Mount Cammerer via Low Gap

Cosby, Tennessee 37722

Mount Cammerer via Low Gap

Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Professional Review and Guide

"Revel at great views from a historic restored lookout tower. Leave Cosby Campground, and head up Cosby Creek valley through gorgeous woodland to the state line. Meet the Appalachian Trail at Low Gap. Cruise the state line to emerge at an outcrop and tower where the world falls away.

Hikers find their way to Mount Cammerer year-round. Fall through spring offer the most far-reaching views. Summer afternoons can be stormy. Friends of the Smokies, a private support group working in concert with the park, restored the lookout tower."

More Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Professional Reviews and Guides

"Formerly called White Rock by Tennesseans and Sharp Top by Carolinians, this mountaintop rock outcrop was renamed by the park service after Arno B. Cammerer, a former director of the National Park Service. No matter the name, this peak has incredible panoramas from its place on the Smokies crest. A historic wood-and-stone fire tower, long in disuse, has been repaired by the Friends of the Smokies. The restoration makes Mount Cammerer an even more desirable destination.

The trail begins a steady but not too steep climb toward the Smokies crest. The wide roadbed allows you to look around without having to watch your very step. At mile 1.3, the trail makes the first of several switchbacks amid a nearly virgin forest."

Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Reviews

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4/23/2011
This is a great trail for the hiker who loves the challenge. I took my little brother and his wife who are active but not outdoor savvy. We hit the trail head not realizing how quickly we would start the elevation climb. Almost immediately it was a test on the legs but it was worth the physical challenge to be so consumed by the raw beauty of the natural surroundings. The hike stays close to the Middle Prong (River) climbing a steady elevation change of 2100 ft. from start to finish. The hike offers a lot of views with different types of vegetation and picturesque drops as you move upward with the river. The last leg is hands down the toughest after such a great workout but well worth the sweat. As you finish high-stepping the rocky terrain you come to the trails end where there is a beautiful scene where two rivers come together to form the cascades. With about a 100 foot drop in the cascades, the mist is incredibly refreshing. There is no question that the trail is a physical test, however the scenery is fantastic and the views of the cascades and the river are well worth it. I highly recommend the trail to anyone up to a challenge. J.T. Nashville, TN
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4/25/2008
This was an awesome hike!!!! We were in prime wildflower season and the water was flowing heavy from the mountains. On the way up you get to walk through a section of old growth Tulip Poplar trees and some large Hemlocks. The wildflower display along the sides of the trail was spectacular. Be sure to start early so you can enjoy the views along the way.
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6/3/2007
Outstanding
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7/11/2006
This is my favorite hike in the Smokies! It is rigorous enough to keep the large crowds away, leaving you with a beautiful 8 miles of quiet (I think I only ran into 5 other people on the hike). The trail follows two streams which keeps the sound of water in the background for most of your hike. The trail includes a lot of climbing over rocks and jumping across streams. I would not recommend this hike for a first timer (it is pretty steep). If you can survive the 2100 ft up, 4 mile out climb, you will be rewarded with breathtaking falls. This hike is most definitely worth the effort!!!
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6/17/2006
This was a good trip rated Strenuous, not Moderate as some reports show. The first 1 1/2 mile was pretty easy as it consists of a gravel and rock jeep road and an easy grade. The scenery and sounds of the streams and birds were fantastic. The next 1 1/2 mile crosses the stream on nice foot bridges and goes through some beautiful country with some old growth trees. There are four pretty close together that would take 4 or 5 people holding hands to streach around. Nice photo op. The trail thru this part is steeper with a lot of roots and rocks. Near the upper part of this section we spotted a yearling bear checking out a rotten tree next to the trail. He pretty much ignored us as he was searching for ants and termites. The last mile was tough. It was even steeper with a lot more rocks and stream crossings. If the weather was really wet, I'm not sure you could get up this section as it would be rushing water. Once you get up to the falls they are really pretty and worth the effort. However it is tough to get really good pictures as there isn't a lot of area to take pictures from. The area is dangerous and a number of people have been killed by falling while climbing the rocks around the falls. Take lots of water as you will sweat it out and start off prepared for a tough hike with good shoes and water at minimum. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the hike and be prepared to possibly meet some black furry fellows. :>) Mike
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3/25/2005
This is a very worthwhile trail, but be advised that its "moderate" rating applies only if you average out the flat & easy stretches with the steep & rocky climbs! Previous reviews are right that much of the exertion in this one is in the steady (sometimes steep) climb up and having to watch your footing both up and down due to all the roots and rocks. But for scenery and fun? Go by all means! There are a few fun footbridges, stone steps, creek beds to cross and climb, and the river, pools, and mini-falls that you're treated to along almost the entire way. It took me about 3.25 hrs to go up with rest stops and photo stops along the way and about 1.75 on the way down. I'd probably have dallied more if I had started earlier but the light was fading fast. This would be a great trail for warmer weather if you bring Tevas, lunch, and swimsuits, but allow for having plenty of drinks and taking your time. Frankly, I'd go back just for some of the smaller midway cascades, but having seen the top, I'd be tempted to finish it anyway! I've described this trail all weekend as a kick-*ss trail: as in it's THAT pretty and it will kick yours!
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2/25/2004
The best hike of the 4 trails we went on in the Smokies. The very beginning has huge boulders lining the Little Pigeon that you can play on. You can hear the water rushing down the river throughout the trail. Nice scenery along the trail and a great waterfall and cascade at the end. Well worth the 8 mile round trip.
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3/23/2003
This is a tough hike - especially after a cold winter of not much hiking. Make sure you bring a lot of water on this trip. The trail is beautiful, but a bit treacherous if you have weak ankles or knee problems. You climb steadily up for 4 miles, and then your trip back is straight down. Not a good trail for young children, and definitely no strollers. Wear good sturdy hiking boots so as not to turn an ankle. Gorgeous trees, beautiful rhododendrons, and a fantastic waterfall make it all worth while.
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9/20/2001
This was a very beautiful trail to be on. If you are ever in the smokies, look for this trail. There are very few people and tons of scenery. You begin a long decent up the side of a mountain. There are a lot of switchbacks, so be prepared. But once you start to crest, Man! What a view! There are plenty of towering smoky tops to look at. Eventually you come to a really cool log bridge which stretches over a rushing stream. I can't even describe how cool this was. The falls are nice to see, too, but the real treat is the scenery on the way to the falls. Be prepared for ascents, bring plenty of water, and enjoy. this is the smoky mountains the way it was supposed to be enjoyed, in solitude and beauty.
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12/7/2000
Get a good look at what the Great Smokies have to offer without all the people. This hike seemed to be much less crowded than the rest of the park while we were there over Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful hike with a few log bridge crossings, old growth/untouched forest, a good climb, and an awesome waterfall at the end that seems to appear out of nowhere through the trees. I'd love to do it again with snow on the ground or when the maganolias that line a lot of the trail are in bloom.
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Mount Cammerer via Low Gap Photos

Trail Information

Cosby
Nearby City
11.2 miles
Distance
2,780 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
5-7 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Features
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Contacts