4 Waterfall Hikes in the Smoky Mountains You Need to Explore
There are many amazing things you can see when you go hiking in the Smoky Mountains! Whether it be gorgeous mountain views, wildlife, or historical buildings, there is always something exciting and intriguing waiting to be discovered. One of the natural formations that people love to see while hiking is waterfalls. The Smokies are filled with amazing trails that will take you to this amazing natural beauty. Here are 4 waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains you need to explore:
1. Abrams Falls
While it may not be one of the tallest waterfalls in the Smokies, the large volume of water gushing over Abrams Falls more than makes up for its lack of height. All the water collects in a pool beneath the falls, creating a gorgeous photo for visitors. Before you get to the waterfall, this trail also offers other natural beauties, including an old hemlock forest along the creek. Overall, the hike to Abrams Falls is 5 miles roundtrip and is rated as moderate in difficulty. This is one of the Smoky Mountain hikes that can be completed in just a few hours, giving you plenty of time to be there and back before dark.
2. Grotto Falls
Along the Trillium Gap Trail, you have the chance to see one of the Smoky Mountain’s most impressive waterfalls. Grotto Falls is a majestic 25 foot waterfall that is picture perfect, so be sure to bring your camera along on the trip. In total, the trek to Grotto Falls is 2.6 miles roundtrip, making it one of the shorter waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains. Typically, it takes the average hiker between 2 and 3 hours to complete the journey. Be on the lookout for salamanders near the falls, as they like to live in moist areas under rocks.
3. Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls is probably one of the most popular Smoky Mountain hikes. One of the reasons is because the trail is relatively flat, making it easy for children and older hikers. As far as the waterfall, it is 80 feet tall and is named after mountain laurel, which is an evergreen shrub that commonly blooms along the trail. The most common time to see the blooming plant is in late April and early May. Another unique feature of Laurel Falls is that it is divided into two sections, with a walkway that cuts it in half. This is a great place to line up for a family photo during your vacation!
4. Rainbow Falls
With a name like Rainbow Falls, you know it is a sight you have to behold. This 80 foot waterfall can be accessed via Rainbow Falls Trail, and is roughly 5 ½ miles roundtrip. The reason it is named Rainbow Falls is because the mist that reflects off on sunny afternoons creates an amazing rainbow. This is also a popular winter hike in the Smokies because during cold spells you can see ice hanging from the falls.
Now that you know about the best waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains, check out some of the other Smoky Mountain attractions you will want to visit during your vacation! We look forward to seeing you soon!