Smoky Mountain Waterfalls
Getaway to the Smokies for a Relaxing Smoky Mountain Vacation
Out of the 10 million annual visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, not everyone can raft a river or hike to the top of a mountain ... but everyone can enjoy a lovely waterfall.
If you do nothing else, please visit a few of our Smoky Mountain Waterfalls.
Waterfalls in the Smokies -- Tennessee
Abrams Falls is a 5 - mile round - trip hike from Cades Cove Loop Road. After following the creek and its tributaries, you'll come to one of the park's finest falls.
Chasteen Creek Falls
This small, elegant waterfall can be reached from the Smokemont Campground. This hike is relatively easy, a 4 - mile round - trip.
The trailhead for Grotto Falls is from Roaring fork Motor Trail. The 2.4 mile round - trip hike leads through an old growth hemlock forest.
The falls are formed by the Roaring Fork spilling over a 20 ft. rock ledge and the hiking trail actually passes behind.
So, don't forget your camera -- the Grotto Falls is a photographer's favorite.
Hen Wallow Falls
Although the Hen Wallow Falls is one of the less visited falls, it's one of the prettiest in the park.
The hike is easy and fairly short -- just a 4.4 mile round - trip hike from the Cosby Campground.
Indian Creek Falls
The 1.5 round trip to Indian Creek Falls begins at Deep Creek Campground.
There are quite unique, falling down a 35 ft. sloping rock. Also, along the trail you'll run across Tom's Branch Falls ... another beauty.
With its close proximity to Gatlinburg and Elkmont Campground, Laurel Falls are one of the park's most popular sites.
It's an easy 2.5 - mile round - trip on a paved trail. It climbs gently through a forest of oak and pine.
At the top, the falls cascade 50 feet into a cool pool and then spill another 40 ft. to a second pool.
In the Smoky Mountains, some of the park's most popular falls are near the roadside or trailhead, but not these.
To see Rainbow Falls, you climb 1,700 ft. in just 2.8 miles. It's a moderately strenuous hike and the path is terribly rocky. But your hard work and uphill slog will be greatly rewarded by the sight of the misty Rainbow Falls -- one of the prettiest in the park.
Rainbow Falls spill over an 80 ft. bluff, then gurgle through a mossy boulder field, in a succession of picturesque cascades.
It's said that in winter, the entire falls can freeze solid, in the shape of an hourglass.
Beautiful Falls on the North Carolina Side of the Smokies
The town of Highlands is the hub of North Carolina waterfall country.
Highway 64, from Franklin to Highlands follows the Cullasaja River, and it has more falls than a Dick Van Dyke Show marathon.
Lower Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls are the first you'll come to. This is where the river descends more than 300 feet in a quarter of a mile.
Dry Falls is so named because you can walk behind 'em. here's your chance to see and backside of water ... without getting wet.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls splash down 120 ft. landing partly on the road. It's a great place get the dust and dirt off your car.
Once you arrive at Highlands, take NC 106 south for two miles to the Glen Falls Scenic Area. Glen Falls are a stunning 50 ft. cascade.
Back in the town of highlands, if you continue east on Hwy. 64 through Cashiers, then take State Road 107 south into North Carolina.
Next, turn left on Wignington Rd., SC 37 / 413. When it comes to a T - Intersection, turn left onto SC 130. Once you cross into North Carolina, the roads becomes NC 281.
Once in North Carolina, look to your right for Whitewater Falls.
Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall in the eastern United States and it straddles the state line.
The upper portion is on the NC side, dropping 411 ft. and the lower portion of the falls on the SC side, descending 400 ft.