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on Grotto Falls Trail

17 hours ago

We hiked this on 3/16, so had to start at the rainbow falls trailhead. This added a couple of miles to the hike, but they were fairly easy. We encountered a lot of mud on the last 1.5 miles. We saw more than one group heading out to the trail wearing white sneakers. Needless to say those shoes weren't going to stay white for long. Views along the trail are limited, but the falls at the end are a sight to behold.

Camped in cat gap trail and connected to John rock during the day trip, it was gorgeous! mostly uphill the whole last two miles so I'd rate it moderate, but so worth it!

18 hours ago

This is a beautiful hike with awe inspiring views. We hiked it on 3/15 and encountered some icy spots along the way. Micro spikes would have been helpful at times, but with some slow and careful stepping we made it without too much difficulty.

I absolutely loved this trail! There’s lots of rocks so be careful!!! But it was super fun and the views were amazing!

Had a fantastic time here. We hiked all the way to the end of the trail seeing all 3 waterfalls. It was Thursday so very few people were on the trail. Had lunch at the top if rainbow falls. It was an amazing view.

1 day ago

Great hike with fantastic views! Be sure to start early in the morning so you are able to catch the sun rise over the mountains and avoid unwanted traffic on the trail.

We hiked to Mt. LeConte during airlift operations and once we reached the top we were able to watch a helicopter deliver personal belongings of those staying in the cabins up there. However, given that airlift operations were taking place, Mt. LeConte lodge was closed to visitors and we were unable to purchase merchandise there.

Nice trail. Not too strenuous. Tracked it at 6 miles total. There were plenty of children doing this trail with no problem. There are places where I would not have a dog with no leash. The views at the end are well worth the trip.

Our first hike on this trail. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the hike.

2 days ago

The day we hiked, 1/3 of this trail was covered of ice, which made it super slippery and dangerous to climb up and down. There were so many people falling. 1/3 of it was super muddy. Bring spikes and hiking boots will help you finish this trail with no pain and effort. It wasn’t that bad in term of elevation but to be honest, the end view was such a joke to me. On the way back, I was able to relax after being so stressed out because of the ice then noticed some beautiful streams along the trail. If you want to challenge your body, go and do this trail. If you want something truly worth your effort, I would recommend doing other trails out there.

My group finished this trail in roughly 4 hours. We took it easy and enjoyed the view along the way. Absolutely my favorite in Smokies so far. First mile wasn’t that hard. Ice covered stairs in some parts and falling ice made it little bit scary. The view at the bluff is stunning. We didnt make it to the last 2 miles to mount Le Conte. I do want to go back and finish it one day. We all love this trail, hard but totally worth our effort.

Very hard hike. Great views once you finally make it. It was snowy and icy for a portion of it which was very slick. There was also a lot of mud. If you can make it all the way up, the views are amazing. The way down seems like nothing.

2 days ago

Loved this trail. We did cat gap to johns rock. We wandered off a little bit to see the waterfalls we heard and it was beautiful. There were creeks to cross over and great view at the end. This is one of my favorites. I do think this should be labeled as moderate instead of east.

Beautiful views and rock features with a nice stream to start. I climbed in March and made it about 0.5 mile past the bluff. I have a healthy fear of falling and one ledge was solid ice. Even with the metal rope hold it was too much for me. The path was icy after and I only had on trail runners, no spikes, so I called it quits. I saw a lot of young people hiking in regular sneakers. I’d highly advise against this and recommend spikes for cold months. Also carry lighting in case you don’t make it back before dark. If there are icicles at the bluff do NOT stop under them. They will fall and the large ones have the capability to seriously injure people. Looking up isn’t safer. Just put your head down and run under the bluff.

The top was still closed from the fire. It was pretty steep and difficult to climb down with the snow and ice

4 days ago

3.15.18: I enjoyed a sunrise hike! I started about an hour before sunrise in the ambient light and was at the viewing platform in time for the colors on the horizon just before the sun came up. It was icy the second half of the trail which was more treacherous coming down than going up.... I was ok in my solomans but would have preferred traction devices. I am a fast hiker and hiked alone, but even in the icy conditions and stopping for a few photos was done in under two hours, so it’s not a super long hike. If you have bad knees maybe avoid, there are lots of stairs as others have said. I didn’t think the stairs were too much, a few stairs then trail, then stairs...not an endless staircase up. The viewing platform at least at sunrise was spectacular, shades of purple and orange. Nice hike even with the end closure!

One of my favorite trails. A little of everything elevation, flat areas, beautiful views.

Need to work up to this one! Much harder than I anticipated, granted it was also day 3 of hiking around the smokey's. I only made it about .5 miles past Arch Rock. Will definitely be attempting again!

5 days ago

Very gratifying hike. We started at rainbow falls trailhead so the trip was a bit longer. VERY MUDDY. 3-6 creeks to walk through depending where you start.

Had to climb over a few fallen trees at one point but a beautiful waterfall at the end you could walk behind. Not too crowded. Icicles fall from the top of the waterfall so be careful!

Very worth it and would do this hike again.

went with the family and a 3 month old Aussie pup. Dont know that my parents enjoyed it as much as I did, but the views are absolutely gorgeous the whole way and it's a great reward for the tough hike. (Mind you, even if you're in pretty decent shape it's tough though)

this place is near and dear to my heart glad I live so close to such a beautiful place the big man above created a masterpiece with this one

This was a pretty cool hike. We went in March of 2018, so the road to get to the trailhead was closed for the season. But you can easily park at the rainbow falls trailhead and walk the rest of the way. It’s 2.0 miles to the trailhead and the trail itself is 1.4 miles long. The terrain of the trail was pretty rocky and rooty. We left out at about ten in the morning and didn’t encounter anyone on the way there, but encountered 3 or 4 groups on the way back. Once we got there, there were some nice photo ops from behind the waterfall.

on Chimney Tops Trail

8 days ago

The bridges and river crossing were beautiful. The trail was very muddy and steep the last mile. The view from the overlook was nice but clouds may have been obscuring the full effect.

this is a trail i love. great views and family friendly. just watch the children at the narrow parts of the trail where the cables are. Alum Cave Bluff is a great place to eat lunch and watch the chipmunks scavenge. its not real hard. mostly a gradual ascent.

Our first hike of 2018 and it didn’t disappoint. It was raining and 50 so we didn’t see many people. The trails where well marked, the trail width was good and the falls were beautiful. The area would be great for camping and hiking all the trails.

9 days ago

Easy trail to above the falls. Many nicely laid out rock steps down to the bottom. There are hand rails most of the way down. Be careful there are wet spots.

This place has an incredibly gorgeous waterfall called Looking Glass Falls and mild rock climbing if you want to get closer to the waterfall. And not far from there is Sliding Rock, which is also a waterfall but different in that you can actually slide down the whole thing like you would a water slide at a water park. It's gorgeous. Traffic was minimal, at least when we went it wasn't bad. It was really nice.

A fantastic hike. We took it really slow and enjoyed the views, stopped for some hot tea at the summit and had a wonderful time on the trail. It is an easy to moderate hike if you start the loop by going left when you reach the top of the stairs. A moderate hike if you go right. Watch out for ice if you go in cold weather. I slipped on a patch and took a little spill, but was no worse for the wear. The views are great. We saw a Peregrine falcon in flight and lots of beautiful ice on rocks. If you don't hike much and are on the fence about doing this one, you can hike in by taking the loop to the left, summit, and backtrack the way you came in...giving you a gentle slope all the way up and all the way down.

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