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alum cave smoky mountains

Top 5 Can’t-Miss Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

June 30, 2020

When you want to spend some time in the Smokies, you probably want to go on a hike. There are several hikes in the Smoky Mountains you won’t want to miss out on because of the beautiful features along the way. Look at these top 5 can’t-miss hikes in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Laurel Falls

laurel falls popular trail for hiking in the smokiesThe most popular waterfall trail is Laurel Falls. It is an easy trail with a 2.6-mile roundtrip length. The path is paved, making it easier than other trails due to rocks and tree roots. Mountain laurel blooms in the spring along the trail. You’ll also see beautiful mountain views from certain points along the trial. Once you reach the top, you’ll see the huge 80-foot waterfall and both tiers. Everyone loves taking pictures in front of the falls.

2. Alum Cave

Alum Cave Trail is a moderate hike in the Smoky Mountains because of all of the natural features you see along the way. The roundtrip length to the bluffs is 4.6 miles, but you can actually hike to the summit of Mount LeConte along this trail. The first geological feature you will see is Arch Rock, which has a rock stairway that runs underneath the arch to help you climb the trail. You’ll see mountain views and plenty of native plants. When you get to Alum Cave, you’ll be blown away by the sheer size of the bluffs.

3. Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls, one of the top Smoky Mountain waterfalls.Another great waterfall hike is Grotto Falls. You’ll take Trillium Gap Trail to get to the falls, and it is 3 miles roundtrip, making it a moderate trail. For most of the hike, you’ll walk alongside the creek. You might even see llamas on the trail taking supplies up to Mount LeConte since this is another trail that could take you to the summit. When you see the 25-foot-tall waterfall, you’ll see why so many people love to hike there. Grotto Falls is unique because its the only waterfall you can walk behind in the national park!

4. Abrams Falls

Many people enjoy hiking to Abrams Falls, which is located in Cades Cove. The trail is considered moderate with a 5 mile roundtrip journey. Many families choose to go on this hike, which takes you through old forest growth. You might see wildflowers in the spring and summer, and you have a chance to see wildlife! At the last portion of the trail, you’ll follow along the creek until you reach Abrams Falls.

5. Gatlinburg Trail

gatlinburg trailAnother can’t-miss hike in the Smoky Mountains is the Gatlinburg Trail. This hike is considered easy and it is 3.8 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike along the west prong of the Little Pigeon River, then cross on a footbridge. There are a ton of wooded views and some mountain views along the trail. You’ll also see remains of old homesteads near the end of the hike. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of only two trails in the park that is dog friendly.

These can’t-miss hikes in the Smoky Mountains are just some of the fun things you can do outside when you’re visiting. Want to do something else that’s fun and adventurous? Look through our white water rafting trips in the Smoky Mountains, and book your spot now!