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mountain summit

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mountain summit

Hello!

I am coming in July with my ten year old son. On most vacations, I like to hike to the summit of a manageable mountain with him.

For example we have done North Mountain in Arizona, Yunque Peek in Puerto Rico, Cadillac Mountain in Maine. Nothing huge. Nothing that constitutes "climbing," just upward hiking. Pretty much just feel good things that give my son a sense of accomplishment. Hokey, yes!

We will be camping in Cades Cove and hoping someone could give me advice on an easily reachable summit with a ten year old. 8 miles seems to be his reasonable round trip limit.

Thank you in advance!

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Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain
2,734 Reviews
Mount Desert Island, ME
Maine
Maine
United States
Cades Cove
Cades Cove
4,317 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
nashville
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1. Re: mountain summit

the problem with mountain climbing in the southeast... 99.999% of peaks are covered in trees. it can certainly take the joy out of climbing a mountain to get all the way to the top and not have a decent view.

there are still some good candidates in the smokies but i'm having trouble thinking of very many that are 8 miles or less, roundtrip.

Chimney Tops would be a good one... it's only 4 miles or so roundtrip, but it does require some hands-on climbing at the end. though, i know they had that trail closed for awhile because a bridge was washed-out. so check with the Park Service beforehand.

Charlies Bunion is another idea... it's just about 8 miles roundtrip.

also consider Brushy Mountain. i think it's like 6 and a half miles roundtrip, and you'll pass by (behind actually) a nice falls.

Edited: 6:06 pm, May 31, 2013
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Chimney Tops Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
378 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Charlies Bunion
Charlies Bunion
105 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
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7 reviews
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2. Re: mountain summit

Ashepabst,

Thank you so much for your help.

All three of the hikes you suggested look great. We plan to be in the park 4 days, one of which we will be biking the cades cove loop so we will probably not be up for a strenuous hike that day. I am thinking we will choose 2 of the 3 to fill 2 of our other days and maybe use the 3rd day for shorter tourist highlight sort of hikes.

It is truly a joy to have a child who is finally old enough to do some hiking that is a little more substantial! A bit of scrambling is entirely appropriate at his age, I just wasn't looking for anything where actual hiking gear was necessary.

Thanks again for your obviously well thought out reply!

Buford, Georgia
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449 posts
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3. Re: mountain summit

Chimney Tops was still closed as of this week but it looked like there was a crew there working on it. Hopefully you'll get lucky and they have it open. The Alum Cave trail up to Mt LeConte and out to Myrtle Point is a nice view but nearly 12 miles round trip and strenuous.

Here's a nice list of hikes: http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/

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Chimney Tops Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
378 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Alum Cave Trail
Alum Cave Trail
308 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Mount LeConte
Mount LeConte
228 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Tullahoma, Tennessee
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351 posts
145 reviews
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4. Re: mountain summit

Drive to Clingmans Dome and hike to Andrews Bald. Moderate difficulty, 3 6/10 miles round trip.

In Cades Cove, take the Rich Mountain Loop---moderate difficulty, 8 5/10 miles round trip, occasional open views of Cove.

Alum Cave Bluffs---moderate difficulty, interesting features including Arch Rock, a stream along the first mile of the trail, Duck Hawk Rock, and Alum Cave Bluffs, just under four miles round trip but a very popular trail.

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Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
2,360 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Cades Cove
Cades Cove
4,317 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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5. Re: mountain summit

The Charlies Bunion recommendation is a great choice. It will be slightly cooler at that elevation in July and you will get to see one of the shelters on the AT at Icewater Springs. Since you are camping in Cades Cove, Abrams Falls is a 5 mile RT with a trailhead located about half way around the 11 mile loop. A classic Smokies hike to a beautiful waterfall with a nice deep pool at the base of the falls. In July the water will feel great.

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Charlies Bunion
Charlies Bunion
105 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Cades Cove
Cades Cove
4,317 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
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427 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: mountain summit

Thank you everyone for awesome advice!

7. Re: mountain summit

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