Chimney Tops

Chimney Tops (HM1D53)

Location: Gatlinburg, TN 37738 Sevier County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 38.315', W 83° 29.573'

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Can you imagine smoke wafting from the chimney-like formations on this ridge? Nearly vertical holes in the tops of these jutting rocks make them look like natural chimney flues, and mountain people named them so—Chimney Tops. The Cherokees called the mountain Duniskwalguni, meaning ?forked antlers.'

The half-billion-year-old Chimney Tops, made of slates, schists, and phyllites, sit atop even older rock—Thunderhead sandstone, a tough, erosion resistant rock. They chimney rock (Anakeesta Formation) is softer than the sandstone, allowing rain, hail, and ice—over hundreds of millions of years—to fashion its chimney-shaped likeness.

(Left Photo Caption)
The rugged Chimney Tops pierce the forest that cloaks most of the Great Smoky Mountain ridges. The bare rock offers scant soil for plants. Only shallow-rooted shrubs and trees like rhododendron, mountain laurel, red spruce, and eastern hemlock thrive here.

(Right Photo Caption)
Notice the dead trees on the adjacent slopes? They are eastern hemlocks, killed by tiny, non-native insects called hemlock wooly adelgids. The adelgids feed at the base of hemlock needles, cutting off nutrients and starving the trees to death. Using insecticides and biological controls park managers hope to save some hemlocks, but millions will be lost.

(Map Caption)
A steep, rocky, and rugged two-mile (3.2 km) trail leads to Chimney Tops and a panoramic view of the Sugarlands valley. The hike begins at the Chimney Tops trailhead, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) up the road from here.
Details
HM NumberHM1D53
Tags
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 1:53am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 274278 N 3946725
Decimal Degrees35.63858333, -83.49288333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 38.315', W 83° 29.573'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 38' 18.90" N, 83° 29' 34.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-431 Chimneys Picnic Area #1, Gatlinburg TN 37738, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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