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Top 3 Best Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains

Home | Blog | Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains | Top 3 Best Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains
Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Thinking about your next vacation? Make sure you see the best waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains while you’re here! With over 500,000 acres, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of Appalachia’s most scenic views, including some amazing waterfall trails. When you book your stay at one of our cabins, you’ll have access to these beautiful trails and can experience the falls for yourself! Here are the top 3 best waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls in Cades CoveDon’t let the height of Abrams Falls fool you, these falls are some of the most powerful in the Smokies. Named after a Cherokee chief whose village was once located near the falls, Abrams Falls is a breathtaking scene! The large pool at the bottom is picturesque but swimming is not recommended due to strong currents and undertows at the base of the falls. To get to Abrams Falls, there is a moderately difficult five-mile hike through the pine-oak forest. Hikers must also cross three narrow log bridges to reach the falls, so pets and bikes are not allowed on this trail. It typically takes hikers between 3-4 hours to hike to Abrams Falls and back. Access to the falls is located in Cades Cove.

2. Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls is one of the most unique waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains! Trillium Gap Trail, the path to get to Grotto Falls, actually goes behind the waterfall! Hikers can feel the water from the falls as they walk under the canopy. Grotto Falls is great for young kids due to the amount of wildlife near the falls! The moist environment is home to creatures such as salamanders and frogs for the family to observe. The hike to the falls is three miles roundtrip and is moderately difficult. Typically, this hike takes people between 2-3 hours to complete. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended since portions of the trail are rocky. Do not attempt to hike this trail in sandals or flip flops.

3. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls in the Smoky MountainsIf you’re looking for big waterfalls, Rainbow Falls is the destination for you! This 80-foot waterfall cascades a beautiful rainbow on sunny days and creates an epic ice formation in the winter. Rainbow Falls is a little higher than the other two falls, gaining around 1,500 feet in elevation from the trailhead. To the falls and back is 5.4 miles, but for the hikers who are all about the climb, you can reach the summit of Mount LeConte after four more miles. The hike to the Rainbow Falls is also considered moderate in difficulty and it generally takes 3-5 hours to finish. Always remember to bring a water bottle with you when hiking these trails and plan your hike so you’re guaranteed to be back before dark.

Go chasing waterfalls and make awesome memories getting outdoors to see these sites for yourself! Visit the best waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains when you book your stay in one of our cabins! Browse all of our Smoky Mountain cabins here!