If you’re heading to the Great Smoky Mountains, you’re most likely planning to see some incredible views. They certainly do not disappoint. Whether you’re planning to spend some time on the Appalachian Trail, or just looking for a quick hike with the family, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a little something for everyone. Here are our top hikes that promise to reward travelers with the dreamiest of views.
Mount Cammerer Lookout
This hike is not for the faint of heart but is completely worth the effort. The 11.9-mile round trip will take six to eight hours to complete, so make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized. Start off at the Cosby Campground and follow Low Gap Trail. Expect each step forward to also be a step up until the trail levels out around 3 miles. Once to the top, you’ll experience 360-degree views of Tennessee and North Carolina from the fire tower. Mt. Cammerer fire tower was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservations Corps from stone taken from the quarry 100 yards downhill. This tower was used as a lookout tower up until the 1960s, with its main purpose being to watch post for potential forest fires and hazards. The tower was restored to its full beauty in 1995. This lookout offers some incredible views and attracts many extreme hikers from all around the country
If you’re looking for something a little less vigorous, but just as rewarding, take the 2.1-mile hike from the Cosby campground area to Hen Wallow Falls. It is the perfect opportunity to see wildflowers and scenic forests, not to mention the beautiful waterfalls. This hike is off the beaten path and isn’t too crowded, making it the perfect spot for a picnic or to realign yourself with nature. Get ready to be spellbound by pristine views of the wilderness.
In addition, from the Cosby Campground, you can take the Low Gap Trail to the Appalachian Trail and then follow the A.T. for 0.9 miles to Cosby Knob Shelter. Here, you can take a rest in the shelter that sleeps twelve or cook dinner over the fire pit with your fellow hiking enthusiasts. Be aware that a backcountry permit is required.
This spot may have an unfortunate name, but the views are anything but! To hike to Charlies Bunion, start at the parking area at Newfound Gap. You’ll experience beautiful views throughout the entire journey. Roughly 1.7 miles up, take in some bonus views at the lookout at Mount LeConte. The whole hike ends up being roughly 8.6 miles round trip. The rocky views are staggering.
With so many beautiful nooks and crannies in the Smoky Mountains, it’s always hard to pick just a few spots. No matter where the mountains take you, you will always find beauty on your next adventure in the Smokies.
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