Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Snake Den Ridge Trail

Rising 2,500-plus feet over 4.6 miles, this strenuous trail zigzags through hemlock and rhododendron to a pair of exposed ridges with long Appalachian views.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.5



Location: 35.753345, -83.208519

Start near campsite B51; trail gradually climbs on wide, well-marked Snake Den Ridge Trail in mixed hardwood forest


Location: 35.751022, -83.209251

Turn R; still ascending on Snake Den


Location: 35.749149, -83.214218

In the grassy clearing on R sits several weathered, blackened tombstones dating back to the late 1800s


Location: 35.747684, -83.215302

Outcrop: Below, Rock Creek rushes swiftly through a corridor of rhododendron thickets


Location: 35.745998, -83.216278

Cross Rock Creek; take short break on wooden bench before stiff climb up forested fl anks of Snake Den Mountain


Location: 35.742676, -83.227081

Slimy green moss covers boulders in spring-fed creek; cross, head N


Location: 35.744518, -83.230782

Trial winds up a series of rocky switchbacks


Location: 35.743248, -83.232765

Cross exposed knifelike ridgeline through a hallway of sharp-leafed rhododendron; views fi lled with treeless bald mountains and rolling green ridges


Location: 35.732765, -83.245491

Turn R @ T


Location: 35.732796, -83.252159

Climb to second ridge and enjoy distant views of more balds and a huge forested peak shrouded in long, misty clouds; backtrack to trailhead