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Andrews Bald

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

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Andrews Bald

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  • View from the parking lot.- Andrews Bald
  • The trail to Andrews Bald.- Andrews Bald
  • Trail junctions are well marked.- Andrews Bald
  • Aproaching Andrews Bald.- Andrews Bald
  • Andrews Bald.- Andrews Bald
  • Views from Andrews Bald.- Andrews Bald
  • Views from Andrews Bald.- Andrews Bald
  • The Smoky Mountains are filled with beautiful fungi, and the hike out to Andrews Bald has a wide array to get you started. - Andrews Bald
  • While hiking out to Andrews Bald, take a moment to soak up the view when you get a peek! - Andrews Bald
  • Andrews Bald. - Andrews Bald
  • Andrews Bald Trail.- Andrews Bald
  • Wildflowers can be found during warmer months along the Andrews Bald Trail. - Andrews Bald
  • The forest is filled with color and life during summer and winter wonderland beauty during cooler seasons. - Andrews Bald
  • The connector trail from Clingmans to Andrews Bald is on often overlooked trail that is packed with high elevation beauty. - Andrews Bald
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Enjoyable trail.
Cons: 
Congestion at the parking lot.
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Region:
Smoky Mountains, NC
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
925.00 ft (281.94 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,300.00 ft (1,920.24 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Andrews Bald is a popular day hike near Clingmans Dome. Located on a ridge below the timberline, Andrews Bald is a treeless grassy meadow. Balds are common to the southern Appalachians, but it is unknown how or why these balds came about. Common speculation is that they were cleared and used by early settlers for grazing purposes so that the lower elevations could be used for growing crops during the summer months. Today, Andrews Bald is maintained by the National Park Service and provides tourists with a fantastic spot to soak in some Great Smoky Mountain views.

The trail starts at the Clingmans Dome parking lot. Head to the Forney Ridge Trail and follow it for about 1.8 miles. Wooden and rock steps are plentiful, and elevated boardwalks are found along a section of the trail. As you approach the bald, vegetation starts to clear and views begin to appear. From the bald, look to the south and southwest for panoramic views stretching across the Smokies and down to Fontana Lake. Return to the trailhead via the Forney Ridge Trail. If you wish to explore further, try taking the Forney Creek Trail. This trail is very steep and poorly maintained in spots. However, it leads into a remote area of the park where several backcountry campsites are located.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(33 within a 30 mile radius)

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