Charlies Bunion

Knoxville, Tennessee

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Leave Newfound Gap and head northbound on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Rise amid rare spruce-fir forest with occasional clearings that present warm-up views. Pass Icewater Spring trail shelter before descending a knife-edge ridge. Come to the outcrop where astounding views into the Volunteer State and beyond open wide. The view from Charlies Bunion is arguably the park’s finest. Unlike a view from a fire tower or a rounded peak, Charlies Bunion boasts a vista from a cliff face with an abrupt drop of more than 1,000 feet. There will also be fine views on your hike to the bunion, interspersed with sections of spruce-fir high-country forest. Since the park tries to keep Newfound Gap Road open year-round, this trek is a good way to jump into the maw of a high-country winter. Spring and fall are fine times when skies are clear. Summer will be busy—very busy.
Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail South

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail South

by Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press)

Leave Newfound Gap and head northbound on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Rise amid rare spruce-fir forest with occasional clearings that present warm-up views. Pass Icewater Spring trail shelter before descending a knife-edge ridge. Come to the outcrop where astounding views into the Volunteer State and beyond open wide.

The view from Charlies Bunion is arguably the park’s finest. Unlike a view from a fire tower or a rounded peak, Charlies Bunion boasts a vista from a cliff face with an abrupt drop of more than 1,000 feet. There will also be fine views on your hike to the bunion, interspersed with sections of spruce-fir high-country forest. Since the park tries to keep Newfound Gap Road open year-round, this trek is a good way to jump into the maw of a high-country winter. Spring and fall are fine times when skies are clear. Summer will be busy—very busy.

© 2016 Johnny Molloy /Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Knoxville
Distance: 8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 5,015 feet
Top Elevation: 6,105 feet
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 865-436-1200, nps.gov/grsm
Local Maps: Great Smoky Mountains National Park map; Trails Illustrated #229 Great Smoky Mountains National Park; USGS Clingmans Dome and USGS Mount Le Conte
Driving Directions: Directions to Charlies Bunion

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Apr 2018