13 Incredible Waterfalls in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg, TN has some of the most breathtaking views! Aside from stunning mountain views, Gatlinburg has a variety of spectacular waterfalls.
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, these Waterfalls in Gatlinburg are breathtaking.
To help you plan your next visit, we've put up a list of 13 Incredible Waterfalls in Gatlinburg.
Don't miss seeing these magnificent Waterfalls and the Smokies for anything.
Related: Top 20 Best Waterfalls in Maui Hawaii You must See.
13 Incredible Waterfalls in Gatlinburg
Abrams Falls, one of the Waterfalls in Gatlinburg is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park‘s famed Cades Cove section. This waterfall, which is located along Abrams Creek, is the largest in the Smoky Mountains. While there is a wide pool at the base of the falls and plenty of boulders to climb on, this spot is infamous for its hazard.
The volume of water at this waterfall causes strong currents that are unsafe for swimmers, and the rocks are slick with moss and water from the falls, which is why swimming is prohibited at Abrams Falls.
This magnificent waterfall is best viewed from the official hiking track. Drive on the Cades Cove Loop Road to reach this waterfall. A sign for the Abrams Falls Trail is located near the halfway mark. The round-trip journey to the falls is just less than five miles. Ranger crews are currently renovating the trail, so be aware of when it will be closed.
Direction: From Gatlinburg, drive 33 miles down the national park's Little River Road to the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road. A sign for the Abrams Falls Trail is located around the halfway point on the one-way loop road. The round-trip journey to the falls is just less than five miles.
Ramsey Cascades is the park's tallest waterfall in the Waterfalls in Gatlinburg standing at 100 feet. It is also one of the most beautiful.
The cascades' water cascades over rocky outcrops and settles into a small pool famed for its salamanders.
The 8-mile round-trip climb to the falls is extremely tough. Ramsey Cascades is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Greenbrier section, which is ideal for viewing big, old-growth hemlocks and poplars.
Direction: From Gatlinburg, travel 8 miles east on Gatlinburg's East Parkway, then turn right onto Greenbrier Rd. To reach the Ramsey Cascades Trail, follow signage.
The Ramsey Cascades is a rough journey that climbs 2,500 feet up Mt. Goyot's drainage, so be prepared for a lengthy, strenuous hike if you want to see this waterfall. However, rest assured that the effort will be well worth the reward of experiencing the Smokies' biggest waterfall.
Climbing the rocks near the waterfall is quite risky and is therefore prohibited.
Rainbow Falls, at 80 feet high, is one of the most stunning vistas in the Great Smoky Mountains. The waterfall is named after the rainbow created by the mist of the falls on sunny afternoons.
Direction: The Rainbow Falls Trail begins in the Roaring Fork area. To reach the Rainbow Falls parking area, turn right at Traffic Light # 8 and proceed past the Noah “Bud” Ogle Place on the Historic Nature Trail. Rainbow Falls is a 5.4-mile round-trip hike that is generally considered to be moderate in difficulty.
Behind the Sugarland, Ranger Station is Cataract Falls, a minor waterfall that makes a perfect stay for families with little kids. If you park near the ranger station (rather than at the Sugarlands Visitor Center), the falls are only a.1-mile walk through dense hemlock forests.
Cataract Falls may not be that Instagram-worthy waterfalls in Gatlinburg, but it is a pleasant hike along a lovely track. Due to its proximity to Gatlinburg, it's ideal for rounding up a day or adding one more activity before returning home.
It is also directly connected to town via the 2.0 mile Gatlinburg Trail if you choose to climb the mountain from your accommodation rather than venture into town. Note that climbing on or near the falls is highly risky.
This easy waterfall walk in Gatlinburg is a park favorite.
This magnificent waterfall trek has excellent hardwood woodland, mountain views, and a multi-tiered cascade. Mountain laurel blooms abundantly along the trailside of this Gatlinburg waterfall walk. In late April, these alpine plants blossom, producing a lovely scene.
The park service opted to asphalt the Laurel Falls route to prevent erosion. Although not steep or rough, the trail is not accessible to wheelchair users.
