There are so many beautiful natural features in the Smoky Mountains you’ll want to see. From incredible views of the mountains to historic buildings, there’s so much to explore. One of the most popular things to see are the Great Smoky Mountain waterfalls. Most of them are accessible by hiking trails, so you get to see quite a bit of the area when you hike to them. Here are the top 5 Great Smoky Mountain waterfalls you’ll want to see:
1. Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trail to get to the falls is paved, making it considerably easier than some other trails in the national park. This hiking trail is considered easy with a roundtrip length of 2.6 miles. In the spring, you’ll see why the trail was named what it is because of all the mountain laurel. Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll be blown away by the 80-foot-tall, two-tiered beauty in front of you. There’s a footbridge that cuts along the first tier of the falls, making it so you can stand in front of the water for pictures.
2. Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is another popular Great Smoky Mountain waterfall. The trail to get to the falls is considered moderate at 3 miles roundtrip. The path is rocky with a ton of tree roots as well. You’ll follow along the creek most of the way. You might even see llamas along the trail taking supplies up to Mount LeConte. Grotto Falls is 25 feet tall and cascades into a pool of water. It is the only waterfall you can walk behind in the national park. If you look carefully, you might see salamanders near the waterfall.
3. Rainbow Falls
A beautiful waterfall that’s pretty unique is Rainbow Falls. This is the tallest, single-drop waterfall in the national park at 80 feet tall. To get to the waterfall, you’ll hike through dense forest and beside creeks. This trail is considered moderate, and it has a roundtrip length of 5.4 miles. If you are at the waterfall in the early afternoon, you’ll see why it’s named Rainbow Falls. When the sun hits the mist from the falls, it creates a rainbow.
4. Abrams Falls
Another Great Smoky Mountain waterfall you’ll want to hike to is Abrams Falls. The trail is 5 miles roundtrip and considered moderate. The trailhead is located in the middle of the Cades Cove Loop, making it a great place to get out and stretch your legs. You’ll hike through a ton of old forest growth and along the creek until you reach the falls. Abrams Falls is 25 feet tall, but the amount of water that gushes over the rocks is impressive.
5. Ramsey Cascades
If you’re an avid hiker, then you should definitely see Ramsey Cascades. This waterfall is beautiful with several rock tiers where water flows over into a pool at the bottom. The hike to get to this waterfall is considered difficult and is 8 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike over creeks and through the woods until you reach the falls. Ramsey Cascades is about 100 feet tall.
These Great Smoky Mountain waterfalls are absolutely beautiful. They are just one of many incredible things to experience in the national park. Want to know what you should do while you’re in Pigeon Forge? Check out theses attractions in Pigeon Forge for some ideas!