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Fun little day hike with nice views

One of the best one day hikes I have taken. Came out a little over ten miles on my calculation. The slope goes up but never too steep. When you get to Alum Cave, turn around, the view is from the cave not into the cave.

on Grotto Falls Trail

1 day 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.

1 day 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.

The trip was great! Our group made it a small weekend trip. We hiked into Martha's Pretty Point Campground Saturday morning and then relaxed most of the day. We got up early Sunday morning and hiked down to Virgin Falls and back out. It was a nice weekend and there were a lot of people there. A lot of the people seemed to be day hikers although the campgrounds fill up fast, so book in advance if possible. I recommend making the journey up to Martha's Pretty Point overlook. It is an "extra" bit of incline hiking but the view from the top is worth it. As many other reviewers have stated, the hike down to Virgin Falls is worth it but can be deceiving as it's mostly downhill. The hike back up the trail can be a long exhausting trip for those who aren't physically fit. I consider myself a fairly active 26 yr old and it was tiring but I've definitely done harder. My recommendation would be to make this a two day trip if possible. There are a few campgrounds along the way (all with a beautiful setting) and this makes the trip a little less tiring, especially if you can make the hike to Virgin falls without any gear. Happy hiking!

it is a trail that is very well marked and it would almost be impossible to get lost. The Welch's Point Overlook is an unbelievable view of Scott's Gulf. Interesting variety of scenery!

2 days 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.

3 days ago

NOT EASY. This is definitely a moderate hike—especially closer to the falls. They were beautiful and well worth the effort. The Debord Falls are on the same trail, so stop and see them on your way.

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.

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.

Too crowded from all the visitors but great trail

5 days ago

Went last week to get a feel for the trail and made it just past Big Laurel Falls. Tough hike on the return though! Wish I had arrived a hour or two sooner to complete it. Will be back in a couple weeks!

I’ve been hiking here since I was a child. Great day hike and plenty of other activities to do in the park.

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!

6 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.

6 days ago

Loved this hike, but was VERY crowded even in Mid-May.

7 days ago

I parked at Maloney point and walked over to laurel falls trail head. The views at Maloney did not disappoint.
There is a great bench w with a view on Laurel trail at point seven, or as the trail turns roughly northwest. Good place to have a sandwich and take in the beauty of this trail. However, the some of the best views of the landscape are between points 8 and 9.

This was a pretty great trail. We just wanted to go see the waterfall. The first mile of the trail is a gravel road. At this mile, there’s an area where you can walk and go see an old farmhouse. We then continued walking on the trail for about a 1.5 miles and there was this gorgeous waterfall. We decided to turn around at that point because from my understanding, the trail went to a campsite. After the first mile the terrain of the trail got rocky and rooty. And the entire trail is uphill, but not too steep.

7 days ago

Amazing spot! My tracker measured as 10.5 miles. Difficulty is correct & you hike uphill a significant part of the return. Be prepared & don’t make them rescue you from out here.

We did this for a half marathon. It was tough, but fun.

Great hike! It is challenging, especially when you hike down to the bottom of the falls because the hike back up is a rough one. I love this state park and it holds so many different waterfalls so I would highly recommend that you try all of the falls out! Also, if you can get a chance to see these falls in the winter, I would highly recommend it!

Great trail. Pretty long walk for a creek. If you are looking for just exercise this is a good trail. Good walking grade and nothing too extreme terrain wise. The creek wasn't passable without waterproof shoes or wanting to get wet.

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.

it's a tough trail but worth it!

Tough going on the way back, but my middle and elementary school-aged kids did great. We went after a week of rain and the falls (all three you come to on the trail) were worth every step it took to get out and back.

We'll be going back to hike to some of the overlooks and explore the spurs.

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.

11 days ago

Feels like Max Patch, except you must earn the views. Steady climb from start. Bote Mtn is the toughest stretch because of the rockiness (huh?). The final climb from Spence Field is a little steeper than the description led us to believe. But worth every bit of labor. Bottom to top in 3:15. 90 minute snooze and snack. Top to bottom in 2:30ish.

13 days ago

Great trail! Family friendly- perfect picnic rocks and great picture opportunities!

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