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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.

Gregory Bald Azalea Hike

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park   Hike: Gregory Bald Azalea Hike  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jun 17 2023  9:00 am >> Sat, Jun 17 2023 9:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Jun 1 2023 5:02 am
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Jun 15 2023 5:02 am
Event Duration:12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:16 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Steve H
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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: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Azalea lovers from all over the world come to Gregory Bald to experience the finest display of flame azaleas anywhere on the planet. Gregory Bald is a 10 acre grassy meadow with azaleas in a rainbow of colors, including fire red, wine red, orange, salmon, yellow, white, pink, and even multi-colored azaleas. 

This will be a strenous 16 mile hike with over  3,600 feet of elevation gain in the first 7.5 miles. On the way down from Gregory Bald, we will descend about 2,000 feet in the first 3 miles.  If you have not completed several recent D5 hikes, the TL will contact you to discuss your fitness for this hike. 

Our loop hike will start at the Twentymile trail head. We will begin with an easy .5 mile on the Twentymile Trail and then begin the steep ascent up the Wolf Ridge Trail.  We will hike 6.3 miles on the Wolf Ridge Trail to the Gregory Bald Trail. From there, it is another 1.2 miles to the Bald. After enjoying a long break among the Azaleas on the Bald, we will continue on the Gregory Bald Trail to Long Hungry Ridge Trail. After a steep descent over 4.6 miles on the Hungry Ridge Trail, we will rejoin the Twentymile Trail. From there, it is another 2.6 miles along Twentymile Creek to the side trail for the Twentymile Cascade, where we may stop to enjoy a dip at the falls to cool off from the day. After that, it is less than a mile to the end of our hike. 

NOTE: Parking is very limited at the trailhead and a long drive so carpool is required. Therefore, meet at the trailhead is highly discouraged on this event. If you sign up you will be in a carpool.

After the hike, we may decide to grab a well earned burger at Deals Gap, the start of the "tail of the dragon". This will be a game day decision and optional, based on driver discretion.

Required Items to Bring:

Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
Water and/or sports drink - at least 3 liters
Lunch and Trail Snacks
Emergency rain gear

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

Trekking poles
Bug Spray (Highly recommended!)
Shorts to swim in / swimming clothes (for water hole at the end)
Bandana or Hat
Change of clothing for the car ride home
Trash bag for wet / muddy clothes

LED flahslight or head lamp- we may finish after dark

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

The trailhead is at the Twentymile Ranger Station.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):300Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $120.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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

Cost Includes:

Carpool Cost is set by the driver

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