One of the most popular activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hiking. Many people enjoy hiking to waterfalls in the park. There are several waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains you will want to go on. Here are the top 6 waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains you should experience:
1. Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is a popular waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains. The trail is considered moderate and is 3 miles roundtrip. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to hike to the falls and back. The trail to get to this waterfall is also used to take supplies to Mount LeConte. Supplies are carried by llamas, so you might get to see them along your hike! Grotto Falls is a unique waterfall; it is the only one you can walk behind in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You will probably see salamanders near the waterfall because of the damp, cool environment.
2. Ramsey Cascades
The most difficult waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains is Ramsey Cascades, but it is also considered one of the most rewarding. The trail is difficult with a roundtrip length of 8 miles. You’ll hike through old forest growth and beside creeks. Once you reach the cascades, you’ll see that water rushes over multiple tiers. It stands at 100 feet tall, and water gushes into a pool at the bottom.
3. Abrams Falls
If you are planning on being in Cades Cove, you should hike to Abrams Falls. This trail is moderate with a 5 mile roundtrip length. You’ll see all kinds of trees and native plants. You might even see wildlife along your hike. Closer to the waterfall, you will walk alongside the creek. Abrams Falls is only 20 feet tall, but there is a massive amount of water that rushes over the side of the falls.
4. Laurel Falls
The easiest and one of the most popular waterfall hikes is Laurel Falls. The roundtrip length is 2.6 miles, and the trail is considered easy. It is one of the only trails in the national park that is paved. In the spring, you can see where its name comes from because of all the mountain laurel in bloom. At the end of the hike, you will come up on the 80-foot-tall waterfall. It is separated into two tiers by a footbridge you can walk across. People love taking pictures in front of the falls.
5. Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls is another pretty popular waterfall. The trail is considered moderate with a 5.4 mile roundtrip length. You’ll walk through a ton of forest, and you might even see wildlife. Rainbow Falls is the tallest, single drop waterfall in the park at 80 feet. In the afternoon, the mist creates a rainbow effect, which is where the name comes from.
6. Spruce Flats Falls
Spruce Flats Falls is kind of a secret waterfall in the park. It’s not on any of the official park maps, but the beautiful waterfall is worth hiking to. The trail is considered moderate with a roundtrip length of 1.8 miles. This is a great hike if you want to avoid crowded areas so you can really enjoy the quiet and beauty of the park.
These are just a few of the beautiful waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains you should experience. Are you ready to come explore the mountains? Look through our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals and pick one for your next trip today!