3 Extremely Popular Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains for Any Hiker
For the 9 million people who visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, one of the things that keeps drawing them back year after year is the numerous hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. With 150 trails officially marked by the National Park Service, there is no shortage of trails for you and your group to choose from. With trails ranging in difficulty from intermediate to advanced, there is sure to be a trail that suits your needs.
Here are some of the most popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains:
One of the most popular trails is the Chimney Tops trail. The trail features panoramic views from the pinnacles of the hike that are sure to take your breath away. The trail is popular due to these views and its relatively short length. Coming in at 3.8 miles round trip, Chimney Tops is a moderately difficult trail. The trail is located approximately 7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center between the loop and Newfoundland Gap Road, making it easy to find. During peak hiking season the trail tends to get crowded, so be sure to plan accordingly if hiking is not your only activity for the day.
The experience of hiking Alum Cave depends on which season of the year you hike it. During the warmer months of the year water drips off of the ledges onto the bluff. During the colder months of the year these water droplets freeze and become beautiful icicles. The hike itself is around 4.4 miles round trip, and due to the varying conditions and relatively moderate length it is one of the most popular year-round hikes. There are two parking areas at the beginning of the trail head, but these tend to fill up during the peak season. Be sure to plan accordingly during your visit.
One of the most famous hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains, Mt. LeConte is the highest peak located within the borders of Tennessee. The roundtrip length of Mt. LeConte is approximately 11 miles and is rated as a strenuous hike. This hike is absolutely for the more experienced hiker. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, however. There are many shorter trails that have connectors to Mt. LeConte, so if you decide to take on the challenge, the route you take is up to you.
To learn more about the elevations of other mountains within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check out the National Park Service website here: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/mountains.htm
There is simply no better way to truly experience the natural beauty and wonder of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park than to get out in them and take a hike. Always free of charge, the trail you take is totally up to you. No matter your experience or fitness level, there is sure to be a hike that suits what you are looking for. To start planning your stay in the Smokies, take a look at our selection of three bedroom cabins in Gatlinburg!