Hike the Chimney Tops

Tennessee Chimney Tops Trailhead

Added by Mason Boring

Scramble to the top of the peak for great summit views on this short steep, but fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Chimney Top's Trail is one of the most visited trails in the Smokies, which is why I recommend going up just before sunset to beat the crowd!

During the summer and fall months, it's easy to see a hundred people taking in the view on the same trail, but if you scramble on out after hours, you can easily find yourself alone just in time to catch the sunset. Get to the trailhead and hour and a half or two hours before sunset to give yourself plenty of time to explore in the daylight.

Be very cautious on the out scramble. This isn't recommended for beginners. But if you do, you won't regret the solitude or the view.

Pack List

  • Good headlamp
  • Extra batteries
  • Spare flashlight
  • Warm clothes
  • Warm company
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



3.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1487 Feet



Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Moonlit hike

The last time we did this hike, we started just after sunset and hiked with headlamps. For the final scramble, it was bright enough for us to turn off our headlamps and very carefully climb to the top in the moonlight. Great experience, but not recommended for beginners, as it is quite steep and you've got to be really careful with your footing. I would only recommend a night hike to experienced hikers, and in dry/warm conditions. In the winter this trail can be very icy.

about 2 months ago

4 months ago

Fun Climb At The End

Go really early in the day or later in the evening to beat the crowd. We got there at 6:30am and only saw one other person the whole way. If you're physically fit, the hike will go fast. It's two miles to get there, then two miles back. Also, be ready to climb at the very end for a stunning view. If you're afraid of heights, the climb may be intimidating.

4 months ago

4 months ago

Great Experience

This was a very scenic hike and the view makes the scramble to the top worth it. The attached video documents the final scramble, but don't worry, it isn't as steep as the fisheye lens makes it out. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh-DZF6iyOM&feature=youtu.be

4 months ago

5 months ago

Great View

Pretty steep 2 miles on the way up. Scaling the rock feels a little sketchy, but if you take your time you'll be fine. View from the top is definitely worth it. Rock is very slick though, so if there is any feel of rain it'd probably be best to get back down of the rock. Must do though if you're in the smokies.

5 months ago

5 months ago

Incredible! And Terrifying!

In love with this hike. You follow a beautiful river all the way up the mountain (until you're almost at the summit). The hike is hard as it is incredibly steep and hundreds of stairs. When we got to the top we began scaling the rocks you first see. We made it have way up before realizing going further wasn't going to happen. (The next rock was vertical and I wasn't about to see if I could make it). Also lots of bees so don't wear perfume or smelly things. We found out you can take the tiny path behind the sign (to the right of the rock face) and find a much easier way up!! That way was not a problem at all!

5 months ago

7 months ago

Great Hike!

The hike and scramble to the top is definitely worth it for the view!

7 months ago

8 months ago

Done this one many times

This hike is absolutely amazing and I have completed it many times. Expect to scramble up some rocks towards the end and if you bring small children with you keep a close eye. If there is snow on the trail make sure you have proper footwear or it will be miserable(first hand experience). This hike offers some beautiful views of the Great Smokies.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Insane Hike

My favorite hike in the Smokies! Definitely not for those scared of heights. Lots of steep stairs but an awesome view at the top.

9 months ago

9 months ago

A spectacular hike

A Smokies classic, always busy, but a must do

9 months ago

9 months ago

Favorite Hike In The Smokies

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Smokies. It is fairly short so the large elevation gain is over a short stretch. It will get your heart pumping. The best part is the climb up the rocks at the top which is necessary to get to the view. When you do make it up the rocks, the view is breathtaking. I continued about halfway to the second chimney but getting to the second chimney is definitely challenging. A must-do hike in the Smokies!

9 months ago

about 1 year ago

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes and my go-to when taking my friends out. I'm a thrill seeker i suppose and the scramble at the end is why i keep returning, once you're at the top of the first "chimney," you can, very carefully, continue on to two or three more with a little balance and boldness. :)

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This is not a good trail if you have any fear of heights. To get to the top where the view is, you have to scramble up rocks. It feels very sketchy. Once you get to the top, there is a big area to hang out, relax, picnic, etc.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

I've made this hike twice, and it's nothing short of spectacular! Very dangerous at the end to get on the very top, but many little kids were doing it.

over 1 year ago

Added by Mason Boring

adventurer | laugher | wayfarer | humanist | photographer | woodsman | fan of the underdog | friend of the down and out

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