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blueBlack Snake Den Ridge Trail

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5.4 mile 8.7 kilometer point to point
68% Runnable


Ascent: 3,421' 1,043 m
Descent: -6' -2 m
High: 5,782' 1,762 m
Low: 2,367' 721 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Max Willner

This trail meanders through lush flora before reaching the ridge and continuing towards the AT.

Max Willner

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Great Smoky Mountain National Park closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here.

All campsites must be registered with the park. Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here.


Starting at the Cosby Campground, this trail snakes along 5.4 miles on its way to the Appalachian Trail.

Shortly into this trail, runners will find a junction that connects the Low Gap Trail and Lower Mount Cammerer Trail. Not even a mile in, there's a small graveyard from the early 1900s.

At 1.8 miles in, there's a stream crossing at Inadu Creek (with Inadu Mountain nearby, at 5,177'). The vegetation gets a bit thicker around here. From there, the trail begins to gain in elevation a bit more as it works along the ridge, at times offering a nice view of the surrounding area.

At around 4.2 miles, the trail opens up into a more open area (around Snake Den Mountain) and comes to a connection with Maddron Bald Trail. RunnerS can opt to continue onto Maddron Bald Trail for about 1.5 miles to reach Campsite #29 (Otter Creek). Continuing along Snake Den Ridge Trail, runners will eventually reach the Appalachian Trail. From there, they can turn right towards Mt. Guyot or left towards Low Gap.

Flora & Fauna

The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit the park's website.

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus). For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage.


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May 18, 2019
Corey Holt
Rhododendrons are starting to bloom lower down and are budding higher up. The trail is a tough and constant climb 5.4mi — 1h 50m

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 6 votes


in Cosby


  3.5 from 6 votes
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in Cosby


in North Carolina


29 Views Last Month
996 Since Sep 4, 2015
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