Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Charlies Bunion [Suggest Edits]

51 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

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2021
Ines Kelly
Saturday, morning
Jun 21, 2021
T Shank
Nice hike. 8m 5:56
Jun 16, 2021
Tom Herr
Great views of the rolling Smoky Mountains from a rocky outcrop.
Jun 2, 2021
Brandon Sikon
hell of a view
May 22, 2021
Allison K
Apr 22, 2021
udo schmeling
Mar 20, 2021
Richard Mahoney
Mar 10, 2021
Eleanor Wells

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Plenty of mountains to view from Clingman's Dome.

Clingmans Dome

(116) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Hike the popular 2.3 mile roundtrip trail to reach the 80 foot Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The falls is broken up in an upper and lower section with a narrow bridge cutting across. This photo is shot at the bottom of the lower section of the falls.

Laurel Falls

(89) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Alum Cave in the fog

Alum Cave Bluffs

(65) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

(45) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Andrews Bald.

Andrews Bald

(28) Bryson…, NC
gem Favorite Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower - located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Appalachian Trail. For a day hike, start at Cosby Campground and take Lower Gap Trail ( about 11.1 miles r/t).

Mt. Cammerer Lookout Tower

(19) Newport, TN
gem Favorite Inside the mill

Mingus Mill

(21) Cherokee, NC
gem Favorite Hen Wallow Falls - courtesy of the National Park Service.

Hen Wallow Falls

(20) Newport, TN

Nearby Trails

10.7 mi 17.3 km Alum Cave - Cliff Top Out and Back
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Muddy
9 days ago
231 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Charlies Bunion Out and Back
Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
1 day ago
114 
4.2 mi 6.7 km Chimney Tops Trail
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
22 days ago
131 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Ramsey Cascades Trail
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Muddy
11 days ago
62 
17.7 mi 28.6 km Mt. Sterling Loop (Big Creek / Baxter Creek)
Difficult
Cove Creek, NC
Difficult
Cove Creek, NC
All Clear
Update
Dry
32 days ago
50 
0.8 mi 1.3 km Clingmans Dome Trail
Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Dry, Mostly Dry
18 days ago
68 
5.4 mi 8.7 km Rainbow Falls
Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
21 days ago
57 
3.6 mi 5.8 km Andrews Bald Out and Back
Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
18 days ago
55 
2.6 mi 4.2 km Grotto Falls
Intermediate
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
21 days ago
57 
10.8 mi 17.4 km Mt. Cammerer from Low Gap
Difficult
Newport, TN
Difficult
Newport, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
66 days ago
38 
Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Aug 5, 2016. All Page Views: 5,621. Last Month: 85.