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Chimney Tops offers panoramic views for the daring


Chimney Tops has a dramatic, jagged, challenging rock peak which offers 360 degree views from 4800 feet high up in the heart of the Smokeys.  It's one of the oldest and most well known hikes in the Smokey's so you may want to go on a weekday as it is known to get crowded at the river crossings at the bottom of the trail.  The rivers are wonderful, but wait until summer to wade into those mountain pools as they can be rather frigid in Spring, trust me.

View from just below the summit
Sam Mattern-Schain

Near Gatlinburg, this hike is short with some tricky paths.  At the top, it gets scary and only those with some climbing experience and the proper footwear attempt the final ledge, which should be treated with extreme caution.  There is another trail to the summit which skirts the most dangerous ledge but it is closed right now for rehabitation.

If you choose to climb the final few ledges to the summit you'll be treated to spectacular vistas of the Sugarland ridge, Mount La Conte to the east and Mount Mingus to the north.  The rocks on top are part of the Anakeesta Formation and you catch a glimpse of them for a moment on the drive in through Newfound gap.  I would call it a quick easy hike (it's one of the shortest hikes in the Smokeys) were it not for the rocks on top which are only easy for seasoned climbers.

Check out for hike directions and details.  Take a look at the slideshow below to get an idea of what you are in for if you hike Chimney Tops.


  • Adrienne 5 years ago

    Looks beautiful!

  • Grace 5 years ago

    I've done it. It's a great hike, even if you don't make it to the top, which I didn't. Too narrow for me!

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    awesome hike! thanks for the recommendation! (and the heads up to bring some extra climbing gear!)

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