During peak season (fall, summer, and winter vacations), expect crowds on this popular hiking trail. Arrive early in the day to avoid the crowds and enjoy some peace on this hike!
Direction: Take Little River Gorge Road, 6 miles south of Gatlinburg. The Laurel Falls Trail parking lot is on your right. It is less difficult than most Smoky Mountain walks, the Laurel Falls hike is only 1.3 miles round trip.
Grotto Falls is popularly known as “The One You Can Walk-Behind” waterfalls in Gatlinburg ‘ The trail follows directly behind the waterfalls. You get a light mist on your face, but you are not required to remove your shoes.
Additionally, the approach to Grotto Falls is stunning. To begin, depart from Gatlinburg on the Roaring Forks Motor Trail, a one-way loop through the mountains that resembles a Disney World ride. To reach the falls, park towards the top of the loop.
If you go on another waterfall trek near Gatlinburg first thing in the morning, parking at Grotto Falls for your second walk is still doable.
However, too late in the day, parking becomes a lottery. If you can't find a parking space near the falls, you'll have to hike uphill to the trailhead and then back downhill to the falls. After all, you can not return to the desired location on the Roaring Springs Motor Trail through a one-way loop.
The journey to Grotto Falls follows the Trillium Gap Trail through an old-growth forest, although it is 2.6 miles round way and has around 600′ of elevation gain. When you arrive, you're greeted by a 25-foot waterfall with a trail leading behind it.
Indeed, the final approach to the Roaring Branch spring cascades is breathtaking, with plenty of isolated areas to have a sandwich and soak your feet.
Hen Wallow Falls
Hen Wallow Falls is 90 feet tall and is surrounded by a 20-foot wide brook. When the weather turns bitterly cold in the winter, Hen Wallow Falls freezes into a magnificent ice column.
The Gabes Mountain Trail begins near the Cosby Picnic Area and leads to Hen Wallow Falls.
The climb to the waterfall is 4.4 miles round way and is generally considered moderate in difficulty. Hikers will pass through a hemlock and rhododendron woodland on their route to Hen Wallow Falls.
The Sinks is one of the few drive-to waterfalls in Gatlinburg. Because the Sinks are so easily accessible, it's essential to arrive early to enjoy the finest views of the cascade.
The Sinks is a unique waterfall in the park. The riverbed below the sinks was dynamited to break up a log jam when the Smoky Mountains were logged before the national park.
This not only changed the river's path and created a spectacular waterfall, but it also formed a deep swimming pool. Swimming at the Sinks is dangerous due to powerful currents that have drowned swimmers who get too close to the falls.
The Meigs Creek Trail begins near the Sinks if you want a quiet walk in the woods. This nice stroll leads to the 18-foot-high Meigs Creek Cascades, another stunning park waterfall.
Direction: Take Little River Gorge Road 13.5 miles to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg. The waterfall parking lot is on the left.
Trickling Falls is a waterfall located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains in the state of Tennessee.
Despite the fact that it is a well-kept secret, you gain about 700 feet in elevation on the 2.2-mile round trip to this waterfall. The 2-mile side excursion to see the falls on the way up to Chimney Rock is well worth it.
Baskins Creek Falls
Baskins Creek Falls is a lesser-known waterfall in the Smokies. It's a lovely waterfall to see if you desire seclusion. Approximately 3 miles round trip to Baskins Creek Falls, mostly downhill to the falls, then up the mountain. These hidden falls are the park's most intriguing natural feature.
In good fitness, most hikers should be able to finish it without a problem. But this isn't stroller terrain. The route crosses some shallow water, so bring dry socks and a towel. Trekking poles can also help you balance on rocky terrain. Bring lots of water for the tough climb.
The real excitement starts 1.5 miles down to Baskins Creek Falls. From the granite wall in front of you, a 40-foot-tall waterfall gushes out. That being said, it is a beautiful sight and a great location to relax.
The return is primarily uphill, so take a break, eat, or picnic. The slower pace on the climb means the return will take longer.
