Mount Sterling Lookout - 5,842'

Great Smoky Mountains Hikes

Great Smoky Mountains National Park comprises over half a million acres of some of the wildest and most rugged mountain terrain in the Southeast.  Over 850 miles of trail crisscross the park allowing ample opportunity for hikers to explore summits, valleys, and rivers alike.  It is a truly magnificent part of our National Park System and one that I never get bored of visiting.  In these albums you'll be able to come along with me on my many forays into the Great Smoky Mountains.  If you have never been, hopefully this taste will convince you otherwise...


Adventure Log:  102.9 miles


Each of the galleries below have two numbers in parenthesis alongside their name. The first is the TOTAL MILEAGE of the route, the second is what I’m calling the “Petzoldt Rating” of DIFFICULTY. Developed by Paul Petzoldt, founder of NOLS, this rating system is the best I’ve found for standardizing the difficulty of hikes. It works as follows: One ‘energy unit’ is given for very mile travelled on flat terrain. You then add one more ‘energy unit’ for every 500-feet of elevation gain. For example, a one mile hike with 1,000-feet of gain would give you a rating of 3.00. Consequently a two mile hike with only 500-feet of gain would also give you a rating of 3.00. Please note, however, these ratings do not take into account weather, rough terrain, fitness level, etc. I’ve divided levels of difficulty into five levels, based on the following Petzoldt difficulty ranges:

0.00-2.49=EASY;

2.50-4.99=MODERATE;

5.00-7.49=CHALLENGING;

7.50-9.99=HARD;

10.00-12.49=VERY HARD;

12.5 & up=EXTREME

CLICK HERE for a Google map of hikes in these albums...

Great Smoky Mountains Hikes by Difficulty


Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave  (19.90)

Mt. Cammerer  (17.21)

Charlie's Bunion & The Jumpoff  (12.94)


Ramsey Cascades  (12.38)

Enloe Creek Falls  (12.00)

Shuckstack Lookout Tower  (11.20)


Mt Sterling Lookout  (9.40)

Rainbow Falls  (8.52)

Andrews Bald  (8.00)

Chimney Tops  (7.52)


Porter's Creek Trail  (6.20)

Goldmine Loop & The Road to Nowhere  (6.00)

Mouse Creek Falls  (5.50)


Grotto Falls  (4.16)

Deep Creek Waterfall Loop  (3.70)