Smoky Mountain Hiking Tips

Posted by David  
Filed under Hiking

Here is an article to help you when you hike in the Smoky Mountains.

Backpacking is a fun and refreshing activity that can be fun for the whole family.You may be near the Mountains or in your back yard! No matter where you are it can be a great experience. You may be a photographer, a nature love, or just trying to get away from busy hectic city life for a while. Backpacking is a hobby (sport) that can be awesome for anyone.

There is no greater place to get connected to earth more than taking an inspiring hike in the hills. My favorite place to hike is the Smoky Mountains.There are places to hike in every state and it is pretty easy to find info on-line these days.

Not only is hiking fun and refreshing it is also very good for you. I admit hiking can be very tough on your legs and back and I have almost not made a few of my hikes. So always be prepared and try to get into shape before you take on to big of a trail! Be sure to stretch before you go and take break often.

There are two types of backpacks, external and internal framed. Each pack has its own advantages and disadvantages. The internal frame is great for hiking through heavy vegetation because it is protected from being snagged.
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Hike Charlies Bunion

Posted by David  
Filed under Hiking

Charlies Bunion is one of the more popular (and fun) day-hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s about 8.1 miles roundtrip so give yourself plenty of time to hike in and get out. Charlies Bunion rises to an elevation of 5,565 feet, but you only do about 1,640 feet in elevation during the hike.

To get to Charlies Bunion, start at the Newfound Gap parking lot. The trail to Charlies Bunion, via the Appalachian Trail, is not hard to find. Just follow the signs. It’s funny – you’ll see a sign when you get there that reads “Closely control children.” When you reach the summit there is not a lot of room to move around and it’s all rocks. There aren’t picnic benches or anything. You do this hike for the magnificent view.

Check out this video from the summit.

Newfound Gap

Posted by David  
Filed under Hiking, Sightseeing

Newfound Gap is a mountain pass in the Great Smoky Mountains. Newfound Gap is near the North Carolina and Tennesse border accessible from US 441 (also known as Newfound Gap Road). This is one of my favorite destinations in the Smokies. Not only is the scenic drive magnificent, but you also can visit the Rockefeller Memorial – the site where former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt formally dedicated the park on September 2, 1940.

rockefeller memorial

Newfound Gap is one of the most popular destination in the Smokies. There is a large parking lot and plenty of hiking trails in the area, including the Appalachian Trail. It is generally pretty crowded if you go during the summer/fall seasons. Kids love to climb on the rocks by the Memorial and parents love to walk to the top of the Memorial. From here you can see for miles. One of the best views in the entire park.

newfound gap road

Clingmans Dome

Posted by David  
Filed under Hiking, Sightseeing

Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire park. What attracts so many visitors to Clingmans Dome is the fact that at an elevation of 6,643 feet, it is the highest mountain in the Great Smokies. The views from the mountain top are spectacular – provided it isn’t too smoky :-)

clingmans dome view

Clingmans Dome is very accessible. Clingmans Dome Road begins just past Newfound Gap and leads up the mountain to the Forney Ridge Parking Area. Check our Great Smoky Mountains Map for further details.
Please plan your visit carefully. Clingmans Dome is often closed in the winter from December 1 through March 31 due to potential icy roads.

From the parking lot, it is just a short 1/2 mile hike up the trail to the observation tower at the top of the mountain. The observation tower gives visitors a 360 degree view of the entire Smoky Mountain park. It is truly amazing, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day.

clingmans dome observation tower

One thing hiking enthusiasts will enjoy is the Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome, passing immediately north of the observation tower. If you hang around long enough you will see several thru-hikers pass by as they travel through the backcountry.

If you’re planning a trip to the Great Smokies, you must make Clingmans Dome part of your visit.