Explore Smokies - 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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They say it's only 0.5 miles up and 0.5 down... The hike up is on a paved path but it is STEEP. Maybe it's because we had just hiked 8 miles for Charlie's Bunion.. The views we're worth it, though. Make sure you bring a light jacket. On top of the observation towers, it's 20 degrees cooler. If there's fog, just wait 5-10 minutes and it'll move! Panoramic photos are a must!

Definitely a must see if you're in the area! 4 miles up and 4 miles down. The first 2 miles are mostly up hill but don't get discouraged! It is definitely worth the hike. When you eventually get to the "Charlie's Bunion" sign, most people take a left toward the "Bunion". I recommended taking a right to stay on the AT. There is a small trail as soon as you form to the right on the left hand side.. Take that straight up to the trail less traveled for an even BETTER view of the Smokies! This is the highest point t possible to view the Bunion. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks!

Great trail. Took my 7 yr and we had the Bunion to ourselves for 40 amazing minutes today. Trail is absolutely moderate, not hard but not easy. First2 miles is uphill but then levels out to a nice high forest. The length should not be a deterrent if you bring enough food and water. Great views but the Bunion is small. Could be dangerous when crowded.

It is just a path up to a viewing point. Not a hiking trail at all. Crowded at the viewing point also, unable to snap a picture without others in the way.

The view was amazing! However, the hike was paved (which in my opinion takes away from nature) and it was highly populated and a steep climb with 3 littles!

hiking
1 day ago

A lot of trees covered some of the great views but the ones we found were spectacular. A great hike into a temperate rainforest.

hiking
2 days ago

Bring a towel and a swim suit the pool at the base of the falls was very fun to play in! A really fun trail that is a little challenging especially closer to the falls. This trail offers stunning views of not only a large waterfall but a view of the surrounding valley at different places alone the route. I went in early August and it was very crowded but there was plenty of room to pass large groups and also plenty of places to rest going up/coming down.

on Laurel Falls Trail

hiking
2 days ago

It’s mostly paved trail, not quite as exciting.

Fantastic hike, amazing views

Great little mostly paved trail. Killer views near the top. Watch for bears, though.

Enough uphills and downhills to keep everyone happy. Make sure to check out the trees early on in the hike and you can see where the forest fire must have come through.

Don’t get me wrong, the views from the observatory are breathtaking and definitely deserve 5/5. But there were hundreds of people there and felt like an amusement park and not the great outdoors. That’s probably me being an outdoor snob, to be fair, but if you’re a fan of nature and pure hiking I’d do this one later.

Great hike! The trail is black top and is very easy. We hiked on a Sunday early afternoon and it was very crowded. The falls are beautiful but there were at least 75-100 people there. We continued past the falls. The black top ended and so did the crowds. On the way back we saw a very young black bear cub. Beautiful day and views.

hiking
5 days ago

Okay hike. Completely paved, which can be nice but also less exciting. There were tons of people there when we went but understandably so: the falls were gorgeous! There is even a little path to talk to get a lower vantage point of the falls.

Worth every step!

3 up hills and 3 downhills going to the Falls and then back to the parking lot, Abrams Falls is well worth the walk. It is usually very crowded and you have to drive about half of the one way, Cades Cove Loop, to get to the trail head. I like the hike, but it isnt one I choose very often

My ABSOLUTE favorite hike in the Smoky Mountains. I always hike up to the Jump Off then back Down to Charlie's and it is always worth it. My gps clocked it at 9.2 miles to complete the Jump Off, Icewater Spring Shelter, and Charlie's Bunion. This hike never disappoints.

This is a paved trail, great views just very busy in the summer

hiking
6 days ago

Easy hike but very busy

Great easy hike!!!

This hike was beautiful!

Although there was no visibility, it was a fun experience! It's a steep walk up a paved walkway. Wear layers for sure!

hiking
8 days ago

Got there by 9 AM and parked easily. Easy hike but rained the entire way back. Great waterfall and saw a Bear cub on the trail on the way back.

This is a great trail. Starts out along the river, cross a nice bridge, and come across the falls. When we went it had rained heavy for days before. I've never seen the river so angry and the falls flowing so well. The river had to be nonstop class 5 rapids. very impressive

The view is worth the hike!

first trail hike in quite a log time. not too difficult and saw alot of wildlife. good hike

hiking
10 days ago

Enjoyed the trail. Beautiful waterfall although I wish it was taller for a round trip of 5 miles just to go see it. Some members of my family found the trail to be a bit too challenging for them because of all the climbs and rocks along the trail. It is rated moderate and I would not recommend going on it if you’re looking for an easy trail. Liked that the trail goes along the river.

Amazing views! Absolutely breathtaking.

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful waterfall and great for swimming on hot days. Can be very crowded on weekends, so I recommend going during a weekday if possible. I think its about a mile or so longer then the 5 miles listed. Saw a bear on the long winding road there (plan time for the drive). Good for all skill levels.

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