5 of the Best Waterfall Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the top spots in the southeast for waterfall chasing. Many of the waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains are located near our hotel in Gatlinburg! Below are just 5 of the many trails and waterfalls that are located within 30 minutes of our hotel.

Roaring Fork Area Waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains:

Rainbow Falls

Smoky mountain waterfall hikesRainbow Falls is located on the Rainbow Falls Trail and is a 5.4-mile round trip moderate hike to the waterfall. In the autumn of 2018, a 2-year restoration project on the trail was completed and included improvements that make the trail safer and eliminated visitor-created side trails. For those looking for more of a challenge, the Smokies third highest peak, Mount LeConte, can also be reached via the Rainbow Falls Trail.

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls in the Smokies can be found on the Trillium Gap Trail and is the only waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains where the trail actually goes behind the waterfall. The hike to Grotto Falls is 2.6 miles round trip and is rated easy. However, the trail does have numerous roots and rocks so proper footwear and hiking basics are recommended. The Trillium Gap Trail can also be used to access Mount LeConte. The trail is also known for being the path that the LeConte Llamas use to deliver supplies during open season.

Read more  Want to hike The Wave? Getting a permit is about to be a little easier: What you need to know

Baskins Creek Falls

Baskins Creek Trail on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail will take you to Baskin Creek Falls with a 3-mile round trip hike, rated easy. The waterfall is 40 feet high and is made up of two tiers. Though rated easy, the trail is not to be underestimated. Baskins Creek is a great spot to escape the crowd and is easily accessible from Gatlinburg.

Greenbrier Area waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains:

Fern Branch Falls

The Porters Creek Trail will take you to Fern Branch Falls with a 4-mile round trip moderate hike. Porters Creek Trail is a popular wildflower trail in the springtime, however, it’s a perfect escape to solitude the rest of the year. You’ll find the Brushy Mountain Trail along the trail as well, a trail that can be connected to Trillium Gap or to Mount LeConte. The trail also includes a cabin, farmstead, cemetery, and campsite to explore.

Ramsey Cascades

Smoky mountain waterfall hikesRamsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the Smokies and is located along the Ramsey Cascades Trail. This particular hiking trail is considered to be one of the more strenuous trails in the area, but is well worth the 8-mile round trip climb to the top. The trail will take you by streams and cascades, as well as under some of the largest and oldest trees in the park.

During your stay with us at The Appy Lodge you won’t only be near many waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains, but you’ll also be surrounded by inspiring hiking history. Our hotel was built in honor of the Appalachian Trail, one of America’s greatest gems. Within the hotel you will find hiking books, displays, decor and more. Learn more about the Appalachian Trail, then get ready to spend your hiking trip with us at The Appy Lodge!

Recommended For You

About the Author: Tung Chi