Fall is the perfect time for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The weather is cooling down from summer, especially in the higher elevations, and the colors of the leaves start to change, giving you an incredible view no matter where you are in the park! Here are the top 6 fall hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that you should try when you visit:
1. Gregory Bald
If you want to see an incredible view of the fall colors and the mountains, you should hike Gregory Bald. This trail is challenging, with a roundtrip length of 11.6 miles. It’s definitely worth every step though! The views of the mountain range are incredible, especially in the fall when you’ll see reds, oranges, and yellows spotted across the mountains. You’ll also see great fall colors on your hike up to the bald.
2. Andrews Bald
Another great bald hike is Andrews Bald. It’s considered moderate with a roundtrip length of 3.5 miles. You’ll climb rock stairs that were built by the Trails Forever program to make the hiking trail safer and easier for people. Near the end of the hike, you’ll finally come to the bald. A bald is actually a grassy meadow at a high elevation in the mountains. This makes a great area to stop for a picnic and to take pictures of the incredible views you’ll see.
3. Alum Cave
A moderate trail at 4.4 miles roundtrip, Alum Cave is a great fall hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A highlight of this trail is Inspiration Point, where you’ll have incredible views! Along your hike, you’ll cross water on log bridges and even go through a narrow tunnel through Arch Rock. Once you reach Alum Cave, you’ll be able to look out and see all the fall colors. Plus, you’ll have the bluffs behind you, which is a sight to behold!
4. Mt. Cammerer
The hike to Mt. Cammerer is also considered difficult because of its 11.9-mile roundtrip length. Along your hike to the top, you’ll definitely see the fall colors in the trees. You’ll also pass the trail that leads to the Appalachian Trail, and there are plenty of rocky parts. Once you reach the top though, you’ll have an amazing view of the surrounding mountains. There’s also an octogonal fire lookout at the top that’s pretty cool!
5. Baskins Creek Falls
Baskins Creek Falls is located along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, which is a beautiful area in the Smoky Mountains in the fall. You’ll see the fall colors and a waterfall along this 3-mile round trip trail. At the beginning of this hike, you’ll have some great views of the mountains covered in fall foliage. At the end of the hike, you’ll see the 40-foot-tall, two-tier waterfall, which will be beautiful with the fall foliage around it.
6. Meigs Creek Trail
Another moderate hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Meigs Creek Trail. The round trip length is 7 miles, and you’ll start at The Sinks, which is a popular roadside waterfall. In the fall, you’ll be walking through the forest and seeing the reds, oranges, and yellows in the trees. This is a great hike if you want to enjoy being in the woods, and you’ll also get to see the 18-foot Meigs Creek Cascades!
Fall hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are both beautiful and fun. The truth is, there’s never a bad time to plan a hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains, just like there’s never a bad time to start planning your white water rafting trip with us! Start planning your next visit now by learning more about our white water rafting trips!