Address and Phone:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: (865) 436-1200
The trail to the Chimney Tops is decidedly one of the parks more strenuous routes. However, the views that reward the hiker are among some of the best in the park. Enjoy excellent views available from this trail, as well as abundant wildflowers, streams and large trees. Chimney Tops is one of the few instances of a bare rock summit in the Smokies.
Chimney Tops has an elevation of i4,800 feet, and the rocks that form the knife-edged "backbone" of the Chimney Tops are visible beneath lush vegetation. It is one of the park's most recognizable geological structures and a popular hiking destination.
The Road Prong Trail, following the stream of the same name at the base of Chimney Tops, is one of the oldest trails in the Smokies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this ancient path was known commonly as Indian Gap Trail.
The most common route to the top of Chimney Tops is Chimney Tops Trail, accessible from Newfound Gap Road (US-441). The trailhead is clearly marked, and should not be confused with the Chimneys Campground, a few miles to the north. The trail ends at the foot of the south capstone (the higher of the two), and various unmaintained spurs cross over to the lower summit.
While no technical gear is needed, a short climb is necessary to reach the top of the capstones
The following routes provide access to the park's three main entrances
Gatlinburg, TN entrance
From interstate highway I-40 take Exit 407 (Sevierville) to TN-66 South. At the Sevierville intersection, continue straight onto US-441 South. Follow US-441 through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge into park.
Townsend, TN entrance
From the north: From interstate highway I-40 in Knoxville take Exit 386B to US-129 South to Alcoa/Maryville. At Maryville proceed on US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.
From the south: From interstate highway I-75 take Exit 376 to I-140 E towards Oak Ridge/Maryville. Merge onto I-140 E via Exit 376B towards Maryville. Turn onto US-129 South (Alcoa Highway) at Exit 11A and travel towards Alcoa. Turn onto TN-35 and follow it to US-321 North. Follow US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.
Cherokee, NC, entrance
From the north: From interstate highway I-40, take Exit 27 to US-74 West towards Waynesville. Turn onto US-19 and proceed through Maggie Valley to Cherokee. Turn onto US-441 North at Cherokee and follow the road into the park.
From the south: Follow US-441/US-23 North. At Dillsboro merge on US-74 West/US-441 North. At Exit 74 merge onto US-441. Follow US-441 through Cherokee and into the park.
Get turn-by-turn direction using the interactive map above.
Looking for a day of fun and frolic? Here's a quick list of nearby attractions that you may enjoy.
Date: Dec 7, 2013
Sugarland Cellars Release of Winter's Blessings - Robert A Tino Gallery
Location: Sevierville, TN
Date: Nov 26, 2013 - Dec 8, 2013
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Holiday Show
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
See more December events »