It's almost June, which means mountain laurel will soon be blooming at the top of Spence Field.
The hike to Spence Field out of Cades Cove is probably one of the most underrated hikes in the Smokies. I would go so far as to say that the combination of Spence Field and Rocky Top could rate as one of the top three hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains. Gregory Bald would definitely be included in that group, with Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave, Mt. Cammerer or maybe Charlies Bunion rounding out the top three.
In addition to the outstanding views from Rocky Top anytime of the year, the mountain laurel at Spence Field makes this a special hike. The best time to tackle the 5.1-mile trek to Spence is usually right around mid-June when the grassy bald area is exploding with mountain laurel in peak bloom.
Spence Field also provides for some outstanding views of the North Carolina side of the Smokies, but if you still have the energy, hike another 1.2 miles to Rocky Top for an even better vantage point - possibly the best in the park.
Here's a preview of some of the sights you'll see at the top:
For more information on Spence Field, please click here, and for more information on the hike to Rocky Top, please click here.
If planning to make the pilgrimage to Spence Field or Rocky Top this season, you ought to make Townsend your headquarters. If you've never had the pleasure of staying in the Townsend area, known as the “Quiet Side of the Smokies”, you may want to note that it's much easier getting in and out of the park, and is fairly close to Cades Cove. If you need a rental cabin during your visit, be sure to visit our Townsend Accommodations page.
Hiking in the Smokies