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12.8 miles

Trail Type


Trail Difficulty


Δ Elevation (FT)

~3100 (+)

USGS Quad Map(s):  Great Smoky Mountain National Park Topo Map

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Spence Field Loop

TennesseeNorth Carolina | Great Smoky Mountains

  • Spence Field in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a snowy afternoon.

Activities & Features


Spence Field Loop is a tough day hike or backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that rewards hikers with wonderful scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. The Spence Field Loop starts at the Cades Cove Picnic Area and Anthony Creek Trailhead. The trail offers hikers sweeping views of the park and incredible expanses of Mountain Laurel. From Spence Field hikers and backpackers can expect tremendous views of the North Carolina side of the Great Smokies. This hike is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and explore the park's backcountry. There is plenty of camping available in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Spence Field is named after early Cades Cove settler James Spence, who built a cabin the field in 1830. The field family grazed sheep in the high alpine meadow. Also, 6-year-old Dennis Martin disappeared from Spence Field during a family camping trip in 1969. His remains were never found.

Red Tape

Entrance and Camping Fees
Contact: Great Smoky Mountains National Park 107 Park Headquarters Road Gatlinburg, TN 37738

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