Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains
One of visitors’ favorite sights to see in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a waterfall. There are more than 100 waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains, some you can hike to, and some you can drive to! The Smoky Mountains have two main ingredients for plenty of waterfalls: rain and an elevation gradient. The ample rainfall falls down mountain sides, sometimes dropping more than a mile in elevation! Learn more about the most popular waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains below:
Grotto Falls – Grotto Falls is a 25-foot-high waterfall that can be accessed by the Trillium Gap Trail. The trail actually runs behind the waterfall! It’s a 3-mile roundtrip hike to Grotto Falls.
Laurel Falls – Laurel Falls is one of the most popular Smoky Mountain waterfalls! It’s a two-tiered, 80-foot-high waterfall. There’s a footbridge that crosses Laurel Falls at the base of the upper section, which is a perfect spot for pictures. It’s a 2.6-mile roundtrip hike to the waterfall.
Abrams Falls – Abrams Falls is the most voluminous waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s only 20 feet high, but the volume of water rushing over the falls more than makes up for it. The water collects in a deep pool at the base of the falls. It’s a 5-mile roundtrip hike to Abrams Falls.
Ramsey Cascades – Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the park at 100 feet high. The water collects in a small pool at its base. This waterfall hike is 8 miles round trip.
Rainbow Falls – Rainbow Falls is a gorgeous, 80-foot-high waterfall. On sunny afternoons, a rainbow produced by the mist of the falls can be seen. During the winter, an ice formation can often be seen around the falls. Rainbow Falls is a 5.4-mile roundtrip hike.
There are also a few waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains that you can drive to! Learn more below:
Meigs Falls – Meigs Falls is tucked away on the far side of the Little River. The pulloff to view this waterfall is along Little River Road, about 13 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center
The Sinks – The Sinks is another waterfall in the Smoky Mountains with a large volume of water. The parking area to view The Sinks is along Little River Road, about 12 miles weat of Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Place of a Thousand Drips – This waterfall is a low-flow, roadside waterfall. You can find it at the end of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The water flows down the rocks and splits into numerous channels. It can best be seen during rainy seasons.