Trip Planner: USA / Tennessee / Great Smoky Mountains National Park / Charlies Bunion
Characterized by a picturesque steep-sided outcrop just beneath the summit, Charlies Bunion offers expansive, breathtaking mountain views. Leave the traffic noise and hubbub behind and walk along the narrow ridge crest tunneling through deep conifers to reach this bare-rock mountain peak, which rises 1,696 m (5,565 ft) above sea level. Wear sturdy shoes and watch your footing. In addition to 488 m (1,600 ft) elevation change, plenty of roots, jagged rocks, and steep drop-offs make this hike quite challenging. If you feel like resting on your way up or back down, stop at the Icewater shelter. Work out when and for how long to visit Charlies Bunion and other Great Smoky Mountains National Park attractions using our handy Great Smoky Mountains National Park day trip planning tool.
Charlies Bunion reviews
Spectacular views. We are not used to walking through endless trees, so when we reached Charlies Bunion and actually had some views (of more trees) it made it all the more special.
Spectacular views. We are not used to walking through endless trees, so when we reached Charlies Bunion and actually had some views (of more trees) it made it all the more special. more »
We are in our 50s/60s and experienced hikers. Though most sources rate this trail as "moderate" we rate it "hard/strenuous". We think it's harder than Alum Cave to Mt LeConte. Once we got to Charlies.... more
We are in our 50s/60s and experienced hikers. Though most sources rate this trail as "moderate" we rate it "hard/strenuous". We think it's harder than Alum Cave to Mt LeConte. Once we got to Charlies.... more »
This was our favorite Smoky Mountains hike of our trip, the views all the way up were insane and it was so high up and so beautiful it felt like it couldn’t be real. BUT LISTEN, everywhere I looked online it says it takes 3.5 hours round trip, IT TAKES MORE. We did the hike with this in mind - it took us over 5 hours, and we were absolutely hauling it the whole way back. We ended up finishing it off in the dark, I can’t emphasize enough how scared we were. We just did it mid November and large portions of the trail were totally covered in ice, making it much more difficult, especially if you’re not prepared to deal with that. Multiple passing hikers also said it took them 5 hours, so it was not totally just us being slow. Please learn from our mistakes - I would not start this one past noon.
We found this hike and viewpoint after a just few google searches. When we got to the top, it made sense why this is such a popular attraction. The hike was easy enough to enjoy ourselves but hard enough to feel like we had a day of being active. I can't stress the views enough. Since the hike follows the Appalachian trail between TN and NC, we could look to the right and see one state and look to the left and see another, both with stunning views. I would suggest anyone who wants to visit this place to bring at least 1.5-2L of water and something for lunch. The trail head is right at the car park, which also offers maps and bathrooms. All around a really convenient and beautiful experience!
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