5 of the Most Stunning Smoky Mountain Waterfalls
Go with the flow and visit a waterfall this trip to the Smoky Mountains! Among all the natural wonders inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, waterfalls are some of the most awe-inspiring sights you can see. The Park Grill sits by the entrance of the national park, meaning you’re just a short trek away from some spectacular Smoky Mountain waterfalls. Here are 5 of the most stunning Smoky Mountain waterfalls:
1. Laurel Falls
Rushing water plunges down the 80-foot-tall Laurel Falls, split into 2 separate sections allowing visitors to cross the stream via a walkway! At the base of the upper falls you’ll find a short wooden bridge that is the perfect stopping point to snap photos or even a selfie in front of the falls. Named after the mountain laurel shrubs that bloom nearby each May, the Laurel Falls Trail is 2.6 miles roundtrip and paved. Laurel Falls is one of the most popular spots in the national park, so parking is often limited.
2. Abrams Falls
Abrams Falls is one of the most powerful Smoky Mountain waterfalls as its significant volume of water gushes over the 20-foot-tall falls! The Abrams Falls Trail is full of scenic overlooks, wildlife and wildflowers that add to the magic of this waterfall. The hike to Abrams Falls is about 5 miles roundtrip and is of moderate difficulty due to numerous ridges along the way.
3. Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is the only waterfall in the national park that you can walk behind, making it one of the most unique Smoky Mountain waterfalls you’ll find! Standing at 25 feet tall, Grotto Falls can be reached by following the Trillium Gap Trail that meanders through an old-growth hemlock forest and eventually the back side of the falls. This allows hikers to hear and feel the water as it plummets into a pool in front of you! The roundtrip distance to and from Grotto Falls is about 2.6 miles.
4. The Sinks
If you have mobility concerns or would prefer not to hike to see one of these Smoky Mountain waterfalls, The Sinks is calling your name! The Sinks was created from a dynamite blast meant to free up a logjam in the river, ultimately leaving behind a giant crater. It is located on the Townsend side of the national park on Little River Road, about 12 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center. A small paved parking area is located adjacent to the bridge overlooking this waterfall.
5. Ramsey Cascades
The tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Ramsey Cascades! Towering 100 feet from the base to the top, Ramsey Cascades is located in the Greenbrier section of the park, known for its spectacular wildflowers during the spring. The Ramsey Cascades Trail gains more than 2,000 feet in elevation and is about an 8-mile round trip hike that is strenuous in nature. The trail follows along rushing rivers and streams while a portion of it traverses through an old-growth forest.
Visiting these stunning Smoky Mountain waterfalls is just one of several exciting things you can explore in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Check out some other fun things to do in the national park the next time you make plans to visit The Park Grill!