Hike the Chimney Tops

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

based on 22 reviews



4.03 miles

Elevation Gain

1487 ft

Route Type



Added by Mason Boring

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

The Chimney Tops 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 common to see a hundred people taking in the views 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 an 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. All who do this hike won't regret the solitude or the view.

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Swimming Hole


Although this mountain was damaged by the fire this hike is still one of the best and the toughest in the smokies and is still worth seeing.

The scramble was damaged during the Gatlinburg Fire and remains closed. The overlook, about a 1/4 mile shy of the scramble, is still a worthwhile destination!

Great trail and one of the icons of the park. Was damaged by the wildfires a couple of years ago. Use caution.

You get halfway and you think, is this gonna be worth it? It is. I had hiked this when I was a kid and as a child with endless energy, I didn’t remember it being as strenuous as it is. We arrived at 11:00am and were back to the bottom by 1:30pm. I will agree with other reviewers, if you have bad knees this hike isn’t for you. Lots of stairs. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and the reward will be really amazing views from the top. Just a note also that The Pinnacles are still closed due to the 2016 fires.

My husband and I did the trail in about 1.5 hours to get out and back, didn’t really know the extent of the stairs, but it was definitely worth it! The views are spectacular just note- if you have bad knees or feet, maybe another trail will be better 😬 not many flat parts to the 3.5ish miles. Either straight up or down

My 2 college friends and one of their moms and I took this hike yesterday and what a great time we had! A couple of us are pretty out of shape so the steep and constant uphill battle took us about 3 hours to get up but when we hit the top it was completely worth it! Breathtaking honestly. Also, because we took the majority of pictures on the way up it only took an hour to come back off. Definitely come see it!!

Really steep. Lots of breaks. Huge pay off!

We are planning to visit this weekend since they've reopened the trail as of the 06-Oct. http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/chimney.htm It looks beautiful!

Due to a park fire late last year, this trail is temporarily closed. Check nps website for most up to date info. Another great hike nearby is Charlie's Bunion (make sure to take the extra jut out to "The Jump Off" for spectacular views).

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!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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