Chimney Tops Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

4.8
#3 of 13 in Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Chimney Tops is a mountain in the central Great Smoky Mountains, located in the Southeastern United States. It has an elevation of 4724ft above sea level. It is one of the park's most recognizable geological structures and a popular hiking destination.Chimney Tops is a double-capstone knob on the eastern slope of the Sugarland Mountain massif. This massif stretches north-to-south across the north-central section of the Smokies. Mount Le Conte dominates the area immediately east of Chimney Tops, and Mt. Mingus rises to the southeast. Thus, while the view from the summit is 360 degrees, Chimney Tops is practically "walled in" on three sides.GeologyChimney Tops is one of the few instances of a bare rock summit in the Smokies. Over the centuries, the bedrock atop the mountain has been exposed through natural weathering of the upper layers of soil strata. This rock is mostly Anakeesta Formation metamorphic rock, especially slate, phyllite, and metasiltsone. The grainy, contorted capstones offer excellent footholds and handholds for climbing.Like most of the Appalachian Mountains, Chimney Tops was formed 200 million years ago when the North American and African plates collided during the Appalachian orogeny.HistoryThe Cherokee name for Chimney Tops is Duniskwalgunyi, or "forked antler", referring to its resemblance to the antlers of a deer. In the Cherokee legend "Aganunitsi and the Uktena", the captured medicine man, Aganunitsi, in exchange for his freedom, searches remote parts of the Smokies in hopes of finding the giant reptile, the Uktena, and seizing a powerful amulet from its forehead. In his quest, Aganunitsi searches distant gaps and peaks in the Smokies before he "went on to Duniskwalgunyi, the Gap of the Forked Antler, and to the enchanted lake of Atagahi, and at each found monstrous reptiles, but he said they were nothing."
Work out when and for how long to visit Chimney Tops Trail and other Great Smoky Mountains National Park attractions using our handy Great Smoky Mountains National Park itinerary builder app .
Source
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Chimney Tops Trail
map
Chimney Tops Trail Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
391 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This was a fun hike overall, but was definitely tough. Granted, we’re not the most avid hikers, but we’re not completely out of shape either and we struggled with the steep climb and stairs. The view ...  more »
  • It's still one of the top fitness tests in the Smokies, climbing nearly 1,500 feet in less than two miles. However, I see far too many reviews where folks have gone all the way to the top. The "top" i...  more »
  • We hiked Chimney Tops after hiking Grotto Falls, so we were slightly tired to start this hike. The trail is straight up with many steps, so pacing yourself is important. The views were spectacular fro...  more »
Places to stay near Chimney Tops Trail

Plan your trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Best things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Plans to Chimney Tops Trail by other users

6 days in Asheville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, culture, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, outdoors, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 45 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Knoxville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans