3 Must-Do Hikes in the Smokies

3 Must-Do Hikes in the Smokies

With over 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads, including 70 on the Appalachian Trail, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place to put your hiking boots on and explore!

Here are 3 must-do hikes to check out if you ever make it down! With all three you will experience breathtaking views, gushing waterfalls, loads of wildlife, and some serious elevation gain to get your daily cardio in!

Mount LeConte

One of the most well-known hikes in Gatlinburg. Rated moderate to difficult, almost 12 miles total round-trip, and an elevation of 6,600 ft. This is a cool hike which gets harder towards the end, but rewards with pretty decent mountain views.

LeConte Lodge


There’s a lodge on the summit that is only accessible by foot and is reserved over a year in advance. On the summit you will find yourself at a crisp 6,593 ft elevation!  The hike is roughly 5.5 miles via Alum Cave Trail.

Charlie’s Bunion

One of the cooler hikes we have done in the Smoky’s. It was our favorite of the three on the list. Rated moderate to difficult, and a pretty strenuous hike with over 1,600 ft elevation gain, you will find yourself over 6000 ft elevation at the summit.

The hike is around 8.5 miles round trip via Newfound Gap.  A good portion of this hike is on The Appalachian Trail!

Chimney Tops

Our least favorite of the three, but still a great hike and even better workout!

The trail is still damaged from fires, so the summit is not accessible.

Strenuous short hike, a little over 3 miles total. Mountain views, and views of Chimney Top summits.  Widely considered a top hike in the Smokies. It was just a bummer to not be able to reach the actual summit. 🙁

BK and I both agreed all three hikes were strenuous. Charlie’s Bunion and Mount LeConte both took 4-5 hours to finish. Chimney Tops took about an hour and a half, but we moved pretty fast. When we’re on the trail we are on a mission! We spent more time at Charlies Bunion and Mount LeConte summits. I would suggest Charlie’s Bunion over Mount LeConte and Mount Leconte over Chimney Tops. But that’s just me! Happy Trails!

As always, THANK YOU MINUS33 for outfitting us on our adventures!! It’s amazing to have such great quality merino wool gear to keep us warm and dry on the trail. We have a lot of big trips plans for 2019 and can’t wait to continue working with y’all to spread the word!

Happy New Year from the Smokies!

Happy New Year from The Smokies!

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