Trail Run Project Logo

gem icon Charlies Bunion [Suggest Edits]

60 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

If you're looking for sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains, few places will reward you the way that Charlies Bunion will. Don't be scared off by the name, as the route was the result of a hike shared by early park proponents Horace Kephart and Charlie Conner. When the pair reached the summit, Charlie removed his shoes and socks to reveal a feature that looked remarkably like the outcrop that the men were sitting on.

Though there are numerous peaks in the mountain range, dense vegetation will often obstruct the sweeping views that might be expected. The summit of Charlies Bunion is "bald," meaning that the rocky surface of the peak prevents vegetation from overtaking the area. In addition, a wildfire cleared many of the trees from the sides of Charlies Bunion, which only enhances your sight lines. The result is that Charlies Bunion provides some of the best views of the entire park.

Upon reaching the bald, take your time to soak up the beauty that the summit has to offer. This point offers some of the farthest reaching views, and visitors will be able to see all the way from Mount LeConte and Mount Kephart to the west and northwest, to the Sawteeth Range in the east. This incredible panorama is lovely and unique.

This is one of the most popular viewpoints in the park, so make sure to set out early or during the winter season to avoid most of the crowds. With a spectacular reward, and a chance to run on the famous Appalachian Trail (AT), it's no wonder why the area sees so many visitors annually.

Additionally, the area surrounding Charlies Bunion is populated by cliffs and other steep topography. You'll want to be extra cautious around the bald.

Half-Day Run: Visitors will have to undertake an 8 mile (roundtrip) run to reach the bald.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

0 Comments

You & This Gem

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 20, 2018
Matthew Esslinger
Great day hike, desolate when it gets late.

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Alum Cave Bluff

Alum Cave Bluffs

(85) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Plenty of mountains to view from Clingman's Dome.

Clingmans Dome

(143) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Hike the popular 2.3 mile roundtrip trail to reach the 80 foot Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The falls is broken up in an upper and lower section with a narrow bridge cutting across. This photo is shot at the bottom of the lower section of the falls.

Laurel Falls

(112) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

(55) Gatlinburg, TN
gem Favorite Andrews Bald.

Andrews Bald

(32) Bryson…, NC
gem Favorite Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower quite literally puts you amidst the clouds.

Mt. Cammerer Lookout Tower

(22) Newport, TN
gem Favorite Mingus Mill

Mingus Mill

(29) Cherokee, NC
gem Favorite Inside the arch rock.

Arch Rock

(21) Gatlinburg, TN

Nearby Trails

10.7 mi 17.3 km Alum Cave - Cliff Top Out and Back
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Snowy, Some Mud, Icy
15 days ago
274 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Charlies Bunion Out and Back
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Muddy
36 days ago
132 
4.2 mi 6.7 km Chimney Tops Trail
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
41 days ago
151 
5.4 mi 8.7 km Rainbow Falls
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy, Mostly Dry
49 days ago
80 
2.6 mi 4.2 km Grotto Falls
Intermediate Intermediate
Gatlinburg, TN
Intermediate Intermediate
Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
88 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Ramsey Cascades Trail
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Difficult Difficult
Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud, Icy
36 days ago
72 
0.8 mi 1.3 km Clingmans Dome Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Intermediate Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
87 
17.7 mi 28.6 km Mt. Sterling Loop (Big Creek / Baxter Creek)
Difficult Difficult
Cove Creek, NC
Difficult Difficult
Cove Creek, NC
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud, Fallen Trees
13 days ago
58 
3.6 mi 5.8 km Andrews Bald Out and Back
Intermediate Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Intermediate Intermediate
Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
65 
10.8 mi 17.4 km Mt. Cammerer from Low Gap
Difficult Difficult
Newport, TN
Difficult Difficult
Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
46 
Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Aug 5, 2016. All Page Views: 6,550. Last Month: 34.
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started