Explore Asheville, NC - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I did this hike today and it was very nice. The view is so beautiful at the end! The hike isn’t too strenuous and I would rate it moderate to hard at the very end. Be careful with yellow jackets (there was a nest), I got stung and ended up with a severe allergic reaction and a rescue team had to come get me. So if you’re allergic, take your pen/meds with you!

hiking
1 day ago

This is a Smoky Mountain classic. The second mile to the overlook is intense but the views are totally worth it! Great mix of forest setting in the beginning to panoramic views at the top. Wife and I had a great time and would definitely would recommend!

hiking
1 day ago

Yup, STEEP. Felt like more than 3-4 miles up to the top, but when you go the way back down, you’ll be “oh that’s all?” :-) I enjoyed hiking this trail even though I had to make some stops to catch my breath! Spot a black bear on the trail, and had to wait some good 10-15 minutes before it left the trail.

Absolutely fabulous hike! Not really difficult, but can be a little muddy and slippery at parts. I highly suggest going all the way to the turtleback waterfall. Also, try going on the rocks (dry ones) that are a little bit off-path to get really good shots. We were warned about copperheads, but did not encounter any.

First thing to note is that this is a different trail than looking glass falls which several people seemed confused about. The only water fall is a very small one near the start. The trail is not steep but the 3 miles out is entirely uphill. The view at the top is definitely worth it though!

Great hike! We hiked it with our young children and got to see two bears!

Lovely views, lovely hike. The climb is never steep, just steady and moderate. We hiked up for sunset and soaked in our first Eastern sights of the Milky Way along with a hand-full of meteors from the Perseid shower. Other than a few passers-by, we had the place to ourselves.

little bit of a workout but totally worth it

Great workout. Not a scenic “hike”.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice enjoyable hike, it took only a hr to hike up to the falls. The falls are well worth the hike.

hiking
6 days ago

I want to say first that I only hike about 3-5 times a year as I live at sea level.

THIS HIKE KICKED MY #%*

I hiked this yesterday and I can barely walk today. I thought reaching the top meant that going down would be easy but it wasn’t. My legs were giving out the whole way down. Jelly legs.

I work out about an hour a day 5 days a week including swimming and weight training. But apparently that doesn’t prepare one for a hike like this!

It was beautiful especially the first half. And the view at the top was nice but not the best I have seen.

Playing in the creek at the trailhead after the hike was a great treat.

My 11 and 17 year old girls made it to the top but my 7 year old stopped at the Ap Trail.

I would do it again but would love to train more for it. A great accomplishment for me and a great memory.

on Grotto Falls Trail

hiking
6 days ago

The day I went it was super muddy and slippery so definitely be careful coming back down!

Loved the scenic trail and the destination is breathtaking! Hike is very strenuous but worth it in the end!

Went after a heavy rain and waterfalls was amazing!!

hiking
9 days ago

A coworker recommended this trail to me for my vacation and it was quite an experience. My entire family and I hiked this trail. It is a beautiful and scenic hike but when people says it’s steep they mean it. It is by no means an easy trail but it is very rewarding when you get to the top.

Nice hike, great double falls at the top. Parking is sparse so go early.

hiking
10 days ago

Definitely got my heart rate going! We went on a foggy day so we missed the beautiful view at the top. The trail itself is quite lovely and I enjoyed it a lot. We found some really neat wildlife along the way too (including a big black bear we just missed on the trail). Can’t wait to come back on a clear day!

hiking
10 days ago

Our first hike in the Smoky Mountains! Very scenic with a beautiful waterfall in the end! A little steep but a nice challenge. Our group ranged from 6 to 62 and we all enjoyed it! Will definitely do again on our next visit!

Hard work but the view makes it worth it! Lots of water on the trail causing frequent mud puddles.

hiking
10 days ago

youre gonna be high kneeing all the way up. well worth it if you go past the blocked trail top, to the actual tops ( so im told). go early as always with the park for parking is limited.

hiking
10 days ago

longer than it feels. many roots. parking is bare and may hike further to the t.h. than on the hike. go early

This trail starts in Gorges State Park (but eventually leaves the park property). Drive past the Visitors Center and down the hill to the large, paved parking lot. Downhill from the trailhead the trail splits - left is the Raymond Fisher Trail and right is the Rainbow Falls Trail. Go right. On the trail there are two creek crossings. The first is a shallow and easy two stepper but the second is a deeper six stepper. I made it across without poles. Rainbow Falls has two nice viewing areas (one farther away to take in the full view and one up close to feel the mist). Turtleback Falls is where all of the swimmers go to slide down the falls. There is no formal viewing area there but the large boulders are easy to climb and navigate and afford great views. Both waterfalls are particularly picturesque.

hiking
11 days ago

It was pretty rigorous for me. I had to stop a few times in the ascent to take a breather; the incline can get pretty steep at times and there are quite a few stairs. It was fun nonetheless. There are lots of rivers and little creeks throughout the trail, and though the water is cold, it was fun to splash around in for awhile to cool off. And I have to say, the view at the top is definitely worth the effort it takes to get to it.

This trail is fantastic. Easy walk up with a few points of interest and the view at the end is breathtaking. No wonder the trailhead is ALWAYS packed.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful! Resident bear encountered. Can’t wait to go, again!

Easy hike, cool views. Only downside was it was horribly crowded and had to park a mile away

One of my favorite hikes. Busy in the summertime, but well worth it for how short it is!

Fun family hike!

Great hike with fantastic views at the top. A very popular trail so expect lots of company and to be parking on the side of the road since the parking lot will most likely be full. The trail is very well maintained. I would describe it as a moderate hike since all of the switchbacks make the ascent very managable.

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