Hike the Chimney Tops

3.8 Miles Round Trip - 1487 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Chimney Tops Trailhead - Search Nearby - 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.


Swimming Hole


3.8 Miles
1487 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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The trail is temperarily closed

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).

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!

John Sides

about 3 years 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.