Andrews Bald

Bryson City, North Carolina 28713

Andrews Bald

Andrews Bald Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"On the open and grassy Andrews Bald grow flame azaleas and Catawba rhododendron, both peaking their blooms sometime around mid- to late June. If you’ve been to Gregory Bald, you might be a little disappointed in Andrews. Andrews Bald is like a smaller cousin to Gregory—fewer azaleas, restricted views, and with more encroaching vegetation. But don’t let that stop you from coming.

This is one of the finest day hikes in the park. On a clear day the views east into the Noland Creek watershed and southwest toward Fontana Lake are superb. And the azalea show on Andrews is the finest in the park except for Gregory."

More Andrews Bald Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"From the park’s highest trailhead, explore the extraordinary spruce-fir forest community on the way to the meadow of Andrews Bald, resplendent with stunning views. Andrews Bald was historically known as Anders Bald until an errant mapmaker renamed it Andrews Bald, which stuck. Clingmans Dome Road, the trail access and where this hike begins, is open from April through November; check ahead if you’ll be hiking during the shoulder seasons. June features great Catawba rhododendron blooms, as well as flame azaleas. August is good for blueberry picking, and fall is best for views. In midsummer, the bald is sometimes enshrouded in fog and mist."
Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This is one of the Smokies’ finest hikes. The trip passes through an extraordinary spruce–fir forest to the grassy field of Andrews Bald. Resplendent with stunning views, this is an ideal backdrop for a picnic in the sky. Andrews Bald is one of only two grassy fields in the Smokies that the park service maintains in their “original” state. The origin of these fields is not clear, although natural fires, clearing by Indians, and grazing cattle possibly kept the fields clear."

Andrews Bald Trip Reports

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I hiked this trail in late march, during high winds and a light rain, late in the evening. There was no one out there, and it was an absolutely magnificent view from the top of Andrews bald. The trail is very well maintained, and the hike out there is second to none. I highly recommend visiting this excellent example of GSMNP beauty.

Andrews Bald Photos

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Trail Information

Bryson City
Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
3 hours
Best season: Second half of June for azalea and rhododendron bloom. Clingmans Dome Road is closed Dec 1–Mar 31.
Views, Wildflowers
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Contacts
Clingmans Dome USGS quad; Trails Illustrated #229 Great Smoky Mountains; Trails Illustrated #317 Clingmans Dome Cataloochee; Trails Illustrated #316 Cades Cove Elkmont
Local Maps

Trail Log