Laurel Falls and Cove Mountain

MODERATE 217 reviews

Laurel Falls and Cove Mountain is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1833 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

no dogs

Moderate hike with breathtaking views. Geology is very much a part of this hike, notice the interesting rock formations. These rock formations are called Anakeesta, Cherokee for place of Balsams. This type of very porous sandstone is the foundation of the crest of the Smokies. It can "soak" up rain and ground water and is pulverized into powder when it freezes. This is how Arch Rock was formed and explains the rock formations and the gritty trail. At approximately 2 miles a small side trail to the left leads to an interesting overlook on a heath bald. Inspiration point has a great view of Newfound Gap and the sandstone that makes up this mountain range. After leaving the "Bluff" the trail descends to a small saddle, a nice relief from climbing. The views through the trees to the right are beautiful. The trail becomes steep from here to the lodge. As you reach the top of the trail you are greeted with a Boreal Forest, more common in England.Since 1925 there has been a lodging facility here for hardy.

hiking
3 days ago

The trail to the falls was paved and super easy. Also crowded. Past the falls is a steeper trail through the woods. In winter you can peak through the trees at the valley below. The top there is NO view and the “tower” is closed. It’s a research ozone tower type deal. Fun, quiet, and peaceful hike. Good moderate level.

walking
1 month ago

Good place to get an introduction to GSMNP. Not really a hike, more like an aggressive nature walk, unless you continue beyond the falls.

Great for kids, just watch out around the cliffs and falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Go early, before it gets too busy. The falls were amazing, and the hike past it was alright, but nothing spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

4 stars because this trail is paved, and there were SO many people. I am going to safely assume that it's usually like that because we went there at a weird time. The rocks are really slippery up top so wear appropriate shoes!

One cool thing is that we saw 5 bears in the valley on the way down. So keep your eyes out!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This trail has two parts. the first part to laurel falls was 3 out of 5. it has the best views you will see all day. The other 3 miles are worthless. We hiked all the way to the fire tower at the top and were severely disappointed with the lack of views. The 3 miles to cove mountain trail are a 0 out of 5.

4 months ago

Loved the old growth forest that are beyond Laurel Falls! Not much in the way of views but also not too strenuous. 8.4 miles round trip.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a must! It is more on the easy/moderate side and is great for all ages! Once you reach the falls it doesn't stop there! If you are as adventurous as we are then my suggestion is continue up the falls, what you see past them is only seen in movies and post cards! It's a challenge at that point but if you can climb and don't mind getting wet you won't regret it!

hiking
5 months ago

We hiked this trial today and would consider it on the light side of moderate, or the hard side of easy.

hiking
5 months ago

It is a nicely paved, moderate incline and shorter than most hikes. My 3 year old daughter made it with me. However be very careful at the falls. Very slippery and packed full of tourists. Go early to the falls to get good photos

hiking
6 months ago

Enjoyed the trail once we got past Laurel Falls. The falls were much too crowded. Hike to the top of Cove Mtn is a good work out but there isn't much of a view at the top. Seeing a black bear near the trail added some excitement!

hiking
7 months ago

The waterfall was cool. But we continued on up Cove Mountain. Physically a good hike, but there was absolutely nothing to see once you got up there.

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful waterfalls. easy paved hike. parking area.

8 months ago

great day hike there is lodging at the top

hiking
8 months ago

The 1st mile was easy. The whole way was paved and there were people everywhere!!! We continued to hike passed the 1st mile (which is where all of the people stopped to take pics of the waterfall). About 2 miles in, we passed a family heading the other way. They were nice enough to alert us that they had just spotted a mama bear and her cubs. I was too chicken to continue on, so we turned around. Haha The scenery was gorgeous though!

hiking
8 months ago

It's an ok trail. Get to the top of Cove mountain and there is no real view to speak of, just a weather station. The waterfall 1 mile in, is worth going to because it's easy on the feet.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail was easy to follow (even after the paved part that goes all the way to the falls) It was almost an incline the whole way out, but never real steep. However, there wasn't too much of a view from the top, just this weather station thing.

9 months ago

Nice little hike

10 months ago

Easy. Crowded.

walking
10 months ago

Nice walk. Pretty easy. Small falls.

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