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The Chimney Tops Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 
To climb o'er root and rock aloft
Through rhododendron tunnel shafts
Creation's ancient crevice seepsThe Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Along the way to Chimney's peaks.
                              ( R Weisser )

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the system. It lies within a day's drive of half of the population of the United States.

The park is designated as an international biosphere preserve and contains a wide variety of flora and fauna specimens.

Rock outcropping on the Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkOf all of the mountain peaks in the park, none are more easily recognized that the Chimney Tops. The Chimneys owes their name to chimney like stone outcropping at the top of the mountain. From these rocks, you get a spectacular 360 degree view of the Tennessee side of the National Park.

The Chimney Tops Trail is one of the most popular in the park. The 4 mile round trip hike takes you on a 1500' climb to the 4730' summit. Although steep in a few places, and occasionally slippery in spots, the average family in decent shape can do the hike in about 3 hours.

Even if you're not up for a hike to the top, there are plenty of excellent vantage points for photographing the famous peaks. Be sure to use the pull-outs and always watch for traffic as this is a very congested are in the park.

To get there, take US 441 ( The Newfound Gap Road) south from the Sugarlands Visitor's Center. When you pass the Chimneys Picnic area on the right, continue south until you go through the tunnel. As soon as you get through the tunnel, the trail head is on your right.

The Chimney tops are truly a Smokies' landmark. Be sure to include a hike to the summit the next time you visit Gatlinburg Tennessee!

Photos, from top: The Chimneys in Autumn, Rock outcropping on the peak, foliage along the Chimney Tops Trail, looking from the tall Chimney to the lower one, the Chimneys in the morning!

The Chimney Tops Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Looking from one Chimney to the next in the Great Smoky Mountains.!

The Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Learn More about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at SmokyPhotosBlog.com!

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All photos and content copyright 1999-2015 by Richard Weisser, all rights reserved. Use is restricted by rules posted at: http://www.smokyphotos.com/index.php.

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