View Full Version : Cades Cove to Spence to Russell to Cove loop

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-02, 22:24
Distance: 13.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3370 ft
Hike Time: 7 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Hike Type: Loop

Enter the GSMNP at Townsend, TN. Bear right at fork and go 7 miles to the Cades Cove. Overnight parking is ajacent to the Cades Cove Ranger Station. Trailhead is located at the back of the Cades Cove Picnic Area.

The Anthony Creek Trail was a road for the first 1.5 mi until the Russell Field Trail intersection. Continue on this rocky Anthony Creek Trail, you will gain over 1500' to the Bote Mtn Trail. Turn right on Bote Mtn Trail. From here it is a steep climb to the Appalachian Trail. Now here are some options: if you are dayhiking and up for another two miles (out/back) you can turn left on the AT for spectacular views from Rocky Top; if you are backpacking turn right on the AT to Spence Shelter. If you choose to hike just the loop turn right and pick a place for lunch here at Spence Field. Continue (South) on the AT for 2.9 mi to Russell Field Trail and turn right. Follow Russell Field Trail for 3.5 mi to the Anthony Creek Trail and then turn left to complete the loop. If you are backpacking to Spence Field you still have the option of a side trip to Rocky Top. Know the sunset time, grab your camera and a headlamp then hike out 1 mi to great views from Rocky Top.