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Laurel Falls Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length 2.4 mi Elevation gain 396 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Forest

Paved

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Dogs and pets are not permitted in Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trailhead is limited. The area is especially busy on weekends year-round and on weekdays during summer. Laurel Branch and the 80-foot high Laurel Falls are named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail and near the falls in May. Though the trail is paved, the pavement is rough and can be rough for strollers in sections.

Official National Park Service website http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

From Sugarlands Visitor Center, turn toward Cades Cove on Little River Road and drive 3.5 miles to the trailhead where there are parking areas on both sides of the road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (2280)
Photos (1212)
Recordings (1513)
Completed (4883)
Justine Neering
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Hard pass. The positive side: Easy, short hike making it good for families that have kids. It was cute watching the kids splash around in the water because at the top it’s not deep at all! Negatives that completely out way the positives: Way too many people on a small path. If everyone walked single file it would be perfect. Not much to see on the way and the falls were PACKED! You couldn’t get one picture from any angle without people in it.

jeremy johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Nice easy hike. Uphill to the falls but not too difficult. Nice pics at the falls. Go early to avoid the crowds

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Karl Kahlan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking
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Mern Dunn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

We arrived at 7:30am and the parking lot was already full. We had to park on roadway. Even that early the trail had groups ahead and behind us. It was moderately crowded. About 50% were wearing masks. The asphalt trail is narrow and is eroding. There are sections where there are tree roots. It’s a steady uphill but doable. Our 5 yo got about .4 up and then we put him on in a back pack. It’s definitely too hard for little legs. The viewing area at the top was crowded, nowhere to go and impossible to social distance. There’s exposed areas and slippery. I tried to climb down a little landing of rocks in hiking boots and started slipping. Not a great trail for COVID-19. The falls were pretty but hard to enjoy. To boot, NPS employees were there trying to plan upgrades to this trail so that added another 12 bodies up at the top!

Janet Matyas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

So sorry to give this only two stars but here is why...1. This is NOT a paved hike, as advertised. The asphalt has been washed away by years of erosion and tree roots have upended most of what is left. 2. There are not only beginners on this trail but people who should not have been hiking at all, including complaining, crying and unruly children of all ages. 3. The rules of etiquette were not followed or even being attempted on this very crowded trail. 4. social distancing and mask wearing was only being observed by 5% of the people. 5. It was SO crowded at the falls themselves it wasn't worth the picture. Nice waterfall, but the "experience" was not worth it.

Ray Henry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

Great beginners trail!!!

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Hal Nordlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike but way too many people

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Renee Elliott Perkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great moderate trail!! Heavy traffic during busy vacation times. Try going during the week and early if possible. The waterfall is beautiful at the end. It’s a paved trail so very easy to get up the mountain.

Shannon Harbin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Great trail and easy. Walk road up to Falls is in need of restoration

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Billy Hager
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Tool the entire family up this mountain as a last minute decision with the all trails app! The path was mostly paved, but obvious age erosion, people managed to go up with strollers and wagons, but I’d recommend not doing so. It’s an easy trail, but a lot of uphill to get to the waterfall, so young kids are a 50/50 split chance of getting carried halfway up the trail, but please do carry them, the view is well worth any struggles you may have up the mountain!

Angela Gianini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Four stars for the falls, one star for the crowds, but we went midday and expected heavy traffic so not a shock. Most not masked and while that didn’t alarm me too much on the trail, it’s tight quarters at the falls and distancing is difficult—just a heads up. Lots of good wading for kids, bring the water shoes.

Alex K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

You’ll read in this review what you will see in the majority: this trail is paved, often crowded, and very tourist-y. Did happen to see a bear on the descent which was no surprise because this is black bear country. Honestly, I was consistently more worried about the people than the wildlife because of the very human impact on this once wild section of the Smokies.

Misty M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Nice easy trail. Slight incline the majority of the trail going towards the falls, but nice down hill stroll on the return trip. We went at about 5 pm so it was super crowded...make certain to bring a mask.

