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Smoky Mountains

Hiking Club

Rocky Top

  • 07/15/2023
  • 7:30 AM
  • Lead Cove Trailhead, Laurel Creek Road, GSMNP


  • For member hike registrations
  • For non-member hike registrations

Registration is closed

This challenging, up-and-back hike from the Laurel Creek Road trailhead starts with a tree-shaded, 1.8 mile ascent of Lead Cove Trail to the junction at Sandy Gap with Bote Mountain Trail (~1,250 ft. climb), where we ascend this scenic (and rocky) trail south along the ridge, up to the junction with the Appalachian Trail near Spence Field shelter (2.9 miles and ~1,850 ft. climb). After a rest break we go east on the Appalachian Trail, up Thunderhead Mountain to Rocky Top (~1.3 miles with ~800 ft. climb) for lunch. We'll have spectacular views and plenty of sunshine if it's a clear day. Return the same way. Total of 12.0 miles and ~3,900 ft. total elevation gain, rated difficult. Pack extra water. For carpooling, meet at the former Alcoa Food City parking lot (131 North Hall Rd.) at 6:45 am (52 miles RT @10 cents = $5.20), or at the Lead Cove Trailhead on Laurel Creek Road ready to hike at 7:30 am.

Leader: Eric Sundstrom

Leader contact information is included under Additional Information in the email you receive after registration.

For information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit the NPS website or call the information line at (865) 436-1200.

Smoky Mountains Hiking Club

PO Box 51592

Knoxville, TN 37950-1592

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