Explore the most popular Waterfall 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.

Beautiful waterfall you can go under! It’s a steady incline up. But it’s a relatively easy hike!! Lots of people on this one!!

Great hike, I would definitely agree with the moderate rating, maybe close to hard mainly due to the inclines and rocky surface. We came across several turkeys and a pretty large rat or bull snake... the waterfall is definitely worth the hike. Great scenery the entire way.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy hike. Nice view of the falls. One of my favorites.

Awesome trail! The first part to the Falls is a fairly easy hike. the tougher part ie the next 3+ miles. The hardest part I'd the last .6 to Mt. Leconte lodge. It felt straight up!

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

This hike is truly amazing! It’s very difficult with lots of steep uphills, but my girlfriend and I — both probably novice to moderate-level hikers — were able to do the whole thing in about five hours. Definitely bring more water than you think you’ll need and a snack to refuel once you reach the top. In peak seasons the trail is VERY busy up to Alum Cave but then loses many of the more casual hikers at the Bluff. I’d recommend hitting the trail early to miss that big crowd. From that point on the crowd thins out and the trail gets much more strenuous. However, all that being said, the trail features many amazing panoramic views and stunning natural features that will keep you motivated and inspired to reach the top. Once at the top, refill your water at the LeConte Lodge and then take the half mile hike up to Cliff Tops for a magnificent, unobstructed view of Clingman’s Dome, Chimney Tops, Gatlinburg and more.

I would highly recommend this Trail it's an easy Trail very steep at the beginning the guide says 170 ft it actually goes up 350 feet into tenths of a mile. very scenic two beautiful waterfalls. very wide sand gravel Trail easy to follow. good for all levels. except handicapped.

this is an awesome hike that takes you through some amazing landscapes.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a nice trail. The waterfall was really pretty and well worth the hike. There are loose rocks on the trail so hiking boots are prefered. There is an incline getting up to it but then most of the trail back is downhill. We walked it during summer and most of it was shadded from the trees also many people where swiming in the water. An added bonus is the drive through Cades Cove to get to the trail, it is a beautiful drive!

Great shorter out and back hike, mostly under canopy. Well traveled!!... with lots of people. Well marked. Parking lot gets full early. The trail continues after the waterfall and loses the masses of people.

I went with a group of four- all in our late twenties. We all considered ourselves in reasonably good shape before this hike. Could have been the altitude, but overall this hike wore us out. It took us about an hour and a half to make it up to the falls. The hike up to Rainbow Falls consisted of a lot of switch backs, as you descended up. This became exhausting after a while. The views along the way were beautiful. We saw lots of wildlife- a bear (in the parking lot of the trail head), turkey, a snake, and a few chipmunks. Overall was a nice hike, although I will say I was a little disappointed with the “falls” itself- not much water trickling out. We did get some satisfaction as there’s always that sigh of relief when you reach the destination.... the way back down was much easier. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the trail head. If you are considering this trail, my recommendation would be to pack water, a snack, and some good shoes.

The trail was amazing!!! My first real hike and I feel accomplished! My knees hurt though.

Beautiful hike. You MUST do the extra 0.2 after you reach the lodge.

good trail...long and tiring especially during the second half. definitely a challenging and rewarding trail. I moved quick and completed the trail in about 4 hours, with about 20 minutes of hanging out at the top of the cliff. personally, I prefer challenging short trails (3-4 miles) so this was not as enjoyable, but not deducting any stars for my personal preference.

hiking
4 days ago

No one is exaggerating when they say this is a busy trail! But it was worth it IMO. We went today. You could tell the water level was a little low but even so it was such a beautiful and perfect little spot for kids and people of all ages. I had my 5 yr old son with me and he was dancing his way up the trail. No problems for him at all. Also, I had my 16 month old in a backpack carrier with my husband. This is probably the best way for the babies as the people with strollers looked like they were having it rough. The trail is paved BUT there are plenty of areas where it is broken/shifted making it less than ideal for a stroller or anything like it. Oh, and one thing about this trail is that as you get closer to the falls it becomes a little more narrow and there is a steep drop-off. Honestly, there's some fairly steep drop-offs in several places so be cautious if you have little ones who may like to run ahead. Not all people are courteous enough to move closer to the mountain side to let others pass in those areas. All in all good hike! It was great to see people there of all shapes,sizes, and skill levels. I would definitely do this trail again!

