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grotto falls hike in the smoky mountains

Top 5 Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains With Waterfalls

Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful things you can find in nature. In the Great Smoky Mountains, there are quite a few waterfalls people love to hike to and see. Some of the trails are easy, and others are difficult but definitely worth the work to see the waterfall at the end! Check out these top 5 hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls:

1. Laurel Falls

laurel falls in the smoky mountainsOne of the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains with a waterfall is Laurel Falls. The roundtrip length for this out-and-back trail is 2.6 miles. It is considered easy, especially since the path is paved. It was paved to make it easy for firefighters to get to the lookout tours decades ago. Now it’s ideal for kids and older adults who would have a hard time hiking on rocky paths. Laurel Falls stands at 80 feet tall with two tiers of gushing water. You can stand directly in front of the upper tier and take pictures.

2. Grotto Falls

Another popular waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains is Grotto Falls. The roundtrip hike is 3 miles and rated as moderate. You’ll hike along a creek for a good portion of the trail. One thing that is unique about this 25-foot-tall waterfall is its the only one you can walk behind in the Smokies. During the summer, you’ll find salamanders in the pool below the falls because of the cool, moist environment.

3. Abrams Falls

abrams fallsIf you enjoy exploring Cades Cove, then you should plan to hike to Abrams Falls! The trailhead is along the Cades Cove Loop, and the roundtrip length is 5 miles. To get to the falls, you’ll walk through old forest growth. There are a ton of wildflowers along this trail in the spring and summer. When you’re close to the falls, you’ll walk along Abrams Creek. Although Abrams Falls is one of the shorter waterfalls, the amount of water that gushes over the rocks is impressive.

4. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is another waterfall hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains. It’s 5.4 miles roundtrip and considered moderate. Parts of the trail are rocky, so be extra careful. You’ll cross creeks on footbridges and pass through old forest growth. Then you’ll see the 80-foot, single drop waterfall, which is the tallest of its kind in the Smoky Mountains. Rainbow Falls gets its name because in the early afternoon, you can see rainbows in the mist from the falls.

5. Ramsey Cascades

ramsey cascadesThe largest waterfall in the Smoky Mountains is Ramsey Cascades. This waterfall is one of the most difficult to get to with its 8-mile roundtrip length and 2,000-foot elevation gain. You’ll cross a few footbridges and see creeks. There are huge trees along this path that are huge, which are neat to see. Water drops over rocks and multiple tiers of the falls, which stand at an impressive 100 feet. The difficult hike is worth seeing this waterfall!

You have a ton of hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls you can try to see these natural wonders. Ready to start planning your next trip to the Smokies so you can see waterfalls? Browse through our available cabins and book one today!