HomeRoad Trip11 Waterfalls in Gatlinburg, Tennessee | Interactive Map and...

11 Waterfalls in Gatlinburg, Tennessee | Interactive Map and Mountaineering Particulars

11 Waterfalls in Gatlinburg, Tennessee | Interactive Map and Mountaineering Particulars


Gatlinburg is the most effective place to remain in Tennessee if you happen to take pleasure in chasing waterfalls. Nearly a dozen waterfalls are inside a 30-minute drive of the mountain city. It’s greater than sufficient to maintain you busy for every week or extra – or a number of journeys.

All of the waterfalls close to Gatlinburg are within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. This provides a layer of issue in visiting the waterfalls. You’ll have to buy a parking tag, plan your journey round peak tourism occasions, and hunt for parking on the trailheads.

It’s not mission inconceivable – nevertheless it’s not a cakewalk.

Use this information to the waterfalls in Gatlinburg to study in regards to the waterfalls, the place to park, the climbing trails to the falls, and the most effective occasions to go to.

Word | The waterfalls on this information are listed from east to west to make it simpler to seek out on the map.

Lacking Waterfalls

You could learn this information and instantly, “What about Abrams Falls? How may he neglect this waterfall?!”

I didn’t neglect. I left them off this listing. And for good purpose.

Abrams Falls is likely one of the greatest waterfalls within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. However the trailhead to the waterfall is on the far finish of Cades Cove. On a very good day, driving from Gatlinburg to the Abrams Falls Trailhead takes over an hour. And on a busy day, it might probably take 2-3 hours – every manner.

If you wish to go to Abrams Falls, I like to recommend spending two nights in Townsend. It’s a quiet city that capitalizes on mountain peacefulness.

There are 17 waterfalls within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. And in North Carolina, there are a number of waterfalls outdoors the park in Cherokee. Generally, the most effective place to remain to chase waterfalls is Townsend, Bryson Metropolis, or Cherokee.

Map of Waterfalls in Gatlinburg

use this map | Click on the icon within the top-left nook to open the Map Legend, then click on on any of the legend objects to show extra info. You probably have a Google account, click on the (very faint) star on the finish of the map’s identify to avoid wasting this map to your account, then entry the map out of your smartphone throughout your journey.

Finest Time to Go to Waterfalls

Spring is at all times the most effective time to go to waterfalls, and there’s no exception in Gatlinburg. March is the wettest month of the yr with 4” of rainfall. However April and Might are shut seconds with 3.9” and three.6”, respectively.

All this rain is great for visiting waterfalls. Some waterfalls, like Abrams Creek, have sufficient water quantity to be nice all yr. However different waterfalls, like Grotto Falls and the Place of a Thousand Drips, are higher to see after heavy rainfall.

The perfect time to go to most waterfalls close to Gatlinburg is April or Might. The worst time to go to any of the waterfalls is October. Though the spectacular fall colours are a surprising addition to the surroundings, it’s the driest month of the yr, and plenty of waterfalls are lowered to a trickle.

One other issue to contemplate is the site visitors within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. June, July, and October are the busiest months of the yr, totaling practically 6 million guests – nearly half the annual guests. However Might is a part of the shoulder season with barely half as many guests because the extra standard months.

Ramsey Cascades

Ramsay Cascades just isn’t the most well-liked waterfall. It’s not even within the prime 5 hottest in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. However it’s the tallest.

The 100-foot cascading waterfall is positioned close to the Greenbrier space, about half an hour from Gatlinburg. The 8-mile roundtrip hike on the Ramsey Cascades begins at a small car parking zone on the finish of the filth highway. The path follows the creek upstream to the waterfall with a gradual 2,185-foot ascent.

Learn Extra: AllTrails App Overview – Why AllTrails is the Finest Mountaineering App

It’s a reasonably strenuous hike with a gentle climb to the waterfall. However it’s a downhill trek again to the automotive after seeing the spectacular waterfall. A small pool on the backside is ideal for getting your toes moist. It takes about 5-7 hours to finish the path.

Fern Department Falls

After a mild stroll alongside the Porters Creek Path, the cascading 35-foot Fern Department Falls is a deal with. It’s one of many least visited waterfalls within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park and barely seems in journey guides or maps. I discovered it by chance after studying a couple of CCC cabin alongside the path – I missed the cabin however discovered the waterfall.

The 7-mile roundtrip hike on the Porters Creek Path is likely one of the best within the nationwide park. The path has a gradual 1,500-foot ascent from the parking space, following an outdated logging highway that’s flat and well-maintained.

