October 3, 2022
We needed a reprieve from all the bears near Mt. LeConte. They had not been bothering us per se; I just yearned for a hike without my heart racing at what seemed like every turn. Gatlinburg surely has drawn the bears in close this year, obviously from the buffet of eating options.
Road Prong and Chimney Tops Trails present a great short hike option with some still-serious climb. We started on Climgmans Dome Road and hiked down and up for a total elevation gain of 2,871 ft. It was a cool morning, but what chill hung in the air from the mist emanating from Road Prong and the shadowed valley soon dissipated with the arduous climb up Chimney Tops Trail. It packs a punch at 1.420 ft. in 1.1 miles.
The quiet seclusion of Road Prong was quite the contrast to Chimney Tops. Even on this cloudy, foggy day; the crowds were out ascending the short track. Early fall was setting in and the ascent back to the car was nice, placid, and bear-free.
Total mileage is 8.8 miles.