Bookmark and Share

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Covers 82 hikes in the Smokies. Includes photos, trail maps, elevation profiles and quick reference trail highlights.

The Jumpoff

Trail Features: Panoramic Views the jump-off
Trail Location: Newfound Gap
Roundtrip Length: 6.5 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1275 Feet
Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 392 Feet
Highest Elevation: 6225 Feet
Trail Difficulty Rating: 9.05 (moderate)
Parking Lot Latitude 35.61084
Parking Lot Longitude -83.42509

Directions to Trailhead:

From the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, drive 13 miles south on Newfound Gap Road to reach the parking area at Newfound Gap. You'll be hiking eastbound on the Appalachian Trail to reach the Jump Off.

From Cherokee on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains, drive 20.2 miles north to reach the Newfound Gap.

Trail Description:

The hike to the Jump Off, via the Appalachian Trail, begins from the east side of the Newfound Gap parking area. A steady climb over the course of the first two miles of this hike will quickly leave the crowds at Newfound Gap behind. For your effort during this portion of the hike you'll be rewarded early and often. Take a short break at roughly two-thirds of a mile to enjoy some grand views of the North Carolina Smokies to the south. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for the wide variety of wildflowers that bloom at these elevations during the spring and early summer.


Just before reaching the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail junction at 1.7 miles, be sure to take in the outstanding views of Mount LeConte and Myrtle Point towards the northwest.

Throughout several portions of the hike you'll be traveling at elevations of around 6000 feet. Being at the highest point along this narrow ridge, with stunning views on either side of the trail, you'll feel like you're walking on the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.

at-viewAt just over 2.7 miles from the trailhead is the Boulevard Trail. Hikers should turn left at this junction.

Less than a tenth-of-a-mile after turning onto the Boulevard Trail is the junction for the Jump-Off. This side trail is not an official National Park trail, but it is marked with a sign. Although it has a few rugged sections, the trail is easy to follow.

Before reaching the Jump Off itself you'll have some great views of Mount LeConte along the way. Once at the Jump Off, roughly 3.2 miles from Newfound Gap, you'll have some spectacular views of Charlies Bunion, Mount Guyot, and the Appalachian Trail ridge towards the east. This is an excellent place for a picnic, which also comes with a degree of solitude when compared to the far more popular Charlies Bunion.

If you still have the energy you'll have the option of hiking out to Charlies Bunion. Instead of returning back to the parking lot after exiting the Boulevard Trail, turn left and go east on the Appalachian Trail. The stunning views there are well worth the additional two-and-a-half mile roundtrip hike.