Fern Department Falls is on the fitting aspect of the path, about 1.7 miles from the parking space. It takes about half-hour to hike to the waterfall casually. And it’s a downhill hike on the best way again.

Place of a Thousand Drips

The Place of a Thousand Drips is a curious waterfall. On most days, particularly in late spring and autumn, the waterfall is lowered to dozens of tiny streams and a whole bunch of drips.

However after heavy rainfall, greater than a dozen streams of water cascade alongside the jagged rocks and easy boulders.

The Locations of a Thousand Drips is close to the tip of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path, a one-lane, one-way scenic drive close to Gatlinburg. There’s restricted parking across the waterfall. Drive previous the waterfall for a number of pull-off parking spots alongside the highway and stroll again to see it.

However most individuals cease within the highway for a second to admire the waterfall – it’s one in all solely two waterfalls within the nationwide park viewable from the automotive.

Baskins Creek Falls

Baskins Creek Falls is a 40-foot cascading waterfall within the heart of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path. It’s grown in reputation lately as different waterfalls have grow to be overcrowded.

Baskins Creek Path crosses from one aspect of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path to the opposite, offering two methods to hike to Baskin Creek Falls.

Learn Extra | Journey Information to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path at Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park

The primary trailhead is a number of hundred toes from the place the one-lane, one-way highway begins. However you don’t must decide to the auto touring route. You’ll be able to park on the Rainbow Falls Overflow Lot on Cherokee Orchard Highway earlier than turning onto the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path after which stroll alongside the highway to the trailhead.

From this trailhead, the waterfall is about 1.4 miles into the rugged terrain. It’s a reasonably straightforward hike with a mild elevation achieve.

Professional Journey Tip | The perfect place to park to hike this path in the summertime is the Rainbow Falls Overflow Parking – and early within the day. The one-lane, one-way scenic highway is usually overcrowded with bumper-to-bumper site visitors in the summertime and in October.

The second trailhead is on the other aspect of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path close to the Alex Cole Cabin. From right here, the 1.3-mile hike to the waterfall is barely more difficult.

  • Finest Time to Go to | April or Might, or simply after dawn in the summertime.
  • Deal with & Map | Baskins Creek Path, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Parking | Pull-off parking alongside the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path at both the trailhead or the Rainbow Falls Overflow Parking on Cherokee Orchard Highway.

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls is tiny, nevertheless it’s spectacular. The 25-foot-tall waterfall spills over a rocky outcropping right into a shallow pool. It’s a well-liked waterfall positioned on a well-liked climbing path with a number of locations, so it might probably grow to be a busy place throughout the prime season.

The waterfall’s trailhead is positioned on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path, a 5-mile one-lane, one-way scenic drive in Gatlinburg. Start on Historic Nature Path after which proceed onto Cherokee Orchard Highway to the gate in the beginning of the one-lane portion of the scenic drive. Proceed to a parking space alongside the highway. There are few marked parking areas close to the 2 trailheads, however you’ll discover extra as you proceed alongside the highway. A privy restroom is out there between the 2 trailheads.

The hike to Grotto Falls follows a 2.6-mile roundtrip journey on the Trillium Hole Path. It’s a reasonably troublesome hike with a 544-foot ascent to the waterfall – however thankfully, it’s downhill coming again. The hike takes about 2-3 hours.

Learn Extra: AllTrails App Overview – Why AllTrails is the Finest Mountaineering App

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is likely one of the hottest waterfalls in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park, routinely competing with Laurel Falls and Abrams Falls for many guests. The 80-foot freefalling waterfall crashes right into a shallow pool after which trickles via a sequence of small crevasses within the rock-strewn stream under.

The trailhead is on Cherokee Orchard Highway earlier than coming into the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Path, which is why it’s a well-liked climbing path. There are two massive parking heaps – one positioned on the trailhead and the opposite beside the doorway to the motor nature path. There are additionally a number of pull-off parking spots alongside the highway. There’s a privy restroom within the first car parking zone.

The 5.1-mile roundtrip hike on the Rainbow Falls is reasonably troublesome, with a mild 1,600-foot ascent. It’s a gentle upward climb alongside LeConte Creek to the waterfall – so it’s a pleasing downhill trek on the best way again. The hike takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

  • Finest Time to Go to | April or Might, or mid-week in the summertime or October.
  • AllTrails | Rainbow Falls Path
  • Deal with & Map | Rainbow Falls Path, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Parking | There are dozens of parking areas alongside the highway earlier than and after the trailhead and an overflow car parking zone two minutes previous the trailhead.

Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls is likely one of the least spectacular waterfalls within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. However the trailhead begins at the most well-liked customer heart and is a simple hike.

The 25-foot cascading waterfall is often lowered to skinny streams of water softly falling right into a shallow pool. However, after heavy rainfall, the waterfall includes a great water movement.

The path begins between the Sugarlands Customer Middle and restrooms. Observe the indicators as a result of a number of trails intersect and department off in several instructions. It takes about 20 minutes to stroll the 1.1-mile path casually.

Huskey Department Falls

There are numerous issues to do within the Elkmont Historic District. You would discover the restored cabins in Daisy City. Take a stroll alongside Millionaires’ Row. Or go for a pleasing hike to Huskey Department Falls.

I believe the Little River Path is likely one of the greatest climbing trails within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. The path follows the course of the small river, offering hikers with a relentless hum of dashing water.

Professional Journey Tip | You’ll discover restrooms on the Elkmont Campground. It’s greatest to go to the restrooms earlier than parking close to the trailhead.

The 4.3-mile out-and-back hike on the Little River Path includes a gradual ascent of about 350 toes. It takes about 90 minutes to hike the path however give your self time to benefit from the surroundings alongside the best way.

One of many causes I like this path is the fascinating remnants of earlier cabins and the troll bridge! A stone hearth is all that is still of a cabin, stubbornly standing in the midst of the forest. The Troll Bridge is a beautiful stone bridge the place the Little River Path crosses a creek.

  • Finest Time to Go to | April or Might
  • AllTrails | Little River Path
  • Deal with & Map | 603 Little River Trl, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Parking | A number of parking areas on the trailhead close to the Spence Cabin. If these areas are taken, proceed driving across the nook to a bigger car parking zone on the Jakes Creek Trailhead.

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is an attractive 80-foot-tall cascading waterfall and probably the most standard waterfall hikes in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park. The trailhead is barely 6 miles from Gatlinburg – one of many main causes it’s such a well-liked path.

It’s a 2.6-mile roundtrip hike to the waterfall on the Laurel Falls and usually takes about two hours. The reasonable path has a gradual ascent to the waterfall. It’s a deceiving path as a result of it begins paved, however the pavement shortly succumbs to nature. The path is well-maintained however splendidly tough. Mountain streams cross the path in a number of locations.

Learn Extra: AllTrails App Overview – Why AllTrails is the Finest Mountaineering App

The waterfall is split into an higher and decrease part. A walkway cuts throughout the center, permitting guests to get nearer to this waterfall than another within the nationwide park. With overcrowding lowered, there’s loads of room to benefit from the spectacle if you happen to carry a light-weight camp chair or hammock.

The Sinks

Logging was the first business within the Nice Smoky Mountains all through the 1800s. Earlier than the primary railroads have been constructed to haul the timber out of the forest, they have been floated alongside the Little River. However within the final years of floating logs, heavy rainfall left an enormous pile of a whole bunch of logs caught within the horseshoe bend of the river.

Staff determined to make use of dynamite to free the log jam. However the great explosion did greater than clear the caught logs on the river. It created a 30-foot-deep chasm within the riverbed and bridged two ends of the horseshoe bend, rerouting the river.

Learn Extra | The Fascinating Story of How Dynamite Created The Sinks at Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park

At present, the attention-grabbing place is named The Sinks. It’s about ten miles from Townsend and fifteen miles from Gatlinburg on Little River Highway. A bridge crosses the turbulent rapids because the river gushes throughout the jagged rocks. It’s a well-liked place for fishing, however swimming is prohibited due to the highly effective river currents.

Meigs Falls

Meigs Falls is one in all solely two Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park waterfalls that may be seen from the consolation of your automotive. Meigs Creek plummets right into a slender cove earlier than flowing into the Little River.

Though the waterfall is about 30 toes tall and 60 toes large, with a very good movement all year long, it’s troublesome to see. The waterfall is about again from the freeway about 500 toes throughout the Little River. A pull-off parking space affords loads of room for autos – usually, individuals inch alongside the parking space to benefit from the view from the automotive after which depart simply as shortly as they arrived.

The waterfall is about 15 miles from Gatlinburg and seven miles from Townsend on Little River Highway. One of the best ways to see this waterfall is with a good pair of binoculars.

  • Finest Time to Go to | April or Might. However it’s additionally spectacular when frozen over within the winter.
  • Deal with & Map | Townsend, TN 37882
  • Parking | A number of pull-off parking areas on the waterfall aspect of the two-lane highway.