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1 day ago

Great half-day hike. Not difficult, but harder than its 5.5 mile and 1600 feet of elevation would have you think. Steady climb that is rewarding with a great waterfall payoff. Hit the waterfall just after midday to get some of the best photos with the sun at your back but be careful to not arrive too late as parking is limited. I added an extra quarter to a half mile having to park farther down the road. Lots of people parked along the road, with no real fear of towing as long as you got far enough off the road.

Closed Dec 1-March 31. Wish the app told me this after I drove 2 hours to get here!

Loads of fun with three young kids. Wading, running, skipping rocks, hiking, lots of inspiration for imaginative play... oh and hiking! Stream was chilly but the kids left soaked and muddy. Would love to come back and picnic when it’s hot.

4 days ago

Really nice! Easy parking and quick to get on the trail. I did this hike alone and felt very safe. It’s moderately trafficked but not too busy. At each of the overlooks I had the area to myself. So pretty and not too challenging.

Always enjoyable. This is turning into a default area for us.

5 days ago

My birthday hike! A crisp 32 degrees in the morning! Snow and ice after the footbridge made for a interesting trip back down from the falls. Temps warmed up enough to thaw out the froze mud which made it as slick as the snow and ice! Loved it!

6 days ago

We started the trail while snow was still falling and it was around 25-28 degree outside. I couldn’t believe we climbed up for 1,000ft from trailhead to rainbow. It didn’t seem to be that much to me though. It was very slippery and frozen in last mile. We had to crawl over the big rocks to get up to the fall. Bring spikes if you have them. They will help a lot in the icy condition. When snow was melting, trail got super muddy. I got hiking shoes so it didn’t bother me much. People going with me in sneakers was struggling little bit. Overall, the fall wasn’t that impressive to me but the surroundings along the trail is fun and beautiful.

If the tower (knew it was closed) was open a 4 Star. Used the Dome pathway as a start for my hike to Andrews Bald. Up to the tower base, across the short section of the AT and down the Dome bypass to Forney Trail.

The reward of the Dome pathway is the VIEWS coming (4 Star) back!!!!!! Even the views from the parking lot are 4 Star!!!!!!

did this trail may of 2017, loved it a little difficult, but really fun. On the way down saw three deer on the trail and almost could reach out and touch them, they were standing that close it was awesome

Beautiful trail. Some areas have big rocks that you have to sit and swing around to get over. If it’s a dry season the waterfall will only be a trickle with no rainbow.

8 days ago

Beautiful river views along the trail, with many short diversion trails leading to really nice spots along the way. As others have stated, the trail is wide and can be very crowded on a pretty day. But the trail surface is natural, somewhat muddy in places, and an overall nice hike. The falls are beautiful and a look a bit different from every angle. There's also a steep trail up the right side of the falls (muddy, rocky, and slippery with ropes added for stability) that will take the more adventurous to the top, or almost there. Plenty of places for a cautious person to step out on the falls for great views and photos. Obviously popular destination and not a private afternoon by any means but well worthwhile.

Nice trail! Hiked it on 5/8. Rocks and the incline to the waterfall make it challenging. On a good day I don’t think it would to hard. The rocks would make it challenging for anyone who wants to attempt to run it. The day we hiked it was in the upper 20s to 31. Trail was snow covered and had lots of ice so that made to challenging and slow going, but the snow made the trail and waterfall look like a beautiful white winter wonderland!

10 days ago

Love this place! Amazing views!!

14 days ago

Well laid out trail. Fairly easy if you exercise regularly. I highly recommend wearing correct hiking gear. The multiple areas of water accumulation make rocks and mud slippery in certain areas. Worst part is the trail is extremely well traveled and crowded. Waterfall at the end is amazing! There are a few small waterfalls on the way up that keep you entertained, but keep going until you see a large number of people crowded around the falls with a sign that says no climbing on rocks!

Nice view of River all along the one mile from parking to falls. Lots of people on trail this beautiful Sunday afternoon!

17 days ago

Awesome!!! Yes... there is some difficulty involved - steep climbs, rocks and stairs BUT the falls are just incredible. Such awesome views.
WATCH YOUR KIDS! It can be extremely dangerous for any little one that you have difficulty keeping under control.

17 days ago

Nice hike. Dog friendly. Very muddy.

18 days ago

Amazing place to hang out or hike. There are so many different viewpoints and trails here in this area that you can see something different everytime. My favorite trail is the one leading down to the bottom of the falls. Its a tough little hike, but worth it for sure. Love this place.

21 days ago

Great hike. Not super strenuous but not easy. Small waterfalls along the way and following a river. Gorgeous waterfall and great areas to climb/scramble around on some rocks!

We went today and absolutely loved it. So peaceful and lots of off trail places to stop and relax by the water. It was gorgeous!

25 days ago

Used to be a 5-star hike before trail 'improvements' (clearing, widening/grading, bridges) made it more accessible and less of a 'wilderness: experience. Now the crowds (some of whom clearly aren't outfitted with proper footwear or fitness levels) have made this more of a Disney experience. Kind of sad. Plus, always lots of dogs and now more & more poop along the trails
The creek leading to the falls, and the falls themselves, are truly beautiful -+ especially after heavy rains. Alas, like many things in western NC, now that all the tourists have 'discovered' the place, it's no longer as quiet or special. If you come early during weekdays you may only have to share the trail with just a handful of others. Otherwise, the parking area is jammed and the trail is noisy and crowded. Not sure why this isn't considered an Easy hike at this point. But do take care around slippery rocks/boulders. And one portion of trail, about 1/3 of the way in, has experienced a major landslide and is a bit dangerous (until/unless they stabilize the slope and install a fence/railing).
Anyway: 5 stars for the creek and falls; one star for crowds. Three stars overall.

26 days ago

Great experience. we did it on Jan 4th so the temperatures were in the teens ☃️❄️.

I would say this is a easy trail it is short and completely paved

Very beautiful and easy hike. The waterfalls are very beautiful, make sure you stop for a little while at each of them just to enjoy them. It was very quiet when I was there, but I assume it will be very busy in summer. Lots of places to swim as well. Definitely coming back in summer!

Not sure I’d call this a hiking trail. This is a tourist stop. 1/2 mike up a paved pathway. Lots of people. Parking is crazy. The lookout is great. Highest point in the Smokey mountains and highest point in Tn. My son was 8 and thought it was cool to be higher than clouds. Actually, we was in a cloud part of the walk.

I disagree with the mileage data. My Garmin GPS recorded this at 6.51 miles and elevation change of 1573 feet making this a 12% grade or averaging 600/mile. Awesome hike. My son was 8 and out hiking me. I had to keep telling him to slow down. I stopped lookout for bear. With burned stumps everywhere it looked like black ears. I bet this was amazing before the fire.

Great day hike! Not hard, more moderate if your in relatively healthy shape. Gradual but completely uphill, with some switchbacks. Easy to follow.

It was a very fun scenic trail. One my favorites

Beautiful! Stunning waterfall :)

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