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SheShe Tyson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

Read all the reviews about the crowds so we decided to get an early start and hit the trail at 7am this morning. We were the first ones on the trail until marker 3, a nice big bear sauntering the path ahead of us. At around marker 6 he/she decided to go up into the right off trail. There are signs that say active bear area. On the way back, we passed a lot of people heading up and the parking lot was full. It’s was a nice easy hike. The Falls are beautiful and worth the short hike but go early.

Susan L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Short trail to pretty falls we hiked early this morning. Weather has eroded the once lovely asphalt trail, causing it to be uneven, and very narrow at some places, tripping hazard at places. If you like the earth beneath your feet when you hike, or solitude, this is not the trail for you. Due to the large number of people piled in by the falls, we left immediately. The bear was on the trail while we were in the parking area. For some, this is the perfect hike. For us, we prefer less traveled waterfall Hikes.

Ben Lieske
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Great Trail. Not too steep, Falls are fun at the finish. A lot of bear sightings along the way.

Stephen Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

So...many....people! The falls themselves are lovely and trail is well paved and very easy, but holy cow, I’ve never been on such a crowded trail. Literally hundreds of people accompanied us on the way up and down, so if you’re like me and enjoy the solitude of hiking, this is not the trail for you. On the plus side, it is very family friendly and doable for anyone, regardless of fitness level. I saw a woman with two prosthetic legs and crutches make it all the way! Amazing! Oh, and we saw a timber rattlesnake, so that was cool, but don’t let your kids run off into the woods off trail, for sure!

Jennifer Mayo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
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Pat Frey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
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Liberty Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
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Michael Hadden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Nice paved trail and beautiful falls at the end

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Leslie Gauntt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Well trafficked trail, paved and a steady incline up. Several bear sightings. Be careful when you get to the falls, especially with little kids. Saw a few people slip and fall on the trail coming down. Personally thought Grotto falls was prettier of a hike which is close by.

SARAH YAUSSI
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

Pretty falls are the end but hard to enjoy with the crowds. Good length for kids and mostly paved so easy to do with sneakers or even sandals.

Jackie Lynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020

As a person who ventures to the mountains and trails to get away from people and take in the sights and smells of nature, this trail left much to be desired. Way too many people for me. The highlights were a spot near the second to last bend before the falls with an awesome view of the Smoky tops, and climbing down and around the falls. Being paved and super easy, this trail provides the ability for most people of any ability to enjoy a hike in the Smokies (I encountered toddlers, seniors, obese people, and even high-fived a very pregnant lady along the path). If you want a challenge and/or peace and quiet, though, I don't recommend this one.

Mike Pernecky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
WalkingGreat!

Paved trail all the way to the falls, lots of traffic but not too crowded when we went. Our 8 year old daughter does some gymnastics but isn't super active and she did this with minimal complaints. There were people with strollers but you probably have to be fit to take a stroller with you. Beautiful falls and a nice view about halfway through. This trail has everything.

Kiseo Chan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

It was a beautiful trail. the falls we're BEAUTIFUL. not too difficult, but was crowded.

Jackie Romero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Wayyyyy tooo many people. Couldnt get any good photos of the falls because of all the people swimming, bathing, and taking photos. Trail is very slick in sneakers, I slipped multiple times on the way up and down. Glad I did the trail just given it's popularity but not a must.

Jacob Huez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Very easy paved trail

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Adan Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

This is a nice easy paved hike. The blacktop is pretty beat up so not really advisable to take a wheelchair or anything. There is a slight elevation gain but still pretty easy. This trail can get pretty busy so be prepared for the trailhead lot to be full. When you get to Laurel falls it’s really nice, and bears at times have been seen in the falls drinking.

Peter Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Trail is paved but the asphalt is weathered. Nice woods and forest on the way up. Enough incline to make you work a bit. There’s a nice overlook about 90% of the way up the trail. The falls are stunning! Get on the trail by 8 on a weekend or it’ll be choked.

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