Bote Mountain TrailModerate

Laurel Creek Rd. / Townsend, TN

Bote Mountain Trail

Distance (One Way)

6.6 miles

Elevation Gain

3,448 feet


Laurel Creek Rd.


Townsend, TN

Trail Description Written by Caroline Sullivan

Bote Mountain Trail is an uphill climb all the way to the Appalachian Trail. It connects to several other trails and is often hiked as a segment of a larger hike or an access point to the Appalachian Trail.

The most common routes that include Bote Mountain trail are for hiking to Rocky Top on Thunderhead Mountain and the Spence/Russell Field loop. Bote Mountain trail is characterized by its tunnel-like appearance.

The Bote Mountain Trail is an old road that passes along the ridge of Bote Mountain. When the road from Cades Cove to Spence Field was built in the 1850s, Cherokee workers were asked which ridge the road should follow. The workers pointed to the mountain and said “Bote”; i.e., “I vote for that one”, except there is no “V” sound in the Cherokee language.

#appalachian trail
#horse trail
#rhodo tunnels
#rocky top
#russell field
#townsend tn

Bote Mountain Trail Elevation Profile

Bote Mountain Trail Elevation Profile Tom Dunigan's Elevation Profiles

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade


Fairly Steep

Paul Petzoldt Scale






Shenandoah Scale


Very Strenuous




Photo Gallery (6)

Trail Map

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Hiking To Spence Field & Rocky Top or the Spence/Russell Field Loop

Spence Field is a grassy bald-like area marking the western end of Thunderhead Mountain in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are a few ways to reach it and make a full day hike out of it. The shortest rou...

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The above list of hiking trails in the Smokies is incomplete and constantly being updated. If you have information or photos you would like to contribute, please contact [email protected].

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