Distance (One Way)
The 11.2 mile roundtrip hike to Mt. Cammerer via Low Gap Trail and the AT is the most popular and shortest route to reach the summit. You'll find the trailhead near the Cosby Campground.
The entirety of Low Gap Trail is 5.4 miles one way and is rated moderate with an elevation gain of about 2,600 feet. It intersects with the Appalachian Trail after a very steep 2.9 mile trek from Cosby Campground. If you continued back down the other half of Low Gap from the intersection, you'd find yourself at Big Creek Trail after 2.5 miles.
Low Gap Trail’s ascent follows Cosby Creek, with a ravine separating the trail from the creek on your right. The trail curves left at 0.9 of a mile and continues to ascend through large hemlocks and poplars. Watch for a large poplar that leans over but then bends and stretches straight up in search of light above the canopy.
The 2.1 miles of the Appalachian Trail are slightly easier than the upward incline of Low Gap. You still gain just under 1000 more feet of elevation, but at a much less aggressive pace. After a brief decent at the end of this stretch, you'll run into the trailhead for the very short 0.6 mile Mt. Cammerer Trail.
Mt. Cammerer Trail (unlike the 7.4 mile Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail) is a very easy stretch and the final trail that leads to the lookout tower.
On some North Carolina maps, Mt. Cammerer is called Sharptop.[+ Read More]
Trail Difficulty Scales Explained
Paul Petzoldt Scale
Hiker Tips & Trivia
- There is limited parking and the campground is closed in the winter, so you may need to park at the backpacker’s parking area near the registration hut.
- A large portion of this hike is horse friendly, so watch out for droppings.
- Due to the steep incline of Low Gap Trail, trekking poles are especially helpful on the way back down.
- The true Low Gap trailhead is close to the entrance of Cosby Campground, but you can also access the trail from the Lower Mount Cammerer trailhead at the southeast point of the grounds; this cuts out about 0.4 miles of the trail.
- Abrams Falls Trail (4.2 mi)
- Alum Cave Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5 mi)
- Andrews Bald via Forney Ridge Trail (1.8 mi)
- Anthony Creek Trail (3.5 mi)
- Appalachian Trail Smoky Mountains Segment (71.7 mi)
- Baskins Creek Trail (2.7 mi)
- Baxter Creek Trail (Mt. Sterling) (6.6 mi)
- Big Creek Trail (Mouse Creek Falls, Midnight Hole) (5.8 mi)
- Bote Mountain Trail (6.6 mi)
- Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5.4 mi)
- Bradley Fork Trail (7.3 mi)
- Brushy Mountain Trail (Mt. LeConte) (4.9 mi)
- Bullhead Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5.9 mi)
- Cataract Falls (Fighting Creek, Cove Mountain Trail) (0.5 mi)
- Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail (4.2 mi)
- Charlies Bunion via Kephart Prong Loop (14.2 mi)
- Chestnut Top Trail (4.3 mi)
- Chimney Tops Trail (2 mi)
- Clingmans Dome Trail (0.6 mi)
- Cove Mountain Trail (8.5 mi)
- Cucumber Gap Trail (2.4 mi)
- Dry Sluice Gap Trail (4.2 mi)
- Eagle Creek Trail (8.9 mi)
- Elkmont Nature Trail (0.8 mi)
- Forney Ridge Trail (5.4 mi)
- Gabes Mountain Trail (Hen Wallow Falls) (6.6 mi)
- Gatlinburg Trail (1.9 mi)
- Grapeyard Ridge Trail (7.6 mi)
- Gregory Bald Trail (Gregory Bald) (7.3 mi)
- Gregory Ridge Trail (Gregory Bald) (5 mi)
- Grotto Falls (Trillium Gap Trail) (1.4 mi)
- Huskey Gap Trail (4.1 mi)
- Jakes Creek Trail (3.3 mi)
- Kephart Prong Trail (2 mi)
- Laurel Falls Trail (4 mi)
- Little Greenbrier Trail (4.3 mi)
- Little River Trail (6.1 mi)
- Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail (7.4 mi)
- Lumber Ridge Trail (4.1 mi)
- Lynn Camp Prong Trail (3.7 mi)
- Maddron Bald Trail (Albright Grove) (7.3 mi)
- Meigs Creek Trail (3.5 mi)
- Meigs Mountain Trail (6 mi)
- Middle Prong Trail (Indian Flat Falls) (4.1 mi)
- Miry Ridge Trail (5 mi)
- Mt. Cammerer Trail via Low Gap + AT (5.6 mi)
- Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail (5.3 mi)
- Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome (7.7 mi)
- Noland Creek Trail (9.2 mi)
- Old Settlers Trail (15.8 mi)
- Old Sugarlands Trail (3.9 mi)
- Panther Creek Trail (2.3 mi)
- Porters Creek Trail (Fern Branch Falls) (3.7 mi)
- Rainbow Falls Trail (Mt. LeConte) (6.5 mi)
- Ramsey Cascades Trail (4 mi)
- Rich Mountain Loop (8.7 mi)
- Russell Field Trail (3.5 mi)
- Spence/Russell Field Loop (13.2 mi)
- Spruce Flats Falls Trail (Buckeye) (1.8 mi)
- Swallow Fork Trail (4 mi)
- Sweat Heifer Creek Trail (3.7 mi)
- Thunderhead Mountain (Rocky Top) (6.6 mi)
- Trillium Gap Trail (Grotto Falls, Mt. LeConte) (8.9 mi)
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@example.com.