Explore SMOKYS TRIP - 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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Our first hike in the Smokies which was also during our honeymoon and it was an amazing site to behold. We completed this hike 2 days ago, arrived to the trail head at 8:15 and were the first people in the lot. The first mike or so was a gradual incline along a wide gravel trail. We encountered several downed trees along this route. Also, we encountered here so amazing views of the river below. Due to the government shut down there were no rangers on duty during the time we did this hike. Nonetheless, Ramsey cascades trail was a very well manicured trail.

After the first mile, this is where things start to get interesting. Deeper and higher into the mountain side, coming across some HUGE trees, crossing back and forth over MULTIPLE streams and river bridges.

The last mile was very difficult, but making it to the waterfall at the end was a once in a lifetime experience. Covered in ice and snow at the top, Ramsey cascades was the perfect backdrop for or lunch.

After eating and re-fueling, we headed back down for what I thought would be an easy trip back. The rocky trail proved difficult to go down, and by the time we made it back to the car, both me and my wife were absolutely exhausted. I would recommend this trail to everyone! It was absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail in great shape. One of my favorite hikes. I will say this it is straight up. 46 degrees at the parking lot and ice and snow in spots near the end of the trail. If you aren’t in at least average shape you should avoid this hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Should be rated easy to moderate. No rocks or roots to scramble over. Very smooth path. Gradual incline with generous amounts of downhill. Took 54 minutes to get up to Ramsey Cascades. Just gorgeous. Easily doable in flip flops or tennis shoes and no need for cold weather gear. Zero stream crossings.

Nice hike on gravel road. the views we good, even on a cloudy, snowy day.

Not sure why All trails does not list Bull Head trail but kinda thankful it doesn’t because no one uses it so no traffic. In my opinion it’s longer but a bit easier trail to Leconte than Rainbow falls. Can do a loop and go back down Rainbow Falls. That’s what I did yesterday.
Very steep and hard trail but with views of Gatlinburg and mountains most of the way. My favorite trail so far in the Smokys and I’ve done about all the good long ones.

Did a two day trip up to the summit and stayed in the shelter up top. Ice was on the trail, snowed about 2” over the day, beautiful views. Plenty of hikers still on the trail. Hiked up Rainbow falls and descended Bull Head, I prefer the views of Bull Head more than I do Rainbow Falls. Take caution if snowing on Bullhead due to the slip hazards, otherwise, spectacular hike. Squirrels were present on trail.

2/3 of the way is pretty basic. The last 1/3 was more fun. Stepping through and over more creeks, trees, rocks. The terrain became more intense. Once I reached the waterfall, the temperature had dropped and the rocks were iced over. It was beautiful, very private and reclusive.

8 days ago

Beautiful waterfall!!! The trail leads along the river!!!
Well worth the hike.

This was a trail that was totally worth the view at the top. All paved trail that has a steady and tough incline the whole way. The view from the observatory at the top is great. 360° view of the mountains that is very photo worthy. The most challenging part of this trail is parking. It is an absolute nightmare. Narrow two-lane road with cars inventively parked on both sides and a line of cars that goes halfway to Gatlinburg.

Really not terribly difficult, the stair portions are the hardest since they are quite the incline (calves and quads will feel it). The rest of the trail is moderate incline the whole way. The view at the top is pretty good but as of recently the last part of the trail has been closed, which is where the good view is.

hiking
12 days ago

This was a pretty great trail! As someone who is highly active, coming back up had my heart rate going. There are lots of spots with really great scenery. There are some pretty cool high spots where you can look out and see way down and then some nice low spots. The waterfall is worth the hike in my opinion. We had a 7 year old and a 3 year old with us. The hike down was a bit slow for us because he walked the whole way but coming back up we backpacked him.

the walk to the falls is beautiful and fun to do easy enough to do with children

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail, moderate difficulty. Creek all the way along the trail so it makes for great views all the way through. There's a great spot- rock formation that makes about a perfect bench- about 1/2 to 3/4ths of the way through to have a sit and snack. Destination is beautiful and well worth the hike. Went in January and there weren't many other hikers.

on Mingo Falls Trail

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful waterfall, very tall and powerful. Easy hike to it except it is a lot of stairs in the beginning. No bathrooms so go before you even drive there. Muddy at some points so don’t wear your brand new shoes as we saw several had on.

hiking
15 days ago

One of my first hikes!

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike for beginners. Not too difficult but enough to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Has multiple spots for hammocking and the falls are great to take a quick dip into. Awesome for a warm summer day!

16 days ago

Foggy wet and chilly but beautiful. the road leads to science center which has secondary trail heads that lead into SMNP. Too wet and foggy for those until spring.

hiking
18 days ago

nice hike! definitely was a work out! I would start your day with this hike then maybe head to another trail after. beautiful views!

Did this hike on the way to Mt LeConte. Falls were gorgeous and you're able to walk behind them. Went on a Monday in December so there were no worries of crowds whatsoever.

Did this hike on the way to Mt LeConte. Falls were gorgeous and you're able to walk behind them. Went on a Monday in December so there were no worries of crowds whatsoever.

hiking
18 days ago

Did this hike on the way to Mt LeConte. Falls were gorgeous and you're able to walk behind them. Went on a Monday in December so there were no worries of crowds whatsoever.

I loved this hike , very popular tho and crowded at the falls , we had to take turns taking pics of it ...one thing I was glad not to see was a lot of trash on the trail .... a lot of rocks and roots to . but very BEAUTIFUL. .. ITS A SIDE VIEW of the waterfall to .

Very challenging but rewarding as well. We do it almost Everytime we come to Gatlinburg.

hiking
22 days ago

Love this trail! A little muddy today, but the falls were flowing beautifully!

Enjoyed every step. It was a physical challenge. Although trail is 8.2 miles, FitBit clocked it at about 11.5, and it felt it. Rained 2 days before, and the Falls were amazing. There was a lot to see on the trail, not just the Falls.

Wait for a clear day and go early to make sure you get a parking spot.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful waterfall! The trail is short and starts out with a lot of stairs but not too bad. dog friendly as well.

A lot of snow made it a hard trail, views were amazing. Took us about 7 hours and 45 minutes to complete and get back to car. Not a hike for part time hikers but a great hike if prepared. Snow was about 2 feet deep, you can see a lot of fire damage as well.
I’d do this hike again and plan to this Spring

Definitely my favorite hike in NC during my week there. 16 miles with 4000ft of elevation gain! Switch backs made it very doable though. The stream at the beginning of the hike was beautiful especially in the early morning with the sunrise. Charlies Bunion had some amazing views and was completely quiet which was a pleasant surprise. The Jump off was equally as nice but had a few people there enjoying the views. Highly recommend you summit both Charlie's Bunion and The Jump Off! As I was finishing up for the day a few people were setting up for the night in the shelter so I assume it's a very popular overnight stay. Cant recommend this hike more than enough while in the Smoky mountains!

We went to this place in hot August, but it felt like an autumn day even in the parking lot on the mountain. There were birds, bumblebees, and beautiful flowers all along the trail. At first, we could see the valleys below. When we got to the highest point it was all clouds. It was peaceful, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

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