gatlinburg, TN
10.7 mi 17.3 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
13 days ago
173 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Charlies Bunion Out and Back
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud
9 days ago
81 
4.2 mi 6.7 km Chimney Tops Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
4.2 mi 6.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
94 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Ramsey Cascades Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud - Buggy!
13 days ago
45 
17.7 mi 28.6 km Mt. Sterling Loop (Big Creek / Baxter Creek)
Cove Creek, NC
17.7 mi 28.6 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
34 
3.6 mi 5.8 km Andrews Bald Out and Back
Bryson City, NC
3.6 mi 5.8 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
38 days ago
37 
10.8 mi 17.4 km Mt. Cammerer from Low Gap
Newport, TN
10.8 mi 17.4 km Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
28 
2.6 mi 4.2 km Grotto Falls
Gatlinburg, TN
2.6 mi 4.2 km Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud - Muddy in spots following recent rains. Note that this is on the Trillium Gap Trail which is closed for trail maintenance M-Tr
26 days ago
34 
0.8 mi 1.3 km Clingmans Dome Trail
Bryson City, NC
0.8 mi 1.3 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Dry
19 days ago
43 
6.6 mi 10.7 km Rainbow Falls Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
6.6 mi 10.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud
56 days ago
29 
Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Aug 5, 2016. All Page Views: 3,801. Last Month: 103.