"Charlies Bunion, an exposed, rocky knob, is the destination of this hike. From this knob, there are several outstanding views—Mount Kephart to the west, Mount LeConte to the northwest, the gorges of the headwaters of Porters Creek to the north, Greenbriar Pinnacle to the northeast, and the Sawteeth Range to the east. Take care when climbing around the bunion: a man fell to his death here in 1990.
From the parking area at Newfound Gap (elevation 5,045'), follow the A.T. from the northeast corner of the parking area east along a graded trail. Red spruce and Fraser fir (also called balsams) are common in this section. At mile 1.7, reach the junction with the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail, probably named for the cattle drives up this steep trail to the grassy balds where the livestock was grazed. The Sweat Heifer Trail heads down to Kephart Prong." Read more
"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.
Charlies Bunion is a classic Smokies hike and 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. However, only experienced hikers should attempt it in winter. Regardless of when you make the hike, the views from Charlies Bunion are spectacular." Read more
"Leave busy Newfound Gap and head northbound on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Rise amid rare spruce-fir forest with occasional clearings that present warm-up views. Pass Icewater Springs trail shelter before descending a knife-edge ridge. Come to the outcrop where amazing views into the Volunteer State and beyond open wide.
The park tries to keep Newfound Gap Road open year-round; thus, this trek is a good way to jump into the maw of a high-country winter. Spring and fall are good choices with clear skies; summer is busy." Read more