Hiking Project Logo

Chimney Tops Trail

  4.7 ( 101 ) Favorite


4.2 mile 6.7 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 1,420' 433 m
Descent: -1,420' -433 m
High: 4,752' 1,448 m
Low: 3,407' 1,038 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 60% (31°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Dolly McLean

A great out and back hike on a steep two mile trail with unbelievable views.

Dolly McLean

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This beautiful hike is about 4 miles roundtrip. The trail is steep in some places as you climb to the high point of 4840 ft., before descending back the way you came.


Start from the paved parking lot at the trailhead. If there is a tour bus, the trail will be crowded - if you want quiet, go in early winter. There is also a new sign with the trail description and route of the trail.

It is a 2 mile hike to the base of the rock. At the base of the rock, you can take a steep climb up the rock face - be careful as it is dangerous, especially in wet conditions. Climb at your own risk. However, you WILL enjoy the view from the top!

The trail begins at the low rock wall bordering the parking lot area. It descends to a bridge across the Walker Camp Prong of the Little Pigeon River. The trail then crosses several bridges along the mile to Beech Flats. The second and third bridge both cross the Road Prong and get you to Beech Flats Cove. This is the halfway mark of the trail.

At Beech Flats, the Chimney Tops Trail crosses the Road Prong Trail that in turn leads to the Appalachian Trail at Indian Gap, 2.3 miles away. If you are going to Chimney Tops, you'll need to stay on the main trail that veers right into a creek valley on the north side of Sugarland Mountain.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain laurel white and pink flowers in May - June. Rhododendron, red spruce, hemlocks and yellow Buckeyes

There are many flowering trees and shrubs. There is Fraser Magnolia near the first bridge. Its blossoms are large, white and pretty hard to miss when in bloom in late April into early May. There is also a large variety of wildflowers. In spring Trillium and Hepatica. In summer, Joe-Pye weed, Bee-balm, and Jewelweed . Violets, Toothworts and Foamflowers also grow nearby.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Oct 13, 2019
Manoj Abey
Difficult in the beginning. Top part of hike, cliff is currently closed. — 4h 00m
Sep 30, 2019
Sep 24, 2019
Sydney Herron
Aug 16, 2019
Anne T
Crisp, light, charming. Happy hikers.
Aug 3, 2019
Blake Travis
tough hike for me, but well worth it — 3h 30m
Aug 2, 2019
Nancy K
정수간사님 영은언니랑 (rainy) 3.8mi — 12h 52m
Jul 17, 2019
Caleb Stapleton
Jul 3, 2019
Chris Phillips

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 101 votes


  4.7 from 101 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


145 Views Last Month
7,138 Since Sep 4, 2015



View below the Chimney Tops.
Dec 31, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
The day the Smokies are gone in the afternoon
Sep 3, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
We are about to surrender!
Dec 31, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
Water roaring over the rocks.
Dec 31, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
Heading up the flight of stairs.
Dec 30, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
A view of the top.
Dec 30, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking