Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Went here on a day while exploring Cades Cove.  My biggest advice is: hike it in the morning because of shade.  Lots of the trail is uncovered, so in the late Spring it gets very hot.  It is a longish trail that is up and down both ways.  The waterfall was nice, but the payoff compared the cost of the long hike isn't there for me.  If you are already doing Cades Cove then yes go ahead and do it, but I wouldn't make a special trip to this hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike and some mother daughter time. We live nearby so will go again.

Nice trail. Loved the large footbridge. Made one mistake and kept hiking 1.5 after the waterfall. 6.88 total a bit much for an older guy.

hiking
2 days ago

Scenic hike along the creek. Several small waterfall areas. A little crowded if you're looking for seclusion but the falls is worth it.

Great hike! View was amazing from Charlie’s Bunion! There’s a toilet at the shelter (FYI

I go here by myself at least twice a year just to get in the river after a good sweat.

We loved this hike! The hike to alum cave is an easy hike, beautiful scenery, you can see the ridge and “the eye in the needle.” We continued to Mt Leconte which is a more difficult hike - moderate/strenuous with beautiful views, flowers, unique rock, along the way. We learned the meaning of why these mountains are called the Smokies. When we got to the top, we were in the clouds! Wish we could’ve seen the view but sitting in the clouds was equally beautiful! We went straight to cliff tops, instead of the Lodge, but from reading other reviews wish we would’ve checked out the Lodge. We left around 9am and got out around 2 pm (We ran for part of the downhill portion back to get out of the rain).

Really nice trail though definitely a workout. No holes in the trail and awesome views. The waterfalls at the top are worth the hard work!

Beautiful falls. Tough hike up. But worth it.

hiking
4 days ago

hike is as described, beautiful views and well worth the effort to get to the main falls,
this trail is only open fri-sun currently, with the active train maintenance crews working.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike! Did this with the wife on 5-11-18 and had a great time. The creek was next to the trail for the majority of the hike lending to the hike the wonderful sound of running water. The forest was so very lush and green this time of year as well adding to the overall experience. Not too crowded, plenty of solitude...

This trail is a very nice trail to hike on any day of the week will do it more

A beautiful hike!

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

Beautiful hike.Started off early 700 am 1/2 hour spent at Lodge returned 130 pm so 6 hour trip.
50 years old with wife found it Moderate climb.
Be back next year to stay overnight in Lodge.
From Canada and love these mountains.
Tennessee you’re truly blessed.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

Great family hike. My 2yo toddler was able to hike for 2 hours straight. Bring enough water.

fairly moderate for the most part. there are a couple of rough patches, but more than worth it for the view.

Great hike. The trail is fairly overgrown in some areas of the canyon as it follows the stream. Came across a large owl and a pretty big boar. The falls at the end are beautiful.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but not too difficult! The trail is continually climbing up to the falls. Beautiful mini falls leading up to the "Rainbow Falls." The scenery leading up to the falls was simply amazing.

hiking
7 days ago

Solid trail. Lots of varied terrain. The waterfall was pretty crowded but otherwise no complaints. Worth the walk in the end though. Saw lots of butterflies, insects and deer. My wife got an awesome shot of a deer in the creek so that was pretty cool.

Should be rated MODERATE. I truly loved this hike, especially because I learned that I could continue on an additional 1.3 Miles and reach Charles Bunion! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

hiking
9 days ago

Trail was absolutely beautiful! Great place to enjoy Gods creation. It feels great if you go in the early morning but watch for snakes! Beautiful river and beautiful landscape!

Had a great hike. Fantastic trail with amazing views.
Enjoyed the day with my best friend.(wife)

loved the hike my first time hiking leconte

Just what I needed. Although I cannot speak for the view as it was densely fogged. Warm resort lobby with fireplace and snacks at the top.

Great hike out of Cosby Campground. Steady climbing all the way up Snake Den Ridge. Snake Den offered a few subtle views, but no stellar overlooks. It’s all steady down Maddron Bald which is a neat stretch that offers slightly better views. Albright Grove loop featured a lot of old growth and large trees. Gabe’s Mountain trail had some ups and downs but mostly easy hiking. Hen Wallow Falls was much larger than I anticipated, and a great place to have a snack. This is also the most crowded stretch as it is only 2.2 miles from the campground. My suunto ambit clocked the loop at 19.75 miles (including the walking through the campground and an additional 1.4 I added by going all the way up to the AT). Long for a day hike, but a great walk and much less crowded than the hikes in the more popular areas of the park. An early start afforded me the opportunity to spend the first 2 hours and 45 minutes (~7 miles) without seeing anyone.
Bottom line: nothing in this hike is overwhelmingly spectacular, but the climbing, the wide spectrum of vegetation and a waterfall allows this hike to truly embody the Smokies.

We only did the first 2.5ish miles. The first 1.3 to the cave is a moderate hike and after that it’s more strenuous to get to the cove. We walked a bit past the cove. If i could go back, I would have started earlier in the morning, and brought lots more water and walking sticks to get up to the lodge.

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