Indian Flats Falls
A roundtrip journey to Indian Flats Falls is 7.9 miles in duration, making it a moderately difficult hike. Walking down Deep Creek, you will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas as you progress farther along the trail.
There are two waterfalls on this trek, so you won't be limited to just one. Before you reach the falls, you'll pass by Tom Branch Falls, which is 80 feet high. Following the trail, you will come upon Indian Flats Falls, which is 45 feet tall and a popular swimming hole.
Huskey Branch Falls
Huskey Branch Falls is a longer hike that is still regarded to be of moderate difficulty. This route has a total length of 4.7 miles roundtrip and is located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
As you walk along this trail, you'll get to enjoy being out in the woods while simultaneously crossing streams and rivers on footbridges. There are also the ruins of old houses to be found.
At 20 feet in height, this waterfall is impressive. The trail is generally used for hiking, and the optimum time to visit is from April through September.
Place of a Thousand Drips
While The Place of a Thousand Drips is not a destination waterfall, it is viewable from the Roaring Forks Motor Trail as you return from Grotto Falls.
The motor trail passes several photogenic locations along the way, including the Bud Ogle Cabin, the Ephraim Bales Cabin, and the Alfred Reagan Tub Mill. However, because this is a waterfall piece, we will concentrate exclusively on waterfalls.
The Place of a Thousand Drips is a succession of flowing waterfalls about three miles past the Grotto Falls parking lot. You can simply drive past and admire the falls, or stopover in the parking lot. 2 miles past the falls, turn right and stroll up the road to really appreciate them.
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg
You'll be able to take in all of these scenic waterfalls in Gatlinburg when you lodge at Hearthside Cabin Rentals. Regardless of the number of bedrooms in your lodging, you are guaranteed to discover the perfect vacation location
While hiking in the Great Smoky National Forest is usually gorgeous, it's even more so when there's a waterfall at the end. While some waterfall hikes in Gatlinburg provide an excellent half-day excursion, others can be combined to form a waterfall tour. The moderately difficult hikes are ideal for bringing a lunch and spending the day in the woods.
All year round, waterfall walks are breathtaking. While hiking in the spring, you'll witness blossoming wildflowers and rhododendrons.
Summer is the ideal season for a dip in the creek. Tennessee in the autumn is a haven for leaf peepers and wildlife lovers. Perhaps the most stunning season for waterfalls is winter, when the cascades freeze into ice, creating a frozen, dazzling splendor.
Waterfall hikes in Gatlinburg complement any adventure trip or romantic weekend perfectly.
Waterfalls in Gatlinburg FAQ
1. What is the biggest waterfall in the Smoky Mountains?
Ramsey Cascades is a popular park site for a reason: it is the Smokies' tallest waterfall at 100 feet, and the climb to it travels through a spectacular old-growth forest.
2. How many days should you spend in Gatlinburg?
If you are a first-time visitor and want to see the finest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we recommend three to four full days of sightseeing, plus one or two days for longer hikes, river tubing, or horseback riding, while still having time to explore Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.
3. What is the most popular waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains?
Abrams Falls is the park's largest waterfall, certainly making it the most picturesque in the Smokies. As a result, the moderate 5.2-mile round trip climb to the waterfall is one of the Great Smoky Mountains' most popular hikes.
4. How much does it cost to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg?
In Gatlinburg, the average nightly rate for a cabin is $229 per night. This is the average nightly rate for the complete cabin, its amenities, and all linens, including sheets and towels. A normal family spends four nights in a Gatlinburg cabin, bringing the total to $916 for a four-night cabin stay.
5. Are there Ubers in Gatlinburg TN?
There are Uber drivers in Gatlinburg, although far fewer than in a more densely populated city.
6. Is Gatlinburg busy at Christmas?
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are popular holiday destinations, which congest the Parkway. If traffic is slow in town, take advantage of the LED light displays, which will undoubtedly brighten your journey! If you're going up a steep road to your cabin, consider using tire chains and exercising caution at all times.
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