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Townsend, Tennessee

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

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Townsend

  • Townsend, Tennessee

    Backpack to Spence Field

    13.8 mi / 3100 ft gain
    Start your hike at Anthony Creek Trailhead (elevation 1,800 ft), in the Cade’s Cove area. The trailhead is located at the far end of the day-use picnic area near Cade’s Cove campground. There are a few parking spots right at the trailhead, but note that the picnic area closes at dusk (a gate clos...
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  • Sevier County, Tennessee

    Little River Trail to Backcountry Campsite #30

    5.0
    12.34 mi / 412 ft gain
    The trailhead parking area is large but if no spaces are available additional parking can be had at the Jake's Creek trailhead at the top of the hill and to the right of the Little River trail parking lot. After parking, the trailhead itself will be to the left of the parking area. Parking Lot Co...
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  • Robbinsville, North Carolina

    Gregory Bald via Twentymile

    4.0
    15.42 mi / 3694 ft gain
    Gregory Bald via Twentymile is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Robbinsville, North Carolina.
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Clingmans Dome Loop

    25.75 mi / 4000 ft gain
    The first day of the hike is either 12.3 miles or 10.5 miles (depending on the campsite) almost all downhill, and the second half of the loop is 13.3 miles or 11.5 miles, again depending on the campsite, almost exclusively uphill. Just as a reference the first day took us about 6 and a half hours...
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  • 35.556724,-83.495827

    Forney Creek Loop

    4.5
    19.04 mi / 3500 ft gain
    This is an overnight loop hike that is built around one night in the back country. It can be done as an ambitious day hike. Be advised that permits are required by the NPS for all overnight stays in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The hike begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot at the For...
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  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Bluff

    5.0
    10.68 mi / 3982 ft gain
    The Alum Cave trailhead is on Newfound Gap Road, 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Mt. LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smokies, and this is an extremely popular hike, so arrive early to get a parking spot and beat the crowds. Starting from the parking lot the trail gently wind...
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  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    Appalachian Trail: Charlie's Bunion and Kephart Loop

    5.0
    16.84 mi / 4429 ft gain
    Appalachian Trail: Charlie's Bunion and Kephart Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Cherokee, North Carolina.
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Southern Smokies: Fontana Lake to Clingman's Dome

    4.5
    20.39 mi / 5750 ft gain
    This is a strenuous (though not technical) hike that really showcases the forests, creeks, and (eventually) the highest point of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As this is a point-to-point route, you will want to have two vehicles - one that you can leave at Clingman's Dome and one that you ...
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  • 35.610235,-83.426410

    Myrtle Point via Alum Cave

    5.0
    15.43 mi / 3100 ft gain
    This hike can be started at the Alum Cave trailhead or the Boulevard Trailhead. For this particular adventure, the starting point is Alum Cave. If you're lucky enough to stay the night at the backcountry shelter on top of Mt. LeConte, (add 0.2 miles if coming from the Lodge), head east on the Bou...
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  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    Hike to Clingman’s Dome via Newfound Gap

    4.5
    16.6 mi / 1600 ft gain
    This route to Clingmans Dome is available throughout the year. But during the winter months from December 1 through March 31, the 7-mile Clingman’s Dome Road that branches off Highway 441 at Newfound Gap, stays closed. This means the usual drive to the parking area located just a half mile below ...
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  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    Mount LeConte Lodge via the Boulevard Trail

    15.95 mi / 3000 ft gain
    Begin your adventure by arriving at the Newfound Gap parking lot - before first light. Why? Because you won't want to miss the incredible sunrise from the parking lot - even before you step foot on the trail! It is said that a hiker will never get overly warm hiking the Boulevard to Leconte due ...
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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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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook

    5.0
    7 mi / 2300 ft gain
    To start the hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook begin from the Noland Divide Trailhead in Deep Creek. The trail is a steady climb with an average gain of 700 ft. every mile. Approaching the top you'll walk along a rocky ridge line where you are able to see the overlook. As you continue, be sure to lo...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Deep Creek to Clingmans Dome Loop

    32.82 mi / 7400 ft gain
    This is a ~36 mile loop that goes up Clingman's Dome (the tallest point in Tennessee). Pretty challenging, not for the novice backpacker. Park at Deep Creek campground in Bryson City, NC. We did it as a 3-day, 2-night camping at sites 53 and 61. As it is a loop it could easily be done in reverse....
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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

    Wesser Bald Fire Tower

    4.7
    2.36 mi / 807 ft gain
    The road leading to the trailhead is rough the last mile, but doable in any car. Just make sure to take it easy going up and be careful, especially if there has been any rain or snow. You will have reached the parking area for the hike once you see a large green Appalachian trail sign and a few...
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