Chimney Tops#10 in Best Things To Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
One of the most popular trails in the park, Chimney Tops is one of the few mountains that has a bare rock summit and the views from the summit are spectacular. It's a short but very steep climb that requires scrambling over rocks to reach the top, so it's not for novice hikers or young children.
Hikers who visited recently noted that although climbing the pinnacles is not possible due to fire damage from 2016, the vistas from the viewing platform (which is part of the lower portion of the trail from Gatlinburg, Tennessee that is still accessible) is worth the trek. Some recommended taking a break at the scenic picnic area by the stream, located below the chimneys. Many also cautioned that the area is bear territory.
To reach the trail, drive a little more than 6 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road. You'll spot a large parking area on the west side of the road. For updates about the trail, check the park website.
More Best Things To Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
#1 Roaring Fork Motor Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a nearly 6-mile-long, one-way loop road, offers spectacular mountain scenery and access to two of the region's most popular waterfalls: Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls. You can actually walk behind the 25-foot high falls at the Grotto via the Trillium Gap Trail. You'll also see historic log cabins and the remains of a mountain village, the Roaring Fork Cemetery and an array of wildlife from birds and deer to black bears.
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