Scott Mountain Trail

scott mountain trail

Scott Mountain Trail in the Cades Cove area of the national park. Image by Jeaneane Payne

Scott Mountain Trail is about two miles above the Cades Cove Loop.  The trailhead is at the intersection of Indian Gap and Crooked Arm Ridge trails. Scott Mountain Trail begins, ascends and eventually descends approximately three and a half miles to the Schoolhouse Gap Trail. This trail’s greatest feature is that of solitude as it takes you on a hike away from Cades Cove.

The trail’s greatest drawback is that you must hike miles before reaching its beginning. To reach the Scott Mountain Trail, take the Cades Cove Loop Road to the trailhead of the Rich Mountain Loop Trail, which is near the orientation shelter at the beginning of the cove. Walk one half mile up the Rich Mountain Loop Trail and bear right on the Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. Two and a half to three miles up the Crooked Arm Ridge Trail there will be an intersection with the Scott Mountain Trail. Turn right onto it.

Keep in mind when choosing a hike in Cades Cove that a difficult day of hiking is six to eight miles for most people in good shape and that this hike, along with the effort to reach it, is about seven miles one way.

Take bottled water with you when hiking and maybe a snack or two.  Please bring all wrappers, fruit peelings, apple cores, and bottles back with you.  Do not leave them on the ground to endanger the black bears.

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