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

This was our first "true" hike. My bf and I decided to hike it on a whim and we are so glad we did! I will be completely honest with you, we are out if shape and made it just fine! I cant wait to come back and bring our kids next time. Many people brought their small kids on the trail with them.

If you’re a hiker and want an easy rest day or are with the family and want something lite to do, then this is the trail as everybody and their grandmother as well as their newborn babies are hiking here . It’s also good for people watching!! It’s fully paved and slightly uphill.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice trail to jog or mountain bike along the river. This trail will take you from the town of gatlinburg to the sugar lands welcome center. Great to do if you don’t feel like waiting for the trolley. Also you can bike from the town to the welcome center then to laurel falls and lastly little river, cucumber gap and Jacobs creek. Good active day with easy riding and hiking.

Absolutely love these falls!! Possibly my favorite in the Smokies. The trail is nice with a decent incline. There are smaller falls along the way. Beautiful place to spend some quiet time but it does get crowded at times.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful trail and the falls are amazing but this gets BUSY very fast and stays that way all day. The trail is mostly paved but has a decent elevation. We went with friends and a stroller once and they had minimal issues. Gets a little less smooth close to the falls. My kids really enjoy this one. Have seen bears on this trail. Please remember to leave them alone. DO NOT try to feed them, as we saw people doing. Look for the tiny purple butterflies that hang around the falls.

hiking
5 days ago

Short walk and pretty easily accessible to most. There are some small steps but not usually an issue for strollers so it's great for families with little ones. Trail is mostly by the water and very pretty. Can have high foot traffic due to being so easily accessible. The easiest waterfall hike in the park. Force of the falls depends on local rain, obviously, so I've seen it strong and barely running. Still a wonderful hike.

hiking
5 days ago

silly app turned itself off so this part way in and all the way back then to a parking area. was no cell service so I he map didn't render.

hiking
5 days ago

This was a spur of the moment hike in 30 degree temp in early December. Was not bad at all. Hiked it in my sneakers. The fall was amazing that time of year and was very worth it. Trail isn’t too steep and even in the snow, the trail was paved well. Fun to build tiny snowmen and leave them on the trail for others to do the same. Would highly recommend for all adventure seekers.

hiking
5 days ago

worth the hike! I would rate this as easy. slight elevation going up but not crazy. definitely go before 830am if you want to park. we got there at 715 and had only one other car there. we had the falls to ourselves for 20 min. on our hike back to the car we passed atleast 30 people going up or more. very peaceful if you go early!!! found salamanders and Cray fish by the falls. one of my favorite hikes!

Nice trail. They are doing a lot of preservation work so the roots and steep sections are now steps. Easy walk to a pretty waterfall.

fun trail. saw a black snake. waterfall was worth it. some steep inclines but worth it

Perfect day hike. The variety of scenery once you get to Arch Rock is hard to beat. You go quickly from rhododendron-lined creeks to the open views at Inspiration Point, then the massive Alum Cave, then steep cliffs along the final climb, then high-elevation spruce forest, then the shrubs and bare rock on Cliff Tops. The sections with cables along exposed drops are just intimidating enough to be interesting but shouldn't be dangerous at all when the trail is dry. The well-maintained trail and the efficient route make the peak surprisingly accessible for being so high and remote. There were young children and people old enough to be my grandparents on the highest section of the trail. I took exactly 3 hours to reach Cliff Tops. The most experienced hikers were moving faster than that, but most people I saw were on pace for about 3-3.5 hours. It wasn't too crowded on a Saturday morning. I only encountered other hikers about every 5-10 minutes until I came back down the lower sections later in the afternoon.

hiking
6 days ago

Not much water in the middle of September, but still worth the short walk.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

This trail was my least favorite in the park. Very rocky with an uphill climb straight out of the parking lot. Not a very pretty trail with not a lot to look at until the falls which was a trickle. I have climbed the Rockies so I am not a novice hiker.

9-9-19 gorgeous day for hike up and back with hubby. It was hard and slow but will likely do it again. This was my second trip 23 years later on a nicer day. \0/

A must do in the smokies. They do a great job with trail maintenance

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