Mount Cammerer View

Mt. Cammerer Trail: Experience the Ultimate Hiking Adventure

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Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of nature on the Mt. Cammerer Trail, a challenging yet rewarding hike that will leave you spellbound. This trail, located in Greenbrier and Cosby, offers not only breathtaking panoramic vistas but also a glimpse into history. Embark on an 11.1-mile journey with an elevation gain of 3,045 feet, and be prepared to witness the wonders of the Sutton Ridge Overlook and the iconic Mount Cammerer fire tower. This article serves as your ultimate guide to conquering this strenuous trail and immersing yourself in the splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Trail Features: Difficulty and Distance

  • Trail Difficulty: Extreme
  • Round Trip Hours: 6 Hrs
  • Round Trip Miles: 11.1 Mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,045 Ft

The Magnificence of Mt. Cammerer

At an elevation of 5,054 feet, Mount Cammerer stands tall as the pinnacle of this trail. Prepare to be captivated by the panoramic views that await you at its summit. As you venture along the trail, you’ll be greeted by picturesque vistas, dense forests, and occasional traces of wildlife, such as bear tracks. This trail is truly a paradise for seasoned hikers seeking an extraordinary adventure.

Trailhead Directions

To embark on your Mt. Cammerer expedition, start by entering Gatlinburg and taking the third light at the 441/321 junction. Head eastward towards Highway 321/73 for approximately 18.2 miles until you reach Highway 32. Make a right turn towards Cosby Creek and continue for another 1.2 miles, leading you to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After entering the park, drive for 2.1 miles until you reach Cosby Campground. Park your vehicle in the designated area on the left, specifically allocated for the Low Gap Trailhead, which marks the beginning of your hike to Mt. Cammerer. Remember to park correctly to avoid any inconveniences.

Mount Cammerer View

Trailhead Tips

Among the various trailheads available at Cosby Campground, select the one located between the river and the road. This specific trail will eventually intersect with the lower Mount Cammerer trail, so stay attentive to the sign indicating the upward path. While any other trailheads at the campground can lead you to Low Gap, ensure you avoid the trailhead for Gabes Mountain Trail and Hen Wallow Falls.

Embarking on the Journey of Mt. Cammerer Trail

Begin your journey at the Low Gap Trailhead of the Appalachian Trail. This popular hike will guide you towards the captivating fire tower, offering a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. The hike consists of:

  • 2.9 miles along the Low Gap Trail to reach the Appalachian Trail junction.
  • 2.1 miles from the junction to the fire tower.
  • 0.6 miles to the mesmerizing fire tower itself.
  • The return journey follows the same path.

The Thrill of the Mt. Cammerer Trail

Brace yourself for a rocky and steep-grade hike through a mature hardwood forest. The 2.9-mile stretch on the Low Gap Trail will test your stamina as you conquer the challenging incline. However, the switchbacks make the ascent less arduous than the descent. For safety purposes, consider using hiking poles, particularly during the more difficult descent. The trail begins to level out after 3.7 miles, treating you to magnificent views of Toms Creek and Cosby Creek valleys. The final seven-tenths of a mile consists of a tiring yet achievable climb up a steep and rocky hill, leading you to the lookout tower.

Mount cammerer lookout

Estimated Duration and Preparation

Plan for your Mt. Cammerer adventure to last approximately 6 to 8 hours, excluding breaks and time spent resting at the fire tower. This trail is not suitable for infrequent hikers or those unprepared for a demanding trek. To ensure a successful and safe hike, consider preparing by tackling shorter trails in the weeks leading up to the Mt. Cammerer trail. Gradually build your endurance and familiarize yourself with the challenges of hiking to enhance your overall experience and minimize the risk of injuries.

Advice for Hikers of Mt. Cammerer Trail

Capture the Beauty

Don’t forget to bring a camera and binoculars to capture the breathtaking views and potential wildlife encounters along the trail. Cherish the memories of your Mt. Cammerer journey for years to come.

Pack a Picnic

Take the opportunity to savor the summit of the trail by packing a delicious picnic. Once you reach the zenith, indulge in a well-deserved break, enjoying the panoramic scenery from the fire tower.

Essential Items

As this is a full-day hike, ensure you pack essential items such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, ample water, and energy-boosting snacks. Be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your adventure.


It is advisable to start your hike around 10 am to avoid cloudy mornings that can hinder visibility. By selecting an optimal time to begin your journey, you maximize your chances of enjoying the trail under favorable conditions.

Cosby Campground

If you’re interested in camping, Cosby Campground provides a peaceful retreat. The campground rarely reaches full capacity, ensuring you have a comfortable and serene environment. Additionally, the spacious picnic area allows for a tranquil dining experience amid nature’s embrace.

Mt. Cammerer, Appalachian Trail

Seasonal Delights

Different seasons offer unique attractions along the Mt. Cammerer Trail. In May, you can witness the breathtaking carpet of fringed phacelia at the junction point where the Low Gap Trail meets the Appalachian Trail. Mid-summer showcases vibrant blooms of rhododendron and a diverse array of wildflowers. For the best display of fall foliage, plan your hike in October to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature’s color palette.

Mt. Cammerer Trail: A Majestic Summit of Nature’s Splendor

Embarking on the Mt. Cammerer Trail promises a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience. From the dense forests and captivating vistas to the historic Mount Cammerer fire tower, every step along this trail is an opportunity to connect with nature’s grandeur. Remember to adequately prepare, both physically and with the necessary provisions, to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Capture the mesmerizing moments, revel in the panoramic views, and cherish the memories of conquering Mt. Cammerer, a testament to the magnificence of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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