Smokemont Loop Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

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Smokemont Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Swain County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 3.8 miles long and begins at 2,203 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,856 feet. The Oconaluftee Ranger Station ranger station is near the trailhead. The Bradley Cemetery (elevation 2,297 feet) cemetery can be seen along the trail.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Smokemont Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Swain County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 3.8 miles long and begins at 2,203 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,856 feet. The Oconaluftee Ranger Station ranger station is near the trailhead. The Bradley Cemetery (elevation 2,297 feet) cemetery can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Bradley Fork Trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Distance: 3.8
Elevation Gain: 2,856 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 2,203 feet
Top Elevation: 3,551 feet
Additional Use: Hiking, Camping, Horseback Riding
Features: Wildflowers
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Smokemont Loop Trail
Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Elevation Min/Max: 2200/3551 ft
Elevation Start/End: 2203/2203 ft

Smokemont Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This loop hike leads away from the popular Smokemont Campground along Bradley Fork, then upward along the southern reaches of Richland Mountain. The trail winds back down near the Oconaluftee River and past Bradley Cemetery, returning to the Smokemont campground.

Start your loop hike on the Bradley Fork Trail, at the rear of the Smokemont campground. Pass an out-building, then a side road on your right leading to the water supply for the campground at mile 0.3. Open areas with thin forest cover indicate former homesites along the trail. At mile 1.0, cross a wide wooden bridge over Chasteen Creek, then come to the Chasteen Creek Trail junction. Press forward through the junction and come to the Smokemont Loop Trail junction at mile 1.6."

"Since it starts from Smokemont Campground, this nature trail is a good choice for families who are camping. For those not staying at Smokemont and planning to drive to the trailhead, most any other short hike would be just as good, especially one of the many Quiet Walkways in the park. The park no longer publishes an interpretive guide for this nature trail.

Smokemont Nature Trail crosses an overflow of Bradley Fork on a foot log, then crosses Bradley Fork and a split from the main stream. The trail loops just beyond the split. If you’re going right, you’ll climb rather steeply before descending back to Bradley Fork."

"One of the park’s steeper nature trails rises above Smokemont Campground, site of one of the Smokies’ biggest early twentieth-century logging operations. A few longer options include a loop and a very easy overnighter for beginner backpackers.


The Smokemont Nature Trail starts at a roadside sign and crosses three single log bridges that impart a deep woods Smokies feel. The second bridge spans lively, cacophonous Bradley Fork, and the third crosses a silent, lazy side flow that could almost be another creek in a completely different place. Beyond, the trail slams into a sharp hillside and splits, each side rising steeply to wrap around the knob above. Go right (north) and the trail undulates up along a very steep side hill overlooking the campground."

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May 2018