Smoky Mountain waterfalls are some of the most popular sights in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Waterfalls are something every member of the family can enjoy. Kids especially like hiking when they know the end result is having the chance to see a sparkling waterfall rush over rocks.
1. Laurel Falls
Access Trail: Laurel Falls Trail, about 3.5 miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center heading toward Cades Cove
Laurel Falls is one of the most popular Smoky Mountain waterfalls. This is partially because it is just a well known hike, and it’s also a paved hike, so many families will choose this hike for their family because kids have less difficulty hiking.
Laurel Falls is an 80 feet tall waterfall divided by a walkway into an upper and lower section.
2. Abrams Falls
Access Trail: Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove, past stop #10 in Cades Cove
Abrams Falls is not known for being the largest waterfall in the park. It’s only 20 feet tall, but the power and volume of water that rush over the falls is what makes it so great to visit.
Access Trail: Trillium Gap Trail on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Trillium Gap Trail is perfect for anyone who wants to explore the dense forestry of the Great Smoky Mountains. When you make it to Grotto Falls, if you’re visiting in the warmer months, you will notice many salamanders because of the moisture in the area from the falls.
4. Rainbow Falls
Access Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail in the Roaring Fork area
The Rainbow Falls trail is known for the rainbow it produces when the mist from the 80 foot Smoky Mountain waterfall glistens into the sunshine. In the wintertime, you can expect the falls to be surrounded with an ice formation which is also a great sight to see.
5. Ramsey Cascades
Access Trail: Ramsey Cascades Trail in the Greenbrier area
Ramsey Cascades is the tallest Smoky Mountain waterfall, dropping over 100 feet. When you visit Ramsey Cascades, you’ll likely see salamanders and a variety of trees, shrubs and other plants.
For more details on any of these Smoky Mountain waterfalls, take a look at the National Park Service’s information: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm
Quick Tips for Hiking to Smoky Mountain Waterfalls
As always, be careful when you hike to one of these Smoky Mountain waterfalls. You’ll want to make sure you are wearing comfortable hiking or tennis shoes for the trip. You’ll also want to be sure to pack plenty of water because the water at the falls isn’t sanitary for drinking. Most of the water in the national park is contaminated, so please remember to pack water and not drink what’s in the streams and waterfalls.
After hiking to these Smoky Mountain waterfalls, you can make a quick drive back to one of our beautiful cabins near the mountains. Located in Gatlinburg TN, our cabin rentals will be the perfect place for you to stay. No matter the size of your group, you can find a cabin that meets your needs. Click HERE to browse through our Gatlinburg cabin rentals.