Placeholder Routes & Places


Day Hike - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Day 1 (of 4) hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Amazing views, wildflowers and waterfalls abound on this hike to Brushy Mountain.

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,745 ft

Trillium Gap Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg  at 8:30 am.

35°40'49.3"N 83°27'44.8"W - Google Maps

There is no entrance fee for the Great Smoky Mountains, but a parking pass is required.  $5/day or $15/week.

Fees & Passes - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (

This is the first of 4 day hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from May 5-8th.  The trails are designed to showcase the best views, wildflowers, waterfalls, geology and history that this park has to offer.   The timing of the trip coincides with the Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage on May 1-4, which the leader will be attending.  This is an event featuring professionally guided walks, exhibits, and other learning opportunities to explore the region's rich natural and cultural resources including fungi, ferns, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, medicinal plants, insects (terrestrial and aquatic), salamanders and snakes, birds, mammals (bats to bears), journaling, art and photography, and park history - and would provide great background knowledge for the proceeding hikes.  Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Pace will be moderate, with plenty of time for taking in the scenery. 

Here is the proposed route for this hike:

From the Trillium Gap Trailhead we will follow the Trillium Gap Trail through a beautiful old-growth forest, viewing a smorgasbord of wildflowers along the way.  Next is a gentle climb to the tumbling cascade of Grotto Falls, which you can actually walk behind, and is an ideal habitat for salamanders. We will continue to climb to Trillium Gap and then take the short trail to the summit of Brushy Mountain through a tunnel of rhododendron, mountain laurel, sand myrtle and other heath family shrubs and bushes. This spot offers outstanding views of the entire eastern flank of the Great Smoky Mountains including Charlies Bunion, Mount Sequoyah, Mount Chapman, Mount Guyot and beyond.  After lunch, we will return to the trailhead.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging, although carpooling options to the trailhead can be arranged.  Leader has secured a 3-bedroom-plus loft home (Apr 30-May 9) that can be shared with several participants (send me an email if you are interested).  The Knoxville airport would be the most convenient to fly into.  There will be options for dining together and sharing free time activities.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports