Hiking the Andrews Bald Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

August 13, 2018

If you are looking for outstanding views of the Smoky Mountains then make sure to add the Andrews Bald Trail to your next adventure list! This popular trail is well maintained, easy to navigate, and a great option when you want to bring children along. Keep reading to find out what you can expect on this trail!

Round Trip Length 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain 900 feet
Trail Highlights Stunning Mountain Views

Trailhead: Stone Stairs on hiking trail

From the Sugarlands Visitor Center drive 13 miles on Newfound Gap Road to Clingmans Dome Road. The turn right onto Clingmans Dome Road and drive another 7 miles to the of the road. The parking lot for Clingmans Dome is large, and often very popular with visitors. The trail starts at the edge  of the parking lot on the Forney Ridge Trail.

Trail Description:

The Andrews Bald Trail is 3.5 miles roundtrip. This trail used to be one of the roughest trails to navigate in the Smokies. However, now thanks to the Trails Forever program in the park the trail is much more manageable. You can even bring children along!

You can expect lots of stone stairs that make it much easier to navigate. For a little over a mile the hike will be mostly downhill. There are many peaceful sections along the hike where it feels incredibly quite and like you are the only person for miles. Then, the last part of the trail will be uphill and level off once you reach Andrews Bald.

The bald has spectacular mountain views to admire! Here is your perfect opportunity to rest and take a break. From the bald you will see the Southern Smokies and even views of Fontana Lake on clear days. Because this trail is short you can even carry some picnic supplies to treat yourself or your family to once you reach this point.

On the return for this hike a majority of it will be back up the mountain. However, it is not a steep incline. As mentioned before the stone stairs throughout the trail make it more manageable to climb.

Trail Map

Use the Andrews Bald Trail map below to help with your hike along this popular trail!

Things to Know About the Andrews Bald Trail:

  • Andrews Bald in the Smoky MountainsDuring spring and summer you can see gorgeous wildflowers at Andrews Bald like the famous flame azaleas. Moreover, in the fall the bald is a spectacular place to admire the changing leaf colors in the Smokies.
  • Andrews Bald starts at the Forney Ridge Trail. At just over a tenth of a mile from the trail just after World War II a B-29  crashed into this area. The crash killed all 12 men that were on board.
  • If you have the energy after hiking this trail you can turn to your left once you reach the parking area to go up to Clingmans Dome which is only a mile round trip.
  • This is a popular trail in the national park. While the parking area at Clingmans Dome is large it will fill up very quickly so make sure to arrive for this hike early in the day.

Making the trek up the Andrews Bald Trail is peaceful and the reward at the end is stunning mountain views! You can’t go wrong with it! If you hike this trail and feel like you need to see more mountain views then we invite you to explore the hike to Alum Cave! You’ll not only find great mountain views, but some stunning geological formations as well!