After fueling up at our restaurant in Gatlinburg, you’ll be ready to head out and explore the Great Smoky Mountains- here are a few of the best Smoky Mountain waterfalls to add to your bucket list of places to experience in the national park:

Place of a Thousand Drips

You can see one of the most breathtaking waterfalls from your car,  so no hiking is required! As you’re driving along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, you’ll notice a 20 to 30-foot-high cascade of water. The small volume of water is the reason for its very fitting name, but after a period of rain, it can be much larger. 

Cataract Falls

cataract fallsThe Sugarlands Visitor Center is a great place to find information about the national park, but it’s also the access point for several nature trails, as well as the short hike to Cataract Falls. It’s just over a mile long and is paved, making this trail perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. The falls themselves are beautiful, with 25 feet of rushing water surrounded by lush greenery and wildflowers in the spring and summer months.

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is easily one of the best Smoky Mountain waterfalls and has become very popular due to its accessible trail and picturesque bridge and walkway in between the 80-foot two-tiered falls. It’s approximately 2.3 miles roundtrip, making it another great family-friendly option. Some major improvements to the Laurel Falls trail are coming in 2024, so be sure to check the NPS website to ensure the trail is open when you plan to visit. 

Grotto Falls

The Trillium Gap Trail is a gorgeous hike, especially to admire the wildflowers in the spring. Just over 2.5 miles long, this trail leads to Grotto Falls, one of the only Smoky Mountain waterfalls that you can walk behind. It’s also a great place to find salamanders!

Abrams Falls

abrams falls, one of the best smoky mountain waterfallsIf you’re planning to visit Cades Cove, then Abrams Falls should definitely be on your list! Even though this waterfall is only 20 feet high, it’s one of the most voluminous falls, and the large pool beneath it makes for a stunning sight that will take your breath away. A moderate hike coming in at around 5 miles, plan to spend a few hours exploring this area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Rainbow Falls

The trail to Rainbow Falls is another moderately strenuous hike that’s mostly uphill, but the 5.4-mile hike brings you to the largest single-drop waterfall in the national park. If you want to keep going, hike another 4.2 miles to reach the summit of Mount LeConte!

Ramsey Cascades 

The hike to Ramsey Cascades is one of the more challenging treks, but seeing the stunning falls at the end is well worth the effort. It’s about 8 miles long roundtrip, with some areas of rough terrain. Be on the lookout for wildflowers and wildlife along the way!

Don’t forget to stop by Crockett’s for hearty eggs and all the fixings before checking out these best Smoky Mountain waterfalls. Discover more hiking trails near Gatlinburg you should explore during your Smoky Mountain vacation!