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Jakes Creek AT Loop


A challenging, yet breathtaking 2-day loop with many highlights.

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5,746' 1,751 m


2,309' 704 m


4,600' 1,402 m


4,600' 1,402 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

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


This loop is a challenging 2-day route that takes you past an old community, then up to some great views from the Appalachian Trail and back down, all while passing some beautiful cascading creeks.

Need to Know

Make sure to make backcountry camping reservation as the sites in the area tend to fill up.


Start at the Jakes Creek Trail Trailhead parking area just past the Elkmont Campground. Start along the Jakes Creek Trail for .3 miles and turn left onto Cucumber Gap Trail. This trail steadily climbs for a little over a mile before descending back onto the Little River Trail.

Stay on Little River Trail for 1.3 miles until you cross Lost Creek by bridge. There is a nice large log to take a small break before starting up the long climb of Goshen Prong Trail. Make a right at Goshen Prong Trail. A creek flows to your right and after a mile you can see some beautiful cascades. Around the 3.2-mile mark, you'll reach campsite #23 which makes for a nice place to take a small rest. From here the trail begins to climb from about 3200' to 5700'.

Around the 5-mile mark there is a stream which will become your last water source until you reach the AT. Just past the stream is a small cave. Eventually, the Goshen Prong Trail ends at the Appalachian Trail. From here, turn right. Double Spring Gap shelter is .6 mile and makes for a great stopping point for the day. Fill up your water here, as it is the last water source until you reach the lower parts of Jakes Creek Trail for some miles. Double Spring Gap shelter is quite popular with AT hikers as it has water and a privy. Silers Bald Shelter is another mile or so and is less busy but has no water or privy.

From the right turn that you just made, you'll reach Silers Bald which is marked by a marker on top of a rock. The shelter is located about .25 miles from here. The AT continues along the top of the mountains never dropping you too far below the ridge line. Around the 3-mile mark, you'll turn right on Miry Ridge Trail and start a long descent of about 5 miles until you reach Jake's Gap.

From here jump on Jakes Creek Trail for a quick and easy 3.3 miles back to the trailhead.


Shared By:

Brian Carpenter with improvements by Blake Dickson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 19 votes


in Elkmont


  4.4 from 19 votes
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in Elkmont


24 Views Last Month
8,450 Since Nov 27, 2016



Looking south from the AT, you can see Fontana Lake in the distance.
Oct 18, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Water crossing on Goshen Prong off of Little River Trail, Rocks and a fallen tree handrail make it an easy crossing.
Apr 27, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Jakes Creek Trail - gravel road.  Flowering trees during the springtime.
Jan 14, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Path is well-worn and has a bit of root/rock exposure. Wildflowers border the trail during springtime.
Jan 14, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Sharp-lobed Hepatica on the Cucumber Gap Trail
Apr 22, 2019 near Gatlinburg, TN
Cucumber Gap Trail - a nice trail in the woods.
Jan 14, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN


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Mar 8, 2022
Blake Dickson
Great for the most part. Goshen Prong trail had fallen trees and thorny overgrowth. No water between Double Spring shelter and lower Jakes Creek Trail 24.5mi — 12h 30m
Jun 28, 2021
Maddie Morgan
Four day hike stopping at campsite 28, Silver's Bald shelter, and campsite 23 with a quick hop out towards Clingman's Dome on Day 3. 32mi — 10h 30m
Oct 3, 2019
Josh Jarrell
Trail was great! There were a few areas with some overgrowth but the trail was still clearly visible. No issues to report. 26.5mi — 9h 13m
Aug 25, 2019
Mauricio H Munoz Acosta
Not for the faint of heart. Wife and I thought it would be easier but with bear warnings everywhere, it was tough to find spots to camp. Will give… 26.2mi — 15h 47m
Jul 5, 2019
Demetrio Gonzalez
May 25, 2019
Chris Moore
8h 00m
Mar 23, 2019
Scott Basford
Took this loop in reverse order and made it a single day hike and really enjoyed it; if you go by the signed mileage, it's 26 miles, not 24.5. 26mi — 10h 14m
Oct 20, 2018
Matt Milburn