Gregory Ridge Trail (Gregory Bald)Difficult

Parson Branch Rd.

Gregory Ridge Trail (Gregory Bald)

Distance (One Way)

5.0 miles

Elevation Gain

2,641 feet


Parson Branch Rd.

Trail Description Written by Caroline Sullivan

Gregory Ridge Trail is the more popular of the two trails leading to Gregory Bald because it is the shortest; the other trail is Gregory Bald Trail. Both trails are accessible via Parson Branch Road from the Cades Cove loop. Whichever trail you choose, your destination will be stunning.

This trailhead is only about 2.2 miles from Cades Cove on Parson Branch Road. The road will fork to the right into Forge Creek Road where you will find the trailhead parking lot. This 5 mile hike to Gregory Bald is in fact shorter than the alternate route, but hiking back down to the one way road forces you to drive all the way down to the far southwest corner of the park.

This trail includes 3 footbridges, a backcountry campsite just a couple miles from the trailhead, and parts of the forest that were significantly affected by the 2016 wildfires. This trail is mostly a relentless climb and is considered one of the more difficult trails in the park.

#flame azaleas

Gregory Ridge Trail (Gregory Bald) Elevation Profile

Gregory Ridge Trail (Gregory Bald) Elevation Profile Tom Dunigan's Elevation Profiles

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade


Fairly Steep

Paul Petzoldt Scale






Shenandoah Scale






Photo Gallery (11)

Trail Map

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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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