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The Great Smoky Mountains region is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The natural peaks and valleys of the mountains and the land surrounding them offer visitors a spectacular view. Another gorgeous component are the various waterfalls found in Gatlinburg, particularly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take a look at a few must-sees. 

1. Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls Gatlinburg waterfalls

Gatlinburg waterfalls image provided by Your Guide To Gatlinburg

As one of the most popular trails in the national park, getting to the Laurel Falls involves an easy hike on a short paved path just over a mile long. Only a few miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center just outside of Gatlinburg, the waterfall itself is 75 feet and divided in the middle by the trail and a pool. Visitors can walk across this divide on a newly installed bridge to get to one of the most-photographed places in the Smokies. 

If you continue past the falls for approximately two and a half miles, you will enter the eastern hemlock woods, and from there at the three mile mark, you will hit Little Greenbrier Trail. A little further up and you will eventually join the Cover Mountain Trail, which runs along the park back to Sugarlands Visitor Center.

2. Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls Gatlinburg waterfalls

Gatlinburg waterfalls image provided by Isabella Nicole Valentine

The most exciting part about these falls is that you can actually stand behind the water wall as it dives into the grotto below, and it is the only falls like this in the area. The easy walk is just minutes from Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Make sure to head to the Trillium Trail as well to check out the old-growth forests, and in spring gaze upon the wildflowers in the area. 

3. Ramsey Cascades

Ramsey Cascades Gatlinburg waterfalls

Gatlinburg waterfalls image provided by Courtney Cox

Known for being the biggest waterfall in Gatlinburg with its 100-foot drop, Ramsey Cascades Trail is a must-see for your itinerary. It is surrounded by lush old-growth forests as the water from Mt. Guyot (the second highest in the Smokies) cascades down over rock outcroppings. Take a peek at the pool below where the salamanders gather. Clocking in eight miles round-trip, this hike is more strenuous than the others, but the view makes it all worthwhile, especially as you gaze upon the rushing rivers and streams along the trail. The end of the hike traverses through old-growth where large tulip trees, basswoods, yellow birches, and silverbells stand guard.

4. Rainbow Falls Trail

Gatlinburg waterfalls

Gatlinburg waterfalls image provided by MobileBrochure

One of the harder trails to follow (but worth the view!) is the Rainbow Falls Trail. The first mile follows along LeConte Creek where you will also find great spots for a picnic. Keep going and you’ll see two footbridges that lead to the 80-foot falls. What makes this location unique is that it is the highest single-drop waterfall in the Smokies, which produces a gorgeous rainbow in the mist when the sun is shining. During the cold months, check out the ice formations around the water. If you want to continue on the trail, you’ll eventually reach the summit of Mt. LeConte, the third highest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

5. Baskins Creek Trail

Baskins Creek Trail Gatlinburg waterfalls

Gatlinburg waterfalls image provided by Steve Williams

This falls trail consists of an 2.7 mile uphill route through the forest. There are two secluded tiers as well as the main attraction–the 40-foot waterfall. Because it is not as popular as other falls, the trail is not as busy, but it is near Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail across from the Trillium Gap Trail.

While heading to the falls, make sure to take in the red oaks, hemlocks, and maple trees, but be careful because the trail does get steep and slippery at certain points, especially near a treacherous rock hop around the 1.6 mile mark. Once you descend off the ridge, you’ll be near Bales Cemetery before the end of the trail at Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail across from Grapeyard Ridge Trail. 

6. Abrams Falls Trail

Abrams Falls Trail Gatlinburg waterfalls

waterfalls around Gatlinburg image provided by Abrams Falls Trail

For a more moderate hiking trail near Gatlinburg waterfalls, try Abrams Falls Trail. A five-mile round trip excursion, you will cross the wooden bridge and follow along to Cades Cove Valley where the 20-foot waterfall stands. Despite being smaller than the others, this falls location is quite popular, mainly because the rushing water is impressive to see as it crashes into the deep pool below. No swimming is recommended here because the power of this water is impressive; the currents are quite dangerous!

We hope you enjoyed our list of a few waterfalls in Gatlinburg you can drive to. Click here to enjoy more scenic landscapes at our stunning cabin rentals in Gatlinburg, complete with breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.