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May 7th, 2024
Rainbow Falls, one of the best Smoky Mountain waterfalls.

4 Smoky Mountain Waterfalls You Absolutely Need to See

April 25, 2024 May 7th, 2024

People from all over the world come to the Smoky Mountains to see spectacular mountain views, but there are several natural features you might want to see when you visit the national park. One of the top sights people love to hike to are Smoky Mountain waterfalls. When you’re visiting us in Hartford, you’ll be a scenic drive away from the most amazing waterfalls near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Here are 4 Smoky Mountain waterfalls you need to see during your visit:

1. Mouse Creek Falls

Mouse Creek FallsIf you love history and beautiful scenery, you should hike to Mouse Creek Falls. You will take Big Creek Trail. At 1.4 miles the trail passes Midnight Hole, a deep, clear pool that displays colors of green and blue, which is under 6-foot tall waterfalls. At 2.1 miles, you will reach Mouse Creek Falls. There is a short side trail on the left that leads to a bench where you can rest and view the falls. The waterfall is 45 feet tall. This trail is considered moderately difficult and takes about 2 to 3 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.

2. Grotto Falls

Smoky Mountain waterfalls have some of the most spectacular sights in the entire region, and Grotto Falls is definitely one for the books. Trillium Gap Trail, which leads to Grotto Falls, goes through an old-growth hemlock forest and actually runs behind the 25-foot high waterfall. The cool, moist environment near the falls is ideal for viewing salamanders, so it is great for kids who love learning more about wildlife. The hike is 3 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty.

3. Rainbow Falls

rainbow falls smoky mountainsOne of the Smoky Mountain waterfalls actually creates rainbows during sunny days. A rainbow produced by mist from the 80-foot tall Rainbow Falls is visible on sunny afternoons throughout the year. Also, during extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the fall for an incredible view. Between the trailhead and the falls, Rainbow Falls Trails gains about 1,500 feet in elevation. The 5.4-mile roundtrip trail is considered moderate in difficulty. If you are feeling extra adventurous, the Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount LeConte, where you can experience breathtaking mountain views throughout the year.

4. Abrams Falls

Maybe you are looking for more dramatic waterfalls near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. If you are, Abrams Falls has exactly what you are looking for. Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet tall, the large volume of water rushing over the falls makes up for its lack of height. Then at the bottom of the waterfall, is a deep pool of water that makes this scene even more breathtaking. It’s no secret that Abrams Falls is one of the best Great Smoky Mountains waterfalls. To get to the falls, you will hike 5 miles through a pine-oak forest. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty.

More Great Smoky Mountain Waterfalls

These are just some of the many awesome waterfalls near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg you can visit during your trip to the mountains. Other popular waterfalls include Ramsey Cascades, Fern Branch Falls, and Laurel Falls. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or something that the whole family can do, you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains.

These Smoky Mountain waterfalls are definitely sights you’ll want to see. Wondering what else you should do while you’re in the Smokies? Check out our Smoky Mountain white water rafting trips to learn more about rafting on the Pigeon River.