Hitting a section of the Smoky Mountains I have neglected for some time I decided to finally get up to see the fire tower on top of Mount Crammerer. Mount Cammerer is in the Big Creek area on the North Carolina side of the national park. On this hike I did a there and back using the following trails...
Chestnut Branch................2.1 miles
Appalachian Trail..............3.3 miles
Mt. Cammerer Trail...........0.6 miles
Total Miles of hike............12.0 miles
At about two thirds of the way to the Mount Cammerer Trail head you come to a rock outcropping with a fantastic view of the mountains. These views are hard to come by in the Smokies due to all the tree cover so I aways take some time to enjoy and take it all in. After this incredible view the trail becomes quite steep again finally evening out at the Mount Cammerer junction.
The Mount Cammerer trail is only about a half mile and leads you to the fire tower. It is a wonderful hike through mountain laurel tunnels and little rock scrambles which then drops you out in front of a small rock wall the fire tower sits on. The view from around the fire tower are amazing though the inside of the fire tower is a little less the desirable. With the structure sitting close to the Appalachian Trail you get a lot of hikers that use it as a shelter so there is a lot of rubbish lying about.
I found a nice rock with a view and took a coffee snack break before heading back down. There are a lot of flies, horse flies, and bees flying around this area, but they did not bother me too much. I did not run into anyone until I got to the Mount Cammerer trail, but on my way down the volume of people increased quite a bit. One of the reasons I always like to get started early.
This was a fantastic hike, and I would recommend trying it out. The elevation is not a joke so be prepared for a climb, but the view is well worth it. I am planning on doing this one again but turning it into loop with Low Cap and Big Creek and maybe an overnight at backcountry campsite #37.
Hike up to Mount Crammerer Links
YouTube Video: Hike up to Mount Cammerer
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