Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Started hiking at 12p with snow flurries and reached rainbows at 1:20 in 1/2ft of snow/15 degree temp. We stopped for a million pictures, spent 15 frozen minutes at the falls and returned back tonour car at 2:40. I can’t say how the hike is in warmer temps but this made for an unbelievably breathtaking winter hike. The snowy falls was nothing short of breathtaking. We loved every second of this 5.5mile hike and would do it again in second. This would be a great hike route to le conte as well if you’ve already seen alum cave. Parking was easy, trail well maintained, not steep at all. Saw every level of fitness hiking even in the rough winter weather

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
14 hours ago

Great trail with majestic views about 1/2 mile in. Beautiful in the snow but be sure to wear good waterproof hiking boots as it has a few small streams to cross. Falls are impressive. A few trees have fallen over trail.

trail running
blowdown
muddy
snow
15 hours ago

Ran the out and back from Deep Creek Trailhead to Newfoundland Gap Road for a total of roughly 28.4 (Garmin). Lots of washout and blowdown along the creek in spots but not too bad. Snow up high. Great route

Beautiful views! And a bit of a workout but worth it!

One of my favorite hikes! One great thing is if you don’t want to hike or are unable to do the amount of walking, the view from the parking lot is just as breathtaking!

hiking
23 hours ago

The Walker Sisters may be gone, but their historic cabin is still standing in the national park. The Walker Sisters Place is located along the Metcalf Bottoms Trail. To get to the homestead, first take the 0.7 mile hike from Metcalf Bottoms to the Little Greenbrier School, which was built by John Walker. Then, continue on the trail for 0.6 mile, where the path crosses over a footbridge. After 1.1 miles, hikers will reach the 0.2 mile side trail that leads to the Walker Sisters Place.

hiking
rocky
snow
23 hours ago

1/16/19 - cold and covered in a lovely mixture of snow and days-old frost. The Anthony Creek portion presented with more rubble than I imagined (compared to what I expected from Bote). Bote, as promised is a continuous and straight slog, though much less haggard from horse traffic. Bring your lungs and a big lunch. Enjoyed the summit by myself - 2:35 up and 1:45 down. 13.7m RT.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

Absolutely beautiful waterfall at the end. The trail offers its fair share of tree roots and rocks. Definitely make sure you have one adult per child under 5. We took a couple of three year olds that needed to be carried in spots. The five year olds were fine, but reckless abandonment will have consequences with the steep falls off the sides of the trail. This will go down on our list as a reasonably quick in and out to take family and friends to that are in town visiting.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

We took this trail for a quick hike about 30mins, it was a great little excursion with creek crossings, rock scrambling. The cabin and old stable at the beginning of the trail was cool to explore and there is an old water shed on into the hike that we found very neat! Totally worth a quick look! Beautiful but short!

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
blowdown
washed out
2 days ago

Hiked on 12/31. Agree with the below poster. Due to lack of government funding, there were a lot of blow downs. It took significant time and patience (barely had any left after this loop) to get through the trail. I had bloody legs after from all the scrambling through blow downs. It was worth it and is definitely a great loop, but the blow downs weren’t fun. I did see about twenty elk while hiking in the woods though. They’ve retreated from the fields and into the backcountry this time of year.

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.

My favorite hike in the Smokies.

Family stopped for restroom break. Saw about 15 elk, really cool experience.

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

Amazing hike! It’s not too long of a hike and it’s on a paved trail with dirt trails coming and going from it. The falls are amazing and your able to get right up too them. There’s a upper and lower fall. You can get down to the lower part but you have to be careful with the rocks! Beautiful views!

hiking
5 days ago

Really nice trail ! One creek to go through without any bridge but River was not that high! About 5-6 areas w trees down. Snow all the way up! Finally got to see the sunshine and blue sky ! Too bad there is not any look up up there. It s actually 3495 feet elevation not 4172.

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.

Hard but worth every step‼️Absolutely beautiful❤️

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.

Went in November 2018. Right after a decent snow. About halfway up it was all snow and ice. Massive ice icicles were falling from the top of Alum Cave. Was a little daring trying to hurry up the frozen ground to get under the protection of the cave. Highly enjoyed the excitement of it all. The steps at Arch Rock were a solid sheet of ice. Fell only one time going down them. I enjoy the harder trails with a little twist of ice and snow.

backpacking
8 days ago

The wife and I had an awesome day! incredible views. Stumbled upon this trail after being very disappointed that the Road to the Alum Cave trail was closed due to ice and snow... we know a little bit about driving in snow... we are from Buffalo, NY and I laughed at the park ranger... we were still not allowed through so we went for a drive and found this gem! the trail was very challenging at times. Started at laurel falls trail at first light. we climbed all the way up and back... the last incline on the way back, about 1.5 miles away from parking lot was a killer after a full day of hiking... well worth the effort!!

8 days ago

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

Moderate hike; Falls were beautiful

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.

Agree that this is not a difficult trail. Beautiful vistas on this winter hike.

Beautiful hike, wear hiking boots not tennis shoes! Bring water and a snack for when you get to the falls, it is well worth the hike. We live in Iowa and the trail was difficult for us but we made it!

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