North Carolina's Blue Ridge & Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains Walking & Hiking Tour
National Park Adventures in Appalachia
Witnessing the dark-blue tint of the Blue Ridge Mountains from a distance and smoke-like fog rolling over the Great Smoky Mountains in the wee morning hours—just two reasons this is one of our favorite hiking destinations. Once you've explored the rhododendron-shaded trails, felt the mist of waterfalls on your face and witnessed the rolling valleys and majestic peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, we're willing to bet you'll add them to your favorites list.
THIS ITINERARY: 5 days, 4 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Hotels
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
- Explore the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with spectacular waterfalls, oak and pine trees, and endless vistas
- Follow wooded trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, home to elk, black bears and over 200 bird species
- Kick up your feet and relax on porch swings at charming cabins tucked into forest settings and sit down to fine southern cooking
- Hike through high-country alpine forest, along pristine streams and rivers, and amid natural beauty along the Appalachian Trail
5 Days Casual Hotels
Meet in Asheville—a town with an appealing blend of Jazz Age sophistication and bohemian eccentricity | Soak up the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with stretch-forever vistas of valleys, mountains, woodland, waterfalls and historic sites | In the Great Balsam Mountains, keep an eye out for migratory birds as you scan alpine views | Our walk through pine and hemlock woodland in DuPont State Forest is all about waterfalls—four postcard-perfect cascades that range from 8 to 120 feet | Trek to Bridal Veil Falls to witness its waters rushing down exposed granite | Take in the forest surroundings from the private porch of your cabin in Pisgah Forest.
Bordering Pisgah National Forest, the modern cabins at Pilot Cove are designed to blend into their verdant setting and have easy access to area trails.
Step into Tennessee for our first hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an International Biosphere Reserve with hundreds of miles of breathtaking backcountry | Climb the famous Appalachian Trail for views of the Smokies, including peaks of Mount Le Conte and Myrtle Point | Pass by Fraser fir and red spruce woods keeping an eye out for wildlife from deer to bears | Arrive at the rugged rock outcrop of Charles Bunion to take in the impressive panorama | Hike through an old-growth forest along a creek to a formation of black slate dubbed Arch Rock | Climb stairs carved into the stone to catch sight of incredible mountain scenery including the Eye of the Needle—a hole in the top of the rock at Little Duck Hawk Ridge | Gaze above for passing peregrine falcons | Admire Alum Cave, a massive concave overhang towering 80 feet high | Walk along trails that show off their seasons—blooming dogwoods and azaleas in spring, bright mountain laurel and rhododendron tangles in summer and spectacular foliage displays in fall | Discover incredible geologic formations at the top of Mount Le Conte, one of the highest Smoky Mountains | Savor Appalachian-inspired dishes and handcrafted cocktails at Dancing Bear Lodge | Salute the sun with an optional outdoor yoga class | Hike to one of the most scenic falls in the Great Smoky Mountain, Spruce Flats Falls.
With porch swings, rocking chairs and simple charm, the contemporary cabins at Dancing Bear Lodge offer rustic comfort in a serene setting.
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Activity Level: 2-4
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.
The terrain we encounter on this trip ranges from lightly rolling to hilly with several steep longer climbs. Some routes have exposed sections. Hiking trails are often uneven, with roots, mud, rocks and other obstacles. Please note that unpredictable mountain weather can make hiking conditions more challenging.
Daily Route Options
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
- Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
- Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
- Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
- Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
- Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
- On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
- Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
- Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
- Park and other entry fees
- Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
- Select coach transfers
- Baggage transfers and porterage
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
In order to bring you to our favorite corners of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we spend more time shuttling on this trip than on a typical Backroads trip. These strategic shuttles enable us to explore the best hikes this region has to offer.