Thursday, July 28, 2022

Hike up to Mount Cammerer

The Smoky Mountains 
Saturday, July 16, 2022

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

Started on Chestnut Branch around 05:30 still in the dark. I know from on my way back that this is a very pleasant hike along the side of a creek. The elevation gain does start early on this hike and is constant until you get up to the Mount Cammerer Trail head. The last little bit of this trail up to the Appalachian Trial junction has quite the elevation to it, and it was at this point that the first light of the day started to creep over the mountains.



Heading west on the Appalachian Trail one continues to head up at a significant elevation gain. Trail crews at one time made steps out of dead trees but a lot of these have become washed out and have made the steps quite high in places. After about a mile you hit the junction with the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail that takes you to the backcountry campsite #35 and then on to the Cosby campground. Here I continued west and up where I heard something big moving about out of eyesight. I made some noise then I saw something brown moving in the bush. I couldn’t get a full look so it was either a bear or a turkey and with how heavy it sounded I would venture bear.

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.

YouTube Video: Hike up to Mount Cammerer

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