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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

GSMNP 3 of 6 - Gregory Bald Loop

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gregory Ridge Trailhead
Date(s) & Time:Tue, May 1 2018  10:00 am >> Tue, May 1 2018 5:00 pm
Registration Opens: Sun, Apr 22 2018 7:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Apr 27 2018 7:00 pm
Event Duration:Approx. 7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:14.2 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Bill Wey
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 3 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


<<< Gregory Bald Loop from Gregory Ridge Trailhead  >>>

We will meet and start from Gregory Ridge trailhead. The Gregory Loop Trail starts from the Gregory Ridge trailhead to Gregory Bald, then going down from the Gregory Bald Trail, and then follows the Parson Branch Road, the one-way road back to our cars.

This trail is the second highest grassy bald in GSMNP. It is well known for its most brilliant azaleas shrub. Thousands of azaleas bloom there with white, pink, yellow, orange, and striking orange-red colors in the summer season of late June. We just have to use some imagination when we visit there in early May.

Almost all of the 3,000 feet elevation gain is during the first 5.7 miles going up to the summit. The rest of the loop is mostly flat or downhill.

We will enjoy our lunch and plenty of mountain views at the top of this famous grassy bald before going down to complete our loop hike.

The event duration does NOT include our travelling/ driving time. Our duration time is an estimate, and we need to have some flexibility.

This event is physically challenging and rewarding! You can fully enjoy it IF AND ONLY IF you have good fitness and endurance. Please only register if you are comfortable hiking in the real mountain environments, and have recent D5 experience.

If your experience is not from the club, please include it in a note when you register. TL(s) reserves the right to remove registrants without sufficient track record for the safety of everyone. We encourage our members to actively participate with joyful experience, and most importantly to stay healthy and safe at the end of each event!

Required Items to Bring:


If you're in other member’s car: bring extra pair of Clean shoes, bag for changed shoes, towel to sit on. Only enter with clean shoes. Remove all trash and your belongings.

Layers of clothing suitable for the season.

Good hiking boots/shoes.

Water, lunch/snacks.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.


Hiking poles


Rain gear just in case

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Starting from Sugarlands Visitor Center of GSMNP to Gregory Ridge Trailhead is 32.7 miles. The normal driving time is about 80 minutes. Driving on this route is very scenic itself. Most people take their time when driving on this route to enjoy the views. It is one-lane in each direction. So we need to allocate at least 90 minutes for this drive to trailhead.

It is 30.3 miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center going west following park sign to Cades Cove Visitor Center.

Cades Cove Visitor center is located on the Cades Code Loop Road, a one-way loop road. Right before the Visitor Center, turn slightly right onto Forge Creek Road for 2.4 miles to its end to reach Gregory Ridge Trailhead.

1. This event may be cancelled or rescheduled if weather conditions are not satisfactory for an enjoyable outing.
2. Itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the trip leader.

<<< Hiking in GSMNP >>>

I will stay in Gatlinburg, TN starting 4/28, and not making day trip back to Atlanta.

There are lots of affordable lodging options in Gatlinburg, TN. The choice of lodging is completely optional of each member.

The hiking is free, but we need to cover ALL our costs. All costs are paid by members on their own. The AOC and trip leader do not pay any costs. This is not an AOC paid event.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.