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The 6 Best Day Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Scenic view of the Great Smoky Mountains
August 21, 2014

If you’ve conquered the shorter trails and are looking for a more adventurous hike, look no further! We’ve put together a list of the six best day hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be advised that many of these trails are long and challenging, so we only recommend pursuing them if you are an experienced hiker.

(See Related: 4 of the Most Popular Things to Do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

1. Mount LeConte – 11 miles round trip

Mount LeConte is the highest peak completely in the states of Tennessee, at 6,593 feet tall! The trail begins at Alum Cave, and it has many interesting geographical features like Arch Rock and Eye of The Needle. At the summit, go to Cliff Top to view Clingmans Dome.

2. The Jumpoff – 6.5 miles round trip

This hike is a steep but rewarding climb. In the spring and early summer the wildflowers are abundant, and at the summit you’ll enjoy truly breathtaking views of the Smokies.

3. Rocky Top – 14 miles round trip

young couple hiking

Rocky Top has become famous because of its association with the University of
Tennessee’s fight song of the same name. In the song, the singer reminisces about a simple life in the Great Smoky Mountain. You’ll see why, when you look down on Cades Cove from 3,665 feet in the air!

4. Gregory Bald – 11 miles round trip

The views of this trail are world renowned for the flame azaleas in mid to late June; it also has gorgeous views of the Eastern crest of the Smokies. The trail appeals to nature lovers, gardeners and hikers alike.

5. Porters Creek – 4 miles round trip

Hiking family

Porters Creek is an excellent hike with a stream, seasonal wildflowers, history, and more. There is a side trail that goes to the John Messer farm site and remnants of other settlements. At the summit, there is a stunning waterfall especially when there is high runoff.

Timber Tops offers a wonderful collection of cabins minutes away from the best day hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With everything from one bedroom Gatlinburg cabins to fifteen bedroom lodes, we offer one of the widest vacation rental selection in the Smokies. To start planning your getaway, give us a call at 1-800-266-1066.

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