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.
- Good headlamp
- Extra batteries
- Spare flashlight
- Warm clothes
- Warm company
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Chillin, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Straight Uphill Shot to the Summit
Okay so I loved this hike, the first mile is really gradual and easy hike. You hike along a beautiful river and cross a number of bridges which all provide great photo opps (if they're not swarming with people). After the first mile you take off uphill, like, realllyyyy take off uphill. I'm definitely the kind of hiker that loves a good uphill climb but this had my calves burning and I stopped about 10 times (no lie) to catch my breath and let my heart rate slow down. But the views from the top are worth every step. Be advised that you do have to scramble up a steep rock face to get to the final summit and while I was there, there were at least 9 people at the base of the rock who couldn't get up it. All and all this hike was awesome and I'd love to do it again for a sunset!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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. :)
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.
More Adventures Nearby
Visit The Mindfield
Tennessee / The Mindfield
Driving through Brownsville, TN you might miss "The Mindfield" if you aren't paying attention. It's situated behind a barber shop and a motel.
Hike House Mountain, TN
Tennessee / House Mountain Welcome Center
House Mountain is a short, at times strenuous hike that is doable in all weather conditions.