Explorer | 20 pts
After a couple of years of aborted attempts, my friend John and I finally hiked to Gregory Bald. While this is generally regarded as one of the best overnight hikes in the Smokies, we decided to do it in one day. The first three miles of the hike are pretty easy, but after you attain the ridgeline, the going becomes much more difficult. At times I thought the climbing would never end. After you reach the intersection with the Gregory Bald Trail, the initial climb to the bald is the steepest along the entire trail. I suppose the trail planners really wanted us to work for the reward. Which, by the way, made the whole trail worthwhile. On the climb up you are offered tantalizing peeks at what the view will be, but they are nothing compared to the panorama you see from the top of Gregory Bald. We spent a good two hours at the top and I even took a 30 minute nap on the soft grass. Without a doubt, this is the premier hike in the Smokies, and I cannot wait to do it again.