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Chimney Tops, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
(4.9/5 based on 320+ reviews on the web)
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 north. 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."
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This trail needs great health to walk. There are a lot of steps to climb. However, the scene during hiking is good. Finally there is reward when you reach the top. 
  • This hike is somewhat deceptive as the distance is not great but you spend almost the entire hike up going uphill and it can be tiring. Also, there are not many places to stop for good views along the...  more »
  • I loved this hike. It's uphill, and very steep. 4 miles roundtrip. But the path is beautiful, views are great, and the top is amazing. Once the trail ends and you reach the rocky peak, you don't neces...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful hiking trail. Only four miles back and forth, but plenty of altitude. Plan at least 3 hours for the hike. The view was great! We enjoyed the way very much.
  • The hike was about 4 miles round trip. Very steep at the end (~60° incline up fairly smooth rock -almost like rock climbing) and a lot of people didn't complete it on the day we went. But the trail is well marked and provides good views of the water. At the top, the panoramic view is beautiful.
  • Beautiful hike and amazing views from the top! Be warned, the rock face that must be climbed to get to the top can be daunting. I didn't make it all the way up, but enjoyed the view with other timid folks about halfway up the rockface.
  • This is a good hike. It is challenging but we'll worth it. I started out early in the morning and got to the top just as the sun was coming over. I think it would be tough to take little kids all the way up but I saw some families going up as I was coming down.
  • Hiked to the Chimney Tops on July 2nd with my wife and 12 year old son. We had a great time. As others said, there are a lot of steps on this hike but the view was well worth it. This hike will challenge you so be prepared and be sure to wear good shoes. If you plan on scaling the rock at the summit then I suggest good sneakers as the rocks are worn and slippery, even when dry. Sneakers seem to grip better than other types of shoes. The rocks at the top can be intimidating and you really could fall to your death if you fool around or don't pay attention but if you are careful and take your time it doesn't seem as bad and the view is a great payoff. Bring a camera and a walking stick!