Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Looking for the best backpacking in Gatlinburg? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Gatlinburg. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Gatlinburg

  • Del Rio, Tennessee

    Max Patch to Hot Springs, N.C. via Appalachian Trail

    3.0
    14.06 mi / 2966 ft gain
    Make a weekend trip from Max Patch to Hot Springs N.C., and be sure to soak in the natural hot springs at the old inn after your hike! This is an incredible, relatively easy hike with the reward at the end being hot springs on the French Broad River. You can break this up however you like, this i...
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  • Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, North Carolina

    Backpack Slickrock Creek Trail #42

    30 mi / 3700 ft gain
    8:30 a.m. and we’re winding our way down Highway 129 near Robbinsville, NC. The fog is still thick over the Little Tennessee River as we slow down crossing the bridge into Graham County. “I think we missed it,” I say as we continue onward. Within minutes the Tapoco Lodge comes into view. My pre-h...
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  • Cullowhee, North Carolina

    Exploring two legendary Cherokee sites: Judaculla Rock and Devil's Courthouse, North Carolina

    5.0
    0.9 mi / 258 ft gain
    Judaculla was an ancient Cherokee spirit being and giant. He ruled in western North Carolina in the traditional Cherokee homeland. Once while chasing some hunters, when he jumped to the ground, his hand hit a rock. You can still see the print on Judaculla Rock. It is the most elaborate piece of r...
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  • Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina

    Huckleberry Knob

    4.8
    1.77 mi / 295 ft gain
    Huckleberry Knob is the highest point in the Cheoah Ranger District at 5,560 feet, and it offers expansive views of the surrounding Cherokee and Natahala National Forest. The hike is 2.4 miles roundtrip and begins at the parking lot between mile 8 and 9 up an old dirt road. You will go up the di...
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  • Franklin, North Carolina

    Siler Bald from Wayah Gap

    5.0
    3.66 mi / 1060 ft gain
    The Appalachian Trail does not need a lot of hype beyond its existing legendary status.  However, there are certain parts of it that do stand out as being a little extra special.  Siler Bald is one of those spots.  A large clearing starting from Snowbird Gap and going all the way up to Siler Bald...
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  • Franklin, North Carolina

    Nantahala National Forest via the Appalachian Trail

    4.0
    27.11 mi / 5420 ft gain
    Winding Stair Gap on Highway 64 is the starting point for this spectacular backpacking trip through the Nantahala National Forest. It's right outside the hiker friendly town of Franklin, NC, so the town is your last chance for a hot meal and any last minute supplies. There is a parking lot at the...
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  • Franklin, North Carolina

    Backpack the Standing Indian Loop on the Appalachian Trail

    24 mi
    Begins at the parking lot for the Standing Indian Campground. (No permits are needed to park here) For the first 3.7 miles, take Kimsey Creek Trail, which runs along the water, until you meet up with the AT at Deep Gap. Rolling hills and lots of foliage throughout, leading up to Standing Indian M...
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  • Canton, North Carolina

    Sam Knob and Flat Laurel Creek Loop

    4.9
    3.84 mi / 807 ft gain
    This is one of my favorite quick "getaway" loops in the Pisgah Ranger District. Turn onto Black Balsam Knob Road (Mile Marker 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway) go until you reach a dead end and park at the parking lot. You'll see the Sam Knob trail to the right of the public bathrooms. From there, i...
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  • Canton, North Carolina

    Shining Rock via Shining Creek Trail

    4.3
    8.69 mi / 2569 ft gain
    There are several ways to access the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, but go for the main trail head off of Hwy 276. The trail is split by the Pigeon River, providing a seemingly infinite combinations of trails and routes, keeping in mind that this area intersects often with the well known Art Lobe ...
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  • Canton, North Carolina

    Graveyard Fields-Black Balsam Knob Circuit

    4.4
    9.83 mi / 1522 ft gain
    When the weather is in your favor, these treeless mountain tops will have your jaw on the floor with layers upon layers of Blue Ridge Mountains. This hike can be done in one day, but with panoramic views at multiple points, you'll want to take your time along this link of trails. This ~10-mile l...
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  • Canton, North Carolina

    Skinny Dip Falls

    4.8
    1.03 mi / 148 ft gain
    Park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. After enjoying the view of Looking Glass Rock, gear up and head to the right side of the parking area (right side if your back is to the overlook). On the opposite side of the road you'll see a mile marker and a little trail to the left of the marker. Foll...
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  • Andersonville, Tennessee

    Norris Dam State Park Campground Trail

    14.6 mi / 2310 ft gain
    Norris Dam State Park Campground Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Rocky Top, Tennessee.
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