Explore the most popular river 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.

Great hike! It was fun crossing the streams and the water fall was beautiful. The terrain was of moderate difficulty. The rhododendron blooms were stunning.

Great views. Difficult but well worth it.

Absolutely loved it!!! It was somewhat difficult but It is all worth it once you get to the waterfall!

Great family hike. 3hours round trip. Make sure to get there early. Was crowded on the way down and not much parking. closed monday-thursday to work on trail.

This trail was amazing. Wear good hiking shoes/boots and bring snacks. We started at 7:10 am and finished at 2:15 PM. It was perfect but we were glad to have packed food and extra water so we could hang out at Myrtle Point longer. The hike down was difficult on the knees.

We hiked to the cave and the scenery along the way was beautiful. The cave was a little disappointing because of the man-made stairs, however it was a enjoyable hike. this is not recommended for the weekend because of the crowds.

great hike. watch for snakes we seen a rattler on the trail. beautiful views throughout the hike. love the falls

hiking
2 days ago

Go left at the very first fork! My partner and I went to the right and consequently about 1.5 miles out the way, you can easily get lost after the first .7 if you decide to go right. We fixed our mistake and ended up having a great hike up to the ridge. Overall a great and moderate first 4 miles of the trail!

hiking
2 days ago

Very challenging as uphill nearly the entire way but rewarding at the top with a great view. We knew going up the last leg was still closed but disappointing nonetheless. Pack light for the way up, not too long but it is a grind.

Very beautiful hiking. Intense but worth the work. Do yourself a favor, and only bring one package of Chana Masala. Double check the map, because when you’re tired, you go the wrong way... twice.

Ascending to the top was steep but the trail was very well maintained. No rock scrambling required, so I would rate it as moderate. The descending was a breeze! Beautiful view and water falls!

Great Trail. Loved the trail being near the river almost the entire way, as well as the rocky "beahces" available for stops throughout. Also, we saw at least 5 different elk throughout our walk, which lasted from about 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

road biking
2 days ago

The Loop was beautiful, we saw 2 black bears and got an excellent workout in. With a road bike definitely an easy ride, but in those rental cruisers I’d say moderate because they don’t handle hills well, and there was definitely a lot of them. If you decide to bike this go In the morning, they shut the road down to vehicles on Saturday between the hours or 7 and 10. We went when the roads were open and it was pretty much traffic and dodging cars. Still an excellent ride and I’m happy we did it.

This was the first hike we did in the Smoky Mountains. The first three miles are tough, as it’s just up, up, and more up. This is where most of the elevation gain occurs. After the first few miles the trail connects with the Appalachian Trail, which you then take to the Mount Cammerer lookout trail spur. The views from the lookout are spectacular and make the tough hike up worthwhile and rewarding. It’s also cool to go inside the lookout tower on top. This hike was very quiet and peaceful as well. We only saw a few people on our way up, and this was on a weekend in June.

One more thing of note: The bugs were bad on this hike. I get bothered easily by the constant buzzing and flying around my face, so I wore my Buff pretty much the whole hike. I didn’t notice the bugs being a problem on any other hikes in the park except this one.

Fun hike! Although Mother Nature did not cooperate (it was rainy and cloudy all the way up and halfway down) this was still a great hike. I just wish we got the great view from the top that everyone was raving about! Next time :).

I loved the varying terrains throughout the hike. You never seemed to be bored! My wife remarked that she enjoyed being cliff side for most of the hike instead of in the woods/forest (like Mt. Cammerer). It offered more scenic stopping points and small payoffs.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail for families. The trail is rocky in parts and covered in tree roots in others, so I definitely recommend a good pair of shoes. Also recommend going early, parking is very limited and people around up parking along the sides of the road a good distance from the trailhead.

We hiked this today, a Wednesday. We headed out early so we wouldn’t get caught in the slow moving
Cades Cove Loop traffic. But we outsmarted ourselves, since the Loop is open to only bike traffic until 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want an early start go a different morning. The trail is as advertised, moderate ups and downs all the way. Some parts are more rocky than I like. The mountain laurel was still blooming in many places. The falls are quite pretty with nice areas to rest and regroup before heading back.

hiking
3 days ago

This was a very well kept trail. It was a steep climb but had a beautiful view at the end. There's 4 bridge crossings with great rock formations along the trail too. We started before 9 am and it wasn't heavily trafficked until on our way down closer to 11.

A tough hike for sure but a very beautiful waterfall reward at the end! I recommend having a hiking stick. I didn’t have one and wished I did the whole time I was descending. I will mention that at the falls there are tons of bees. They appear to be common honey bees and not aggressive but they were everywhere. I had intended to sit at the falls and enjoy a snack but I literally had bees crawling all over me. One was crawling down my boot even. None stung me but if you are freaked out by bees or super allergic then be advised.

Love this trail, even in the pouring rain! I wish there were more signs on the trail to Myrtle Point. We saw a couple turned around after seeing a pile of rocks and so we did too. After talking to other hikers, they suggested to keep going. The view was priceless!! We took 3 hours up to LeConte Lodge and about 2.5 hours down to our car.

hiking
4 days ago

Wonderful hike.

the trail infrastructure was top notch. My son and i hiked to the top in 2hrs, hung out at the lodge and the cliff summit then took another 2hrs to hike down. Breathtaking views! maybe it was the hike up that took my breath ... lol.

hiking
4 days ago

The trail has a slow elevation climb to the top of the falls so you never have to worry about a steep climb. Hardest part of the trail were stepping over large rocks/tree roots. Trail is well maintained. There are some creek crossings so if it rains heavy the day before, you may get your shoes wet. We got to the trail at 9am and it wasn't crowded, took us 3 hours round trip and on the way back there were lots of people. I'm your average couch potato and I made the hike, but plenty of people were stopping along the way for breaks. Keep in mind there are some small falls you'll see along the way, so if you don't feel like you can make the journey and want to turn back, you will have still seen some beautiful scenery.

hiking
5 days ago

Great loop, started thunder storming about 2/3 of the way through. Going clockwise the the trail climbs a decent bit before coming down and remaining level. Had to ford the creek 7 times, once by choice because the bridge looked more dangerous. Plan to go on a dry day after a couple more dry days or the water will be quick and high. My only complaint is a lack of viewing spots, you're in dense trees the entire time.

Easy and very shaded hike. Great for a summer day with family of all ages. Awesome to go behind the waterfall and kids loved spotted salamanders.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail, well maintained, and the payoff of seeing Rainbow Falls at the end is totally worth it. Note that the trail is currently closed for maintenance Mon-Thurs through the summer 2018 season. We hiked this with family ranging in age from 7-70. It took us a little under 4 hours round trip, but that includes a long stop at the falls and a bunch of snack/water breaks for the kids. We started around 8am Amy's it wasn't crowded at all on the way up but as we were heading down we passed about a zillion people just starting out on the hike. Definitely pays to get there early.

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Pretty view at top (which really isn’t the top, but actual top closed since fire). Nice short hike with pretty much all elevation in last mile. Very doable though. Would rate as moderate even with steep last mile.

Trail has some great views

Strenuous hike with the best views in the entire GSMNP.

6 days ago

Good short hike with a rewarding fall. We recommend!

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