chimney top trail

chimney top trail

Some days you just need to get away to the mountains for a good hike. That’s exactly what my husband and I did and we had the perfect weather and fall colors. We spend our morning on one of our favorite trails in the Smokes, The Chimneys.

It’s been several years since we’ve been on the Chimney trail. The last time we did this hike we took our two kiddos who were 3 and 8 and the time. This is not an easy trail as it is a mostly uphill. You have to climb numerous stairs to get to the mountain ridge to the view.

chimney stairs

It is currently a 1.75 hike to the top. 2 years ago there was a major wildfire that started at the top of the Chimney Tops. Because of the damage from this massive fire, you can no longer access the cliff tops to see the 360 view from the top. 2 years later the damage is still very apparent. You can see exactly where the fire spread down the mountain and it will take many years for the mountain to recover.

chimney trail

After the fire the national park service worked hard to reopen the Chimney trail. It is one of the most popular trails in the Smokies and they wanted to give the visitors a nice place to visit. They redid the stairs leading up to the top of the mountain. These new stairs are much easier to climb, but still very strenuous. Pace yourself on the stair and bring good trekking poles and plenty of water.

chimney overlook

Since you can no longer get to the cliff tops, the national park created a great lookout point at the end of the trail. You still get a great view and a comfortable place to sit and relax before you make your way back down the mountain.

chimney trail

I’m still sad that our hike isn’t quite the same. But I’m very thankful for the work the national park service has put into making sure this trail is still accessible. If you decide to make this hike, please heed the warnings and don’t go past the barriers to get to the cliff top. It is closed for a reason as the park service does not think it is geologically sturdy enough for the climbing hikers used to do. Stay safe on the trails. The rules are there for a reason.

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  1. As someone with kids in Asheville, we’ve hiked this trail as well – but not for sometime. Great photos, and encouraged that its making a comeback after the fires!

  2. It’s sad that some of it was affected by the fires, but it still looks like a great hike with some cool views.

  3. It is hard to see how natural disasters have changed our world. Hopefully more people will respect the world around them and protect this planet

  4. I’m normally not a big hiker but I would go this trail. It looks so beautiful even thou a wild fire went through there.

  5. So sad that the forest was consumed by a wild fire not too long ago. It seems to be recovering pretty well, although it’s not the same as before. Thankfully you can still access part of the trail for hiking. The view from the lookout point is incredible!

  6. Beautiful photos of your hike! That’s really nice that the park made parts of the of it accessible, because it would be a shame to miss out on how beautiful this place is!

  7. That is a beautiful trail. I love hiking but nothing too strenunous (I want to do it more though because we have a lot of trails in Tahoe, near where I live).

    Hannah the Mad Dog

  8. Beautiful photos!

    I love hikes that include lots of stairs! I always think about how much time and effort had to go into building the stairs, whether they be wooden construction or carefully placed stones!


    Wayne Walls

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