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Chimney Tops Trail

Difficult
 4.6 (136) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

4.2

Miles

6.7

KM

Out and Back

4,752' 1,448 m

High

3,407' 1,038 m

Low

1,420' 433 m

Up

1,420' 433 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

60%

Max Grade (31°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

The trail is permanently closed at 1.75 miles where there is an overlook of the chimney tops. There is no access to the chimney tops.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Shared By:

Dolly McLean with improvements by Tim Rainey

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 136 votes

#54

Overall
  4.6 from 136 votes
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4 Star
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#54

Overall
78 Views Last Month
9,214 Since Sep 4, 2015
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Photos

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
Chimney tops
Sep 4, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN

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Check-Ins

Oct 4, 2021
Namjun Seoh
Oof
Sep 27, 2021
ningjie hu
Jul 29, 2021
Scott Johnson
Danielle, Rhyan, Dad, & Sandy Saw a bear on the way down foraging in a creek. 4.2mi
Jul 26, 2021
Matthew Piotrowski
Jul 25, 2021
Sammyra Scribner
4.2mi — 2h 15m
Jul 24, 2021
Erin LaFon
Very steep. Trail closed at site of fire 4.2mi — 8h 30m
Jul 10, 2021
caroline storz
great hike!! looootttsss of stairs 3.9mi — 1h 58m
Jul 10, 2021
Junkan Song