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gem icon Charlies Bunion [Suggest Edits]

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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

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Check-Ins

Sep 27, 2020
Gaosheng XU
Aug 6, 2020
Jodi Lynn
Aug 5, 2020
Tom Muldowney
Roughly 5 hrs round trip
Jun 14, 2020
Melissa B
May 23, 2020
Tanner Borkum
Great spot, moderate hike. Great views if the weather is solid. Hiked during rona, currently open as of May 23
Nov 29, 2019
James Marion
10.7 miles
Oct 11, 2019
Nick S
Oct 7, 2019
David Ross
Fantastically foggy!! magical hike!

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Aug 5, 2016. All Page Views: 4,718. Last Month: 100.