Maddron Bald Loop

Cosby, Tennessee

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This is one of the best backpacking loops in the entire park! First, hike along the lower reaches of Gabes Mountain, passing Hen Wallow Falls and entering virgin woodland to camp at Sugar Cove. Next, head up Maddron Bald Trail, to Albright Grove, which contains some of the park’s largest trees. Camp along resonant high country Otter Creek. Surmount Maddron Bald, which sports awe inspiring views. Return via the rugged Snake Den Trail, where more vistas open on heath balds. This destination is good year-round, though winter can be cold and harsh up high. The multiple creek crossings may be high in spring. High-elevation streamside camps are cool, even in summer. Fall offers low water and clear skies.

Maddron Bald Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This is one of the best backpacking loops in the entire park! First, hike along the lower reaches of Gabes Mountain, passing Hen Wallow Falls and entering virgin woodland to camp at Sugar Cove. Next, head up Maddron Bald Trail, to Albright Grove, which contains some of the park’s largest trees. Camp along resonant high country Otter Creek. Surmount Maddron Bald, which sports awe inspiring views. Return via the rugged Snake Den Trail, where more vistas open on heath balds.

This destination is good year-round, though winter can be cold and harsh up high. The multiple creek crossings may be high in spring. High-elevation streamside camps are cool, even in summer. Fall offers low water and clear skies."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Cosby
Distance: 17.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Year-round
Additional Use: Camping
Features: Views, Waterfalls, Wildflowers
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Jun 2018