Hike to Tip Top on Buffalo Mountain

Hike to Tip Top on Buffalo Mountain

Rate this Adventure Tip Top Trailhead

Distance

5.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

1388 Feet

Activities

Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Merritt McKinney

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Part of the Buffalo Mountain trail system, Tip Top proudly overlooks Downtown Johnson City and its surrounding green mountains. Its shaded overlook provides the perfect place to set up a hammock and relax after the moderate hike.

Tip Top rests on one of the highest points of Buffalo Mountain. The overlook features tree coverage perfect for hammocking and benches while providing views of Downtown Johnson City as well as the other side of the mountain range. The hike from the trailhead to Tip Top is moderately steep. The trail switchbacks 2.7 miles up, is well maintained, and is mostly protected by shade from the thick forest. Tip Top trail is part of the Buffalo Mountain trail system and connects to White Rock - you can access White Rock from Tip Top via via Fork Ridge Trail.

When pulling up Highbridge Road, take a left at the fork. You will shortly encounter a vehicle gate where you will park to the side of the road (do not block the yellow vehicle gate). Set off on the trail located down the embankment. After .15 miles, take a right turn on White Rock Loop (marked with a white blaze). Follow White Rock Loop into Cascade Trail. Follow Cascade Trail for 1.7 miles until you encounter a fork. Bear right at the fork and follow High Ridge Trail until you arrive at Tip Top. All offshoots and forks are clearly marked with trail signs.

The hike to Tip Top is dog friendly and a popular trail-running destination. There is also a camping area at the bottom of the mountain. A picnic table sits on Tip Top for those wanting to pack a lunch. There are various flowers and wild berries off the sides of the trail. 

Tip Top can also be accessed via Lone Oak Trail from Dry Creek Road.  

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $194/night

Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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Distance

5.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

1388 Feet

Activities

Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Merritt McKinney

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Hike to White Rock

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Hike to Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower

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