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The Jump Off Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, TN
miles
LENGTH 6.2 MILES
DIFFICULTY 9.6 Easy
Medium
DURATION 3-4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1590
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
The Jump Off

The Jump Off provides an expansive view while offering more seclusion than other views in the area. For those just driving through; stop off at the trailhead at Newfound Gap Overlook for incredible views without the sweat.

This hike begins at the Newfound Gap Overlook. This large parking lot can accommodate well over a hundred cars; however, on weekends can still fill up fast. The expansive view from the overlook will tell you why this area is popular. On the north side of the parking lot are restrooms and the Appalachian Trail crossing. Although there may be a lot of people at the overlook, as you travel down the AT, the crowds will quickly vanish. This is still one of the most popular hikes, so don’t expect to be alone. As with all trails in the Smokies, dogs are not allowed.

Begin northbound on the AT heading east. The trail gets right to the point, gaining 800 feet over the first 1.5 miles. Along the way there are several stone and wooden flights of steps and large rocks to climb over and around. Every once and a while there will be a break in the trees, giving you excellent views to the southeast of the North Carolina mountains and US-441/Newfound Gap Road weaving its way through the terrain. Arrive at the junction with the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail at mile 1.6. A sign is clearly marks the way. Continue straight along the Appalachian Trail.

At mile 2.6, the AT comes to the junction with the Boulevard Trail. Leave the Appalachian Trail here, heading toward Mt. LeConte. You won’t spend much time on the Boulevard Trail as just a couple hundred feet ahead a sign marks the turn off for The Jump Off. Taking this trail you will make the steepest climb along this hike. The equivalent of 1000 feet/mile, you will ascend 150 feet over .15 miles, reaching the summit of Mt. Kephart.

Mt. Kephart provides excellent views of Mt. LeConte. Like LeConte, Mt. Kephart also marks one of the Southern Sixers, mountains over 6000 feet in elevation in the southeast. Continue downhill now until the trail dead ends at The Jump Off. The drop off here is nearly vertical, providing a massive 180° view to the north, including Charlies Bunion if you can spot it. To make a longer hike head back to the Boulevard Trail junction and continue northbound on the AT another 1.3 miles to reach Charlies Bunion.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length6.2 miles
difficulty9.6 Easy-Medium
duration3 - 4 hours
features Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeWhite
elevation gain1590 ft.
park/forestGreat Smoky Mountains National Park
ranger districtGreat Smoky Mountain National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
865-436-1200
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.610941, -83.425101 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°36.66, W 83°25.51 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°36'39'', N 35°36'39'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Directions Trailhead Coordinates
35.610941, -83.425101 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°36.66, W 83°25.51 most GPS units use this one
N 35°36'39'', N 35°36'39'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
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Notes
The section around and including The Jump Off has very steep drop offs. Pay attention to children.
Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-3 weeks ago
Day Hiking the AT
It's always a pleasure to walk along the AT, even more so in the Smokies. The views from Newfound Gap parking lot and the Jump Off are impressive; however, this makes a much better side trail on the way to Charlies Bunion than a stand alone hike, but you are going to add 2.6 miles and some difficulty to your hike.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Spring 2013
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