Chimney Tops Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Distance2.0mi
Elevation Gain1,743ft
Trailhead Elevation3,439ft
Top4,687ft
Elevation Min/Max3392/4687ft
Elevation Start/End3439/3439ft

Chimney Tops Trail

Chimney Tops Trail is a hiking trail in Sevier County, Tennessee. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is two miles long and begins at 3,439 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,743 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. This trail connects with the following: Road Prong Trail.

Chimney Tops Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike offers cascading streams, wildflowers, scenic forest views, rugged rock outcrops, and unparalleled vistas. Access to the trailhead is easy, and the hike is relatively
short. What it doesn’t offer, though, is solitude. You’re going to have company, so prepare your mind for it.

Begin from the main parking area at the sign and descend to the bridge over Walker Camp Prong. Cascades, pools, and huge boulders (many good for sunning) make this spot extremely popular. Look downstream to see the confluence with Road Prong. You’ll cross that stream very shortly. Where the two creeks join, the waterway becomes West Prong Little Pigeon River. After the first crossing of Road Prong, the trail swings around to the left."

"This is one of the Smokies’ true peak experiences. Great views and exhilarating exposure are both found at the top of this rocky summit. There’s also a side trip on the Road Prong Trail that follows the remnants of the park’s oldest Native American trail and first transmountain road as it rises toward the peaks.

This popular trail launches a wide and graded trail down to a
bridge over Walker Camp Prong. It’s uphill from there, and not far beyond you’ll cross another bridge, this time over Road Prong. Together, these streams scour the valley below as the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River."

"Note: This hike was affected by the Chimney Tops 2 fire of November 2016. Please check nps.gov/grsm for the latest updates.

This busy and steep hike is nothing less than spectacular. Cross chilly mountain streams on a series of footbridges to ascend sharply amid some old trees. Emerge at the Smokies single most recognizable rock formation: the twin spires of the Chimney Tops, which provide a dramatic view of the surrounding landscape.

This hike is good year-round but is crowded during the warm-weather season. Try to go during off-times. In spring, fall, and winter you enjoy the best views. Avoid this hike during summer altogether unless you can hike at dawn or dusk."

Chimney Tops Trail Reviews

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6/24/2018
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2/24/2018
The day we went there was a lot of foot traffic making the trail a little congested from people coming up and down. Throughout the duration of the excursion hikers come across lush green vegetation, along rapid filled streams. Hikers will experience a significant increase in elevation half way to the top. Due to the recent fire, most of the area is closed including the area before approaching the Chimney Tops. There is a very rude volunteer park ranger threatening 6 months in jail and $5000 plus dollar fines. The park constructed a makeshift outlook area that will have to substitute until the area returns to safety.
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8/23/2014
love it real step trail it was closed most of my vacation.last day it opened up I wasn't leaving till I hiked it, worth the wait beautiful view from the top take the extra time and hike to both tops you wont regret it
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2/20/2012
for the first mile trail is well maintained and an easy hike. beautiful streams. Last half was muddy and eroded due to recent heavy rains. At summit, trail is closed due to restoration. must climb rocks. View is worth it.
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10/18/2010
The trail was in very good condition. As for the difficulty of the trail, it was almost continuously uphill. If you plan to reach to top, make sure you do not go when it has rained as. The final ascent is by climbing up rock, which is not hard in itself, but will be impossible when the rocks are wet. Make sure you bring a first aid kit for anyone planning to do extensive climbing on the rocks.
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9/10/2009
One tough trail, uphill all the way. Rocky at times. Worth it though, it rained before that day, rock was wet and slippery.
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4/7/2008
Chimney Tops is a phenomenal view, especially for the mileage. The short hike is certainly a workout, but the short distance makes it do-able for people of all fitness levels. The real treat is scrambling the Chimney itself. There are two approaches. The first one is the first one you will see when arriving at the rock. This is more difficult but more fun. The second is around the right side of the rock and is easier, though it looks harder. There is a crevice wide enough for boots all the way up. Simply alternate wedging your feet in the crack and you will be fairly stable. The second chimney rock is accessible along "the dragon's spine," a ridge that connects the two. This ridge, however, is much more dangerous and SHOULD NOT be attempted until at least April when all the snow and ice are melted.
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10/20/2007
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9/3/2007
Very vigorous. I went with two others and one had to give up about 3/4 of the way. We didn't make it all the way to the top.
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3/15/2007
Steep, but worth the effort. The view at the top is the best that I experienced on my 5 day Smokies trip. Lucky for me, traffic was not a concern due to the time of year. As mentioned in another review, the rock at the top requires a little caution, and may be tough for someone who is not used to climbing. Would certainly reccomend!
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Chimney Tops Trail Photos

Trail Information

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nearby City
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Swimming, Hiking
Additional Use
Wildflowers, Views
Features
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, (865) 436-1297. , www.nps.gov/grsm
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Le Conte; TOPO! Tennessee, Kentucky
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018