Best known for its amazing display of azalea blooms in the summer, Gregory Bald is also a great place to catch summit views of the surrounding area.

The Gregory Bald summit is indisputably picturesque – the 10-acre meadow at the top hosts magnificent azalea blooms in June, wild blueberries in August, and views of Cades Cove, Rich Mountain, Fontana Lake, Thunderhead Mountain, and Clingmans Dome, year-round.

Start this hike at the Gregory Ridge Trailhead. You will cross three footbridges, and start making gains in elevation. At the Gregory Bald Trail junction (4.9 miles), turn right to reach the summit.

In June, this hike is especially popular due to the blooms. If you do this hike in August, remember that the blueberries are likely to attract bears, as well.

Photo Credit: Doug Bradley and Nicholas Turland

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Sun protection
  • Bear spray
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 11.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 3020 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

One of the best in GSMNP

I've hiked up here twice now and can't wait to go again. Try to go on a clear day to get the best views Gregory's Bald offers. There's a lot of Appalachian history here, so read up on hit before hitting the trails. Pack a lunch or snack to stop and enjoy at the summit.

Great views! But access road is closed

I've been up to Gregory's Bald several times and it's worth the trip! Unfortunately, Parsons Branch Road is closed at this time, and not just seasonally. The road will be closed for a while due to hazard trees. It's always best to check out the temporary and seasonal road closures on the Smokies website: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm. There are several other ways to get up to Gregroy's Bald besides the Parson Branch Road, though. The other routes are longer and should probably be turned into at least a one-night backpacking trip. But it's well worth it! There is a gorgeous view overlooking Cades Cove and backpacking sites located at the top. If you do spend the night, you'll need to call the Smokies backcountry office and get a permit in advance. I believe cost is $4/night.


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