Top 6 Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains You Need to See

ramsey cascades
April 3, 2020

When people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, they want to see all kinds of features you can only find in nature. One of the top things people want to see are waterfalls. There are plenty of waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains to see, plus you get to hike beautiful trails to get there! Here are the top 6 waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains you need to see:

1. Laurel Falls

laurel falls in the smoky mountains

Laurel Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the national park. It is probably because of the short distance of the hike and the fact the path is paved, making it an easy trail. The roundtrip length is 2.6 miles. In the spring and summer, you will see mountain laurel along the trail, which is where the name comes from. Once you reach the falls, you will see how incredible it is. The falls stand at 80 feet tall and have a huge amount of water gushing over the rocks. A footbridge separates the two tiers of the waterfall, making it easy for people to take pictures in from of the upper section.

2. Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls is located in Cades Cove. The hike is considered moderate and is 5 miles roundtrip. You’ll walk through old forest growth and see quite a few wildflowers in the spring. Abrams Falls is actually on the list of American’s most dangerous waterfalls, but that is because people climb on the falls, which you should never do. This waterfall is only 20 feet tall, but the amount of water gushing over the side makes up for its lack in height.

3. Baskin Creek Falls

baskins creek falls

The hike to Baskin Creek Falls is 3 miles roundtrip. It is considered easy since you mostly hike down to the falls, but the hike back is more strenuous since you will be hiking upwards. Baskin Creek Falls is 40 feet tall and has two tiers. This waterfall in the Smoky Mountains is close to Gatlinburg.

4. Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls is one of the more unique waterfalls in the national park. The trail to get to the falls is 2.6 miles roundtrip and considered moderate. Grotto Falls is 25 feet tall and one of the only waterfalls in the park you can actually walk behind. Be careful if you walk on rocks in this area because they will be slippery. You might even see salamanders in this area because of the mist and coolness.

5. Rainbow Falls

rainbow falls

Rainbow Falls is another unique waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. It is the tallest single drop waterfall in the area. It is 80 feet tall, and the roundtrip length of the hike is 5.4 miles. To get to the falls, you’ll cross over creeks on footbridges and walk through old forest growth. This waterfall gets its name from the rainbow you can see in the mist in the afternoon when the sun hits just right.

6. Ramsey Cascades

The largest waterfall in the Smokies is Ramsey Cascades. Getting to this waterfall is the most difficult trail. The roundtrip length is 8 miles, but it is well worth the trip. The last 2 miles of the trip pass through a ton of old forest growth, where you’ll see some of the largest trees in the national park. There are multiple tiers of Ramsey Cascades, and it’s a waterfall you don’t want to miss.

There are so many waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains you will want to see. Since you have an idea of what you are going to do when you stay with us, you should learn more about the area. Find more information on hiking in the Smoky Mountains here!