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Chimney Tops trail question

Alabama
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29 posts
6 reviews
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Chimney Tops trail question

Reading on Hiking in the Smokys site, it says the peak can be perilous. What is it like at the top for small children? Are there sheer dropoffs?

nashville
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1. Re: Chimney Tops trail question

yes, 360 sheer dropoffs... it's a great hike with fabulous panoramic views from the top. but you have to scramble up about 50 feet of rock to get to the views at the end. lots of folks do it all the time, but i wouldn't take my small child up there... makes me cringe whenver i see anyone unsure of themselves make the climb.

Mississippi
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2. Re: Chimney Tops trail question

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XfvB1bI_eI

Just in case you somehow missed this in the PF forum. You can get an idea of the pitch by the way folks are coming back down in their rear ends.

St. Louis
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256 posts
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3. Re: Chimney Tops trail question

I'll share my experience-went up there with my daughter when she was 7.

98% of the hike is just a walk up a well-trod path. It goes up and takes some stamina, but it is not a long distance. And there are a lot people going up there of all ages, shapes and sizes. So you get lulled into a sense of it being very doable for everybody.

Then you hit the shale outcropping at the top. My girls eyes lit up when she saw it and she started scrambling up it like a monkey. I wasn't adapted to this sudden change in terrain -going from walking in a tunnel of trees to scrambling out in the open. So at first I had to grab her to rein her in, and stay together and get used to this.

Then you come across many people on the outcropping that are stopped, unsure of wether to go up or back down. The scramble really would be fairly easy, but for these crowds of people parked there on the way up. To get up to the top we had to go around them, closer to the edge and not the easiest route.

Anyway, we made it. Lots of people up there. There were a group of young guys that were all excited and proud of themselves for making it up there -and then they saw my 7 year old and stopped their chest-thumping.

There also were a couple of cool older backpackers up there. We chatted and the one man - clearly loved that spot on Chimney Tops. He looked at my daughter and asked her how old she was. He smiled and said, "that is the age I was when I first came up here...and I've been hiking all over here ever since"

It was well worth it, and we will be doing it again at the end of April.

I will say, you shouldn't be doing this hike all the way up with more than one kid per capable adult. On our way down, we came across two dads hiking with 4 kids ranging in ages from 6 to 10. The kids were bickering with each other and their group couldn't stay together.

So when we came across this motley crew as they were contemplating going up the outcropping - one of the dads was at wits end and asked me if it was worth going all the way up. I looked at them and told a little white lie "the view up there is about the same as it is right here." And they headed back down. We had to hike fast to lose them.

…staticflickr.com/4029/4650685992_931c234f94…

…staticflickr.com/4061/4650724338_b590063252…

Mentioned in this post
Chimney Tops Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
379 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Alabama
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Chimney Tops trail question

Thanks for the replies and links!

5. Re: Chimney Tops trail question

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