GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS HIKING TOURS
With their incredible hiking routes, huge Appalachian views, rushing rivers, and incredible wildlife, the Great Smoky Mountains offer some of the most spectacular wilderness in the U.S.
The Great Smoky Mountains are an unparalleled range of ecologically diverse, historically rich, naturally beautiful mountains straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to an amazing amount of wildlife, incredible hiking and backpacking routes, huge Appalachian views, rushing rivers, plunging waterfalls and wonderful history. This park is one not to miss!
Our guided Smoky Mountain hikes include Appalachian backpacking trips, portered hiking trips, inn-based hiking tours, and Smoky Mountain day hike tours. All of our Smoky Mountains hiking and backpacking trips are expert-led, all-inclusive, and feature top-of-the-line-gear and fantastic food! Don’t wait! Call us today between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 1-800-715-HIKE to start planning your unforgettable Great Smoky Mountains hiking tour adventure.
Top Smokies Trips
TOP SMOKY MOUNTAIN HIKING TOURS
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trip Styles
All Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trips (13 results)
Mount Sterling Appalachian Loop
Paddle & Hike Adventure
Best of The Smokies
Portered Creeks & Peaks
Smoky Mountains Classic
3-Day Smoky Mountain Hiking Experience
Winter Creeks and Peaks
Women’s Paddle and Hike Adventure
Smokies in a Day Private Tour
WHY HIKE THE
SMOKIES WITH US?
1. PASSIONATE, PROFESSIONAL GUIDES
Our Smoky Mountain guides are passionate about sharing their love of Appalachia with guests! It’s hard not to be passionate when your “office” is the stunningly beautiful, lush and varied wilderness of the Great Smokies! Whether it’s hiking guests to the top of a peak for amazing views; kayaking with them on our Paddle and Hike trip where we camp on an island; showing them the wonders of the fantastically biodiverse ecosystems of Appalachia; or driving them to one of our hand-picked, charming lodges after a memorable day hike on an inn-based tour, for professional hiking guides this is the life! You can see the results of this passion in our online reviews.
3. EXCEPTIONAL BACKCOUNTRY CUISINE
All your meals from breakfast Day 1 to lunch the final day are included on our multi-day tours, which include backpacking trips, portered treks and inn-based tours. Our day hike tours include lunch and trail snacks. In our online reviews and post-trip evaluations, guests often comment on their enjoyment of Wildland Trekking meals. Our philosophy is simple – menus should be varied, customized, use real ingredients and be “owned” by the guides. We believe firmly that the best results come from people who fully own the responsibility of what they’re creating. So we train our guides to cook, require backcountry food handlers certification, give them access to our comprehensive collection of recipes, and provide on-going support. The result is that guests get unique meals, different each time they travel with us, and our guides are easily able to adapt to dietary restrictions and preferences.
5. EXPERT NATURAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY INTERPRETATION
The Smokies are rich with natural and cultural history, and one of the great gifts of going with a guide company is learning about this wealth of knowledge available at your fingertips. From Native American and pioneer history to geology and ecology, these incredible mountains are holding fascinating stories every where you look. Wildland Trekking guides are selected partly due to their naturalist backgrounds and interests. And if interpretation isn’t up your alley, don’t worry! We won’t bore you with information you’re not interested in. Our guides are trained to look for and listen to what their guests are most interested in, and to respond to that with the best approach.
WHY HIKE THE
SMOKIES WITH US?
2. ALWAYS SMALL GROUP TRIPS
Great Smoky Mountains National Park limits backcountry camping permits to only 8 total people, so our backpacking trips and portered treks have a maximum capacity of 6 guests and 1-2 guides. Our inn-based tours and day hikes are limited to a total of 10 people, so 8 guests and 2 guides. In the Smokies these limitations are imposed, but we also limit our tours around the USA and the world to at most 12 guests and 2 guides, and much of the time to 6 guests and 1 guide. Many tour companies, even some of the world’s most well known, pack their trips with 24 guests to maximize profits. We believe this approach prioritizes quantity over quality which is why we significantly limit our group sizes.
4. TOP OF THE LINE GEAR
Gear is arguably the second most important safety component after having a quality guide. Many companies do not provide all necessary gear or charge rental fees. On Wildland Trekking trips, gear worth a retail value of $1000+, is provided. This gear package includes backpack, tent, sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every trip), sleeping pad, trekking poles, cooking equipment, eating utensils, water filters, bear safety equipment, first aid equipment, emergency communication devices and more. We use top brand’s equipment – names like Deuter, Osprey, Black Diamond, Big Agnes, Mountain Safety Research and others.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS TRIPS
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TRIP IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
Our Smoky Mountains hiking tours include:
- Appalachian Backpacking Trips – Our backpacking trips are the perfect way to explore the majesty of the Smoky Mountains. We have expert guides, the best gear and multiple levels of Smoky Mountain hiking trips. You can enjoy backpacking the Smoky Mountains according to your own experience level and preferred degree of challenge. We offer everything from overnight hikes to a full week of Great Smoky Mountain trails. From the Mount Sterling Appalachian Loop to the Smoky Mountains Classic and many in between, we offer a variety of adventures.
