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.
The 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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