Laurel Falls and Cove Mountain

MODERATE 226 reviews

Laurel Falls and Cove Mountain is a 7.7 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
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1876 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.

9 days ago

Beautiful view and falls were amazing. Good for beginners or young people. Only downside was super crowded.

backpacking
1 month ago

We had a great time hiking up 2 Laurel Falls.

hiking
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
6 months ago

hiking
6 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.

6 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
7 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
8 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
9 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
9 months ago

beautiful waterfalls. easy paved hike. parking area.

10 months ago

great day hike there is lodging at the top

hiking
10 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
10 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
11 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.

11 months ago

Nice little hike

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Easy. Crowded.

walking
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Nice walk. Pretty easy. Small falls.

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

I have done this trail twice, nice hike and the Falls is beautiful. Particularly in the winter when it's froze over.

Friday, March 31, 2017

lots of people around the falls, crowd thins significantly afterwards, but not a lot to see

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Really nice hike. It does get busy in the late morning/afternoon so plan ahead if you'd like to avoid the crowd. It's paved all the way from the road to the falls, but still has some steep inclines, broken concrete, etc.
You can go on past the falls, which will be much less crowded. It's a pretty hike, and fairly easy, but no scenic views of the area.

hiking
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wasn't much of a sight seeing hike but you do get to see Laurel Falls. Most of the trail was covered with trees blocking views. Not too crazy of a hike.

hiking
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nice inclined hike up asphate path to the falls. Nice falls

Monday, February 20, 2017

It was quite busy until after the falls. View from the top is non existent.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Great hike. Made it all the way to the top. Steady incline all the way up. Don't just go to the falls and stop, keep going. You can do it!!

hiking
Saturday, January 07, 2017

A great hike to do in the winter when it snows!! Other times of the year it's decent. It's a easy hike and pretty crowded, ends at an nice waterfall, nothing special but still a nice hike.

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