Hiking, National Parks, Outdoor Fitness, USA

Hiking Chimney Tops Trail – Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The Chimney Tops Trail was the trail I was the most excited to hike when we starting planning our trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The trail did not disappoint. It was beautiful from the moment we started hiking. We felt like we got off to a late start, it was about 8:00 at the trail head, and we got an awesome parking spot no problem. After our hike around maybe 10:00 it was a different story, people had to walk nearly half a mile just to start the hike. So that’s something to keep in mind.

The Chimney Tops Trail is not that long of a hike, but an intense hike. The length of the trail is only 3.8 miles roundtrip. At the beginning of the hike you cross over a beautiful bridge and rocky river, and through amazing forests.



The trail start going up pretty much right away. A cross between step inclines and beautiful steps made of stone.


The first mile is uphill, and fairly difficult. We then came across this sign and had a good laugh. The person who wrote “LIE” is totally telling the truth, at least about how it feels! The second half is much harder.


On the second half of the hike you begin to get some great views, and you finally see where you are heading!


Seeing this made me super excited! I was hoping it would be this cool! Once you get the view it is only about a quarter mile until you make it to the climb. This part of the hike went by super fast because we were excited and filled with adrenaline.

c7The climb was awesome. A lot of people stop their hike before the climb but we were not about to do that! You can definitely still get a beautiful view even if you opt out of the climb though. We followed other peoples leads and left our coats and water bottles and really anything extra on a rock before we started climbing. This way we had our hands free and were more comfortable.

Climbing up was awesome. There were plenty of places to grab onto and to get great foot holds so I was never scared. The only thing making me nervous a bit was the thought of going down. With climbing, it is always easier going up!


The view from the top was amazing. I loved it. We did go on a fairly “smoky” day and it was perfect. Magical in a different way than any other mountains I have visited. We spent time on top visiting with other travelers, sharing stories, and taking photos. It was just plain awesome.




Going down turned out to be slightly more tricky than the way up, but completely manageable. And of course the hike back to the trail head was much easier going down! 😉


I completely recommend this trail to anyone planning a Smoky Mountain adventure. Whether you plan to go the whole way or stop before the summit, this is a trail you should not miss! Check out my post on Camp GRITS if you want to stay in an amazing vintage camper during your stay!


Much Love and Happy Travels,


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  • Reply John David

    This is my favorite trail in the Smoky Mountains. I am still sad that it received some fire damage a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to hike it again.

    January 5, 2017 at 2:17 am
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      This was my favorite as well! The fires happened just a week after we were there this year! So crazy and sad! I will definitely be hiking this trail again someday! ❤️ Happy Travels!

      January 5, 2017 at 4:13 am
  • Reply Katie

    That looks like a fabulous hike! And I love the fall colours around you – so beautiful!

    April 26, 2017 at 8:11 pm
  • Reply Justine Alonzo | The Iridescent Wings

    WOW! The hike looks awesome. I’m glad you did actually continue, I would’ve of too if I was there, might as well. The stone steps are gorgeous!

    April 26, 2017 at 8:31 pm
    • Reply Minnesotayogini

      It was super cool and so beautiful! I recommend it for sure if you get the chance to visit 🙂

      April 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Laura

    Wow, these photos are stunning! It makes me want to go on a hike righttttt now! Haha. I’m from Oregon and a lot of our forest looks very similar, so this made me a bit homesick! I’m enjoying the rainforests and bushwalking of Australia, but can’t help but love home. Thanks for inspiring!

    April 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm
    • Reply Minnesotayogini

      It was lovely there! Reminded me of Minnesota at times too, minus the mountains of course! Ha! The woods were beautiful! AND Ooooo Australia fun! My mom just returned from a 22 day long trip to Australia it sounds amazing!

      April 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Wow. I have never been there. but I have heard great things about the Great Smoky Mountains. i am not much of a hiker but your photos are proof f why people do it. And the views from the top are lovely. Also it sounds like it’s good to go early so you can miss the crowds. Thanks!

    April 26, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply Minnesotayogini

      Yes! It definitely helped getting there early! It was super beautiful! Thanks for reading 🙏🏻

      April 27, 2017 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Christine

    Looks awesome! Those views are beautiful! I need to visit here ASAP!

    April 26, 2017 at 11:54 pm
  • Reply Sandra

    Even before I read it, I was thinking how climbing down would be tricky! (Loved the honest little message on the sign by the way LOL) The views are definitely worth it but, lazy as I am, I’d probably skip that climb. Hey, I could be the one person holding on to everyone’s stuff while they went up! (Business opportunity here? :D)

    April 27, 2017 at 6:15 am
    • Reply Minnesotayogini

      Haha! I love that! It was a great hike, but definitely hard work! 🙂

      April 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Carly Wayward Heyward

    I’m not sure my body or my fear of heights would let me climb those! I’m sure glad you did though because those pictures are amazing! You go girl! Or should I say… yo-ga girl

    April 27, 2017 at 4:28 pm
    • Reply Minnesotayogini

      Haha! I love it! It was super awesome but I have basically no fear of heights! Lol!

      April 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Danie

    What a great looking climb! I would love to know more about how coming down was- did you go the same way? A different path? How experienced of a climber are you? Would a fit and enthusiastic person be able to do this climb safely?

    April 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Minnesota Yogini - Camp GRITS - Glamping near Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Minnesota Yogini

    […] Check it out friends, You will not be disappointed! This was a trip we will never forget, thanks to Camp GRITS! Read here for tips on my favorite hike during our stay – The Chimney Tops Trail! […]

    May 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm
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