After entering the park, follow 441 to the trail head of Chimney Tops which is located a few miles south of the park entrance.
At the trailhead, the distance to the summit is 2 miles (you will climb 1,700 feet in that short distance). After winding down towards the creek, you will cross the creek on several occasions. After a moderate .9 mile walk, the trail splits. Follow the clearly marked signpost and follow the Chimney Tops Trail. Do not venture off on the Road Prong Trail, you wonk make it to the top.
From the trail split, you will have to walk 1.1 miles before you reach the summit. From the split, the trail changes dramatically and starts to increase in elevation. As you near the summit, the forest will start to break up and you will get a clear view of the top. Approximately 200 feet from the top, the climb towards the top gets interesting. It becomes very rocky and vertical. You will have to use your hands from this point on.
After reaching the summit, and on a clear day, you will have a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains.
It will take an average of 2-3 hours round trip.
You will want to bring a good pair of hiking boots or shoes with great support. The rocks can be very unrelenting on the bottoms of your feet. As the sign post states, “This is a strenuous uphill hike. Please wear proper trail shoes”.
You will also want to dress according to the weather. Be mindful, the rocks can be very slippery when wet or damp.
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