- Portered Hiking Trips – If you prefer to be a bit less encumbered when hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, consider one of our portered hiking trips. You’ll have all the top-of-the-line gear you need without the inconvenience of having to drag it all to every stop. Just carry a light daypack for yourself and our professional porters will take care of the rest, including setting up and breaking down camp when the time arrives. Add in our great meals and expert hiking guides, both included, and it’s an experience you’re sure to love.
- Inn-Based Hiking Tours – If hiking and sightseeing is your thing, but camping really isn’t, we have the perfect option for you. Our Inn-Based Hiking Tours allow you to enjoy the full experience of hiking during the day and enjoying great meals and bedding down in a cozy inn at night. You’ll see some of the best the Smoky Mountains has to offer over several days of quality day hikes with our best guides, experiencing amazing biodiversity, beautiful waterfalls and awe-inspiring vistas. You’ll wake up refreshed every morning and ready for the next adventure thanks to the lodging we arrange.
- Paddle and Hike Tours – If you know anything about the Smoky Mountains other than the signature and breathtaking rising fog that gives them their name, you probably know people love to kayak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, too. Our guests absolutely love our Paddle and Hike Adventure, a three-day unforgettable experience that features beautiful scenic island camping, a fire tower hike, authentic backcountry cuisine that your guide prepares and sunset paddling. It’s an adventure you’ll never forget.
- Smoky Mountain Day Hike Tours – Don’t have a whole week or even a few days to get away to the Smoky Mountains? We can still make sure you take in plenty of this natural wonder. Our extremely popular guided day hike tours include expert guidance through some of the key locations in the mountains, where you’ll learn natural and cultural history as you visit fascinating historical sites and experience the natural beauty of the area. A friendly and knowledgeable Smoky Mountains hiking guide, food and basic gear are all included, and you have several day tours to choose from. You won’t believe how much you can see and do in the Smokies in one day.
WHEN TO VISIT THE SMOKIES
America’s most visited national park is also a fantastic year-round destination. Winter of course is the least popular season due to potentially snowy conditions, but it is also the least crowded time of year to visit and a time of year when you can truly absorb the peace and quiet of the Appalachian wilderness. Autumn is the most popular season because of the stunning fall foliage color changes. Spring and summer are wonderful times to visit, with spring being less popular but fantastic, and summers being very popular with higher heat and humidity. In the summer, the higher mountain trips like Mount Sterling Appalachian Loop and Smoky Mountains Classic are cooler, scenic choices because they get us higher into the mountains.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
The Smokies are ripe with recreational opportunities! Aside from trekking and backpacking, one can enjoy a plethora of other wonderful activities. One obvious choice is rafting. The Smokies have wonderful, clear, swift rivers that offer fun, exciting white water rafting on class 2-4 rapids. Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers a great selection of rafting trips. Another option is horseback trail riding. If you’re a horse lover, then there are few places as great as North Carolina and Tennessee to enjoy a wonderful trail ride. We recommend Smoky Mountain Riding Stables for fantastic horseback rides. Finally, a canopy tour can be a wonderful add on to a multi-day hike or backpacking tour. Climb Works is home to the best canopy tour in Appalachia with 9 zip lines and hours of being up in the trees!
SMOKY MOUNTAINS VISITOR INFORMATION
- VISITING THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS: Get info on what to do, when to visit, how to get there, best hikes, best tours and more.
- BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SMOKIES: Learn the best times to plan your visit based on what you’re most interested in.
- WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN THE SMOKIES: Make the most of one day in America’s most popular national park.
- BEST SMOKY MOUNTAIN HISTORICAL SITES: Create your list of must-see historical sites.
- BEST SMOKY MOUNTAIN HIKES: See our list of the best hikes to do in the Smokies.
- GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN WATERFALLS: This national park is home to some amazing waterfalls! Find out which ones to visit and see.
- BEST GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN TOURS: Learn about the best tours to take advantage of including hiking, cycling, rafting and more.
- VISITING THE SMOKIES IN THE SPRING: Find out everything you need to know about visiting from March through May.
- VISITING THE SMOKIES IN THE SUMMER: Find out everything you need to know about visiting from June through August.
- VISITING THE SMOKIES IN THE FALL: Find out everything you need to know about visiting from September through November.
- VISITING THE SMOKIES IN THE WINTER: Find out everything you need to know about visiting from December through February.
- SMOKY MOUNTAINS BACKPACKING PERMITS: Planning a backpacking trip? Learn about the backcountry permit process.
- TOP HIKING TRAILS IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS: See our list of the top hiking trails to viewpoints, waterfalls, historic sites and more.
- ALL ABOUT WINTER IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS: Winter is a pristine time of year in the Southeast! Learn all about the winter months.