Andrews Bald Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
miles
LENGTH 3.4 MILES
DIFFICULTY 5.5 Easy
Medium
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
800
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Andrews Bald

One of only two grassy balds maintained by the park service, Andrew’s Bald is a breath of fresh air coming from the Clingmans Dome parking lot. Far enough to lose most of the crowds but not so long that it can’t be enjoyed by almost anyone, Andrew’s Bald is a great destination on its own or in conjunction with Clingmans Dome and other trails in the area.

Park at the Clingmans Dome parking lot. The size of the lot should tell you it can get crowded fast. Restrooms are available and quite nice, complete with toilet paper and hand sanitizer – luxuries compared to other trailhead restrooms. To reach Andrew’s Bald, take the Forney Ridge Trail which begins just before the paved path to Clingmans Dome. This trail will descend quickly and come to a junction in a little more than .1 miles. All junctions are well marked with signs detailing the mileage to the bald. Hang a left to continue on to Andrew’s Bald.

For the first half mile the trail allows for occasional views before entering a more dense section of forest until reaching the bald. Several sections here can be muddy but elevated planks have been positioned to help cross these areas. The first mile descends over 550 feet before arriving at the second junction with the Forney Creek Trail. Continue straight, now uphill. This ascent is short lived and soon heads back downhill.

At 1.7 miles, the trail opens to the large grassy field of Andrews Bald. Expansive views to the south include the surrounding mountains and Fontana Lake. The bald is several acres in area, so explore around. Although the crowds of the parking lot won’t be here, don’t expect to be alone as this is still a very popular area. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the sunshine before heading back up the way you came down.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length3.4 miles
difficulty5.5 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Grassy Bald  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain800 ft.
park/forestGreat Smoky Mountains National Park
ranger districtGreat Smoky Mountain National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
865-436-1200 (dial 0 for the Visitor's Center)
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.556993, -83.496274 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°33.42, W 83°29.78 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°33'25'', N 35°33'25'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.556993, -83.496274 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°33.42, W 83°29.78 most GPS units use this one
N 35°33'25'', N 35°33'25'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
From US 441 head down the 7 mile Clingmans Dome Road. This road is closed from December 1st to March 31st.
Notes
For up to date park and road closures, visit GSMNP Alerts or follow @SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.
There are a few steep drop offs and muddy sections, so watch small children.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-8 months ago
Bald is Beautiful
High elevation open balds are always breathtaking with expansive views, and Andrews Bald is no exception. Just a short hike from Clingmans Dome parking lot so make this a double feature and visit both.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Summer 2013
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