Chimney Tops Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

#3 of 13 in Nature in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Geologic Formation · Hiking Trail
Climb to the top of Chimney Tops Trail to enjoy the sweeping views of Mount LeConte and the park's most recognizable twin rock pinnacles. This fairly strenuous hike owes its popularity to outstanding panoramic views and its short length--the hike is less than 6.4 km (4 mi) round trip. The first half of the trail is easy to tackle; just follow the cascading waters of a creek crossing several footbridges. The last stretch of the trail is quite a workout, climbing roughly 293 m (960 ft) over 367 stone steps. An observation deck, situated just below the summit, was constructed after the 2016 wildfire. The trail is especially beautiful in the spring and early summer, when rhododendron and other wildflowers bloom along its sides. Work out when and for how long to visit Chimney Tops Trail and other Great Smoky Mountains National Park attractions using our handy Great Smoky Mountains National Park itinerary builder app.
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Chimney Tops Trail reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
450 reviews
  • The bridges and waterfalls on the first part are beautiful ❤️ The trail is strenuous. If you're not used to walking uphill even a little bit it may not be the hike for you. It will take two hours to.....  more »
  • This is a very difficult trail with many steep climbs and stairs. It is almost 100% uphill on the way to the view the chimney tops. The view is great with panoramic views of the mountains and great...  more »
  • A well marked and kept trail, but despite the name’s implication, it does not get you to the Chimney Tops (though a sign at the trailhead warns of the closure). The elevation gain is slightly difficult (compounded by alternating steep trail, stone steps, and wood retention steps), the overlook at the end is worth the hike. Though the parking at the trailhead was packed, the hike was peaceful and the other hikers were spread out (some enjoying the water at the beginning, some resting at benches along the trail, and a bunch catching their breaths and enjoying the view at the overlook). Though there’s no scrambling or unimproved portions of the trail, it could be difficult for children or individuals with movement limitations to complete the hike.

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