Top 4 Hikes in the Smoky Mountains with Waterfalls
July 16, 2021

Waterfalls are one of nature’s most beautiful formations. Between the ample rainfall and elevation factor, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of the best waterfalls in the Southern United States. The abundant rainfall flows down the mountainside to create some beautiful views. Many of the waterfalls in the Smokies can be accessed through different hikes in the park. Here are 4 of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls:

1. Abrams Falls

Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, this is one of the best waterfall hikes in the Smokies because of the amount of water that rushes from it. At the bottom of the falls, there is a pool that collects the water. The pictures you can get on the hike to Abrams Falls will be a memory you do not want to pass up. The hike to get to the falls is just over 5 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty level. When you see the water rushing from Abrams Falls, you will be glad you decided to make the trip.

2. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow FallsAs another moderate hike, the hike to Rainbow Falls is 5.4 miles roundtrip. The waterfall itself is one of the biggest that you can see in the Smoky Mountains. At 80-feet tall, the pure beauty of this waterfall will make the hike to it well worth your effort. If you are wondering where the name Rainbow Falls comes from, it is really quite simple. On sunny days, a rainbow is produced from the mist coming off the water that is flowing down. Something else that is amazing to see is when an ice formation begins to build around the falls during cold stretches of the winter months. The combination of the rock formation and the tall waterfall make this one of the must do hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

3. Grotto Falls

Taking the Trillium Gap Trail, the roundtrip distance to this waterfall is 2.6 miles. Grotto Falls stands at 25 feet tall and is most known for the amazing photographs you can get of it. In addition to the waterfall, the Trillium Gap Trail runs through an old hemlock forest so you can also get some amazing photos of different tree formations. The most distinctive feature of Grotto Falls is that it’s the only waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that you are able to walk behind. The way that the water runs off provides a cool and shady spot for hikers to stand, which is especially nice in the summer months. You will be amazed at the temperature difference between standing on the trail looking at the waterfall and what it feels like from behind the falls. Just be careful, there are many salamanders that live in this area so don’t be alarmed if you see one enjoying the shade with you!

4. Laurel Falls

Laurel FallsAs one of the easier waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains, Laurel Falls is an 80-foot high waterfall surrounded by trees and shrubs. The waterfall consists of an upper and lower section, which is divided by a walkway to give hikers a better view of the amazing sight. Because Laurel Falls is one of the easiest hikes to take to see a waterfall, it is also one of the most popular hikes, so be prepared for it to be a little more crowded than other trails. The history of Laurel Falls is very interesting. The name comes from mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail in the spring. The hike to Laurel Falls is one of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains for the whole family to enjoy!

Now that you know about some of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls, be sure to check out some other area information about places to visit while you stay with us!