Charlies Bunion and Bradley Fork

Bryson City, North Carolina

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This is a terrific three-day hike, encompassing much of what the Smokies have to offer. You spend half the time hiking on the high-elevation crest and the other half along headwater streams and through lush forests. With three backcountry shelters and one backcountry campsite, the hike offers several camping options. Nearly everyone who visits the Smokies spends a little time at Newfound Gap, where this hike begins. Unless you just like hanging out in crowds, you’ll want to park and hit the trail quickly. However, don’t expect to get away from everyone on this hike. The first 4.0 miles to Charlies Bunion is a classic Smokies hike, and as such, it can be crowded any time of year except winter. Winter hiking along this trail is very rewarding, with great vistas and the opportunity for seeing interesting ice formations, but only experienced hikers should attempt it.
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

by Kevin Adams (Falcon Guides)

This is a terrific three-day hike, encompassing much of what the Smokies have to offer. You spend half the time hiking on the high-elevation crest and the other half along headwater streams and through lush forests. With three backcountry shelters and one backcountry campsite, the hike offers several camping options.

Nearly everyone who visits the Smokies spends a little time at Newfound Gap, where this hike begins. Unless you just like hanging out in crowds, you’ll want to park and hit the trail quickly. However, don’t expect to get away from everyone on this hike. The first 4.0 miles to Charlies Bunion is a classic Smokies hike, and as such, it can be crowded any time of year except winter. Winter hiking along this trail is very rewarding, with great vistas and the opportunity for seeing interesting ice formations, but only experienced hikers should attempt it.

© 2013 Kevin Adams/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Bryson City
Distance: 27.3
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2-3 days
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Maps: Clingmans Dome, Mount Le Conte, Mount Guyot, and Smokemont USGS quads; Trails Illustrated #229 Great Smoky Mountains; Trails Illustrated #317 Clingmans Dome Cataloochee
Driving Directions: Directions to Charlies Bunion and Bradley Fork

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May 2018