Rich Mountain Trail

rich mountain trailOn the Cades Cove Loop and up the Rich Mountain Road are three trails. One of these is the Rich Mountain Trail. The trail has a couple of alternatives to choose from. The first alternative begins at the trailhead on Rich Mountain Road.  This is on the north side of Cades Cove.  It then descends to the Indian Grave Gap Trail. That is actually the end of the trail which is a distance of slightly over two miles. Once you reach Indian Gap Trail, the first alternative is for you to turn around and hike the two plus miles back up the mountain to your car.

This trail offers peace and quiet, beautiful forests and, finally,  the lovely cascades on Hesse Creek.


If you are hiking with a friend and you come in two cars, you have a couple of alternatives when hiking up this trail. To utilize them, one person needs to leave their car at the parking area.  It is near the beginning of the Cades Cove Loop. Next, both of you will drive up Rich Mountain to the Rich Mountain trailhead.  Hike the Rich Mountain Trail down to the Indian Gap Trail.  At this point, you can turn either left or right on Indian Gap.  

Left on Indian Gap Trail:  Turn left on the Indian Gap Trail, then take a right at the Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. Hike Crooked Arm Ridge Trail down to the Rich Mountain Loop Trail, where you will then bear left. That will take you back to the Cades Cove Loop Road close to the Rich Mountain Loop Trail. Right on Indian Gap Trail.

If you decide to turn right on the Indian Gap, you will then turn left onto the Rich Mountain Loop Trail then hike it all the way down to the Cades Cove Loop Road. At that point, you will see the trailhead and your friend’s car.

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