Gatlinburg, TN

Top 4 waterfalls to see in Gatlinburg

Kaleah Mcilwain

Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are known for having some of the best scenic trails and views in the world. The Gatlinburg area is a great perfect place to hike and enjoy a number of incredible waterfalls the area has to offer.

With elevations that reach over 2,000 feet and some of the deepest swimming pools in the world, touring the waterfalls in Gatlinburg are perfect for a half-day activity, a day in the woods, or a romantic getaway.

Make the most of your trip and plan a day to visit the top waterfalls to see in Gatlinburg.

#1 Ramsey Cascade

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Ramsey Cascades waterfall.(Pigeon Forge)

At 100 feet tall, Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's an eight mile round trip hike and is one of the harder trails in the area.

Taking the trip to this waterfall is rocky and climbs about 2,500 feet in elevation. The waterfall is worth the climb but climbing the rocks are dangerous and prohibited.

To reach the start of the trail to this waterfall, drive six miles east of Gatlinburg on Highway 321, turn at the Greenbrier entrance to the park, and follow the signs for the trailhead.

#2 Rainbow Falls

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Rainbow Falls waterfall.(Pigeon Forge)

Rainbow Falls gets its name from the light that passes through the waterfall's mist making it known for having the most impressive sights of all the waterfalls.

A more moderately difficult hike at just a little over 5 miles round-trip this waterfall sits in close proximity to downtown. Due to its location, Rainbow Falls is a high trafficked area so it is best to visit early or expect a large crowd.

The trailhead for this waterfall is located in the Roaring Fork area.

#3 Grotto Falls

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Grotto Falls waterfall.(Pigeon Forge)

Grotto Falls is also known as "the waterfall that you can walk behind." The only waterfall in Gatlinburg where the trail leads you directly behind the waterfall itself.

At under 3 miles round trip and with the promise of feeling the spray of the waterfall on your face as you pass behind, this is one of the more popular waterfalls in the area. Standing at 25 feet tall, it is said to be a sight to behold in the winter months when the waterfall freezes.

This waterfall is located in the Roaring Fork area as well.

#4 Laurel Falls

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Laurel Falls waterfall.(Pigeon Forge)

Laurel Falls features some of the best views with its hardwood forest, stunning mountain views, and a multi-tiered waterfall, making it one of the most photographed places in the Smokies.

This 80 foot waterfall is a 2.6 mile round trip hike and visitors can expect a 350 feet rise in elevation.

It is located west toward Townsend from the Sugarland Visitor Center. The Laurel Falls trailhead is just off Fighting Creek Gap Road on the right.

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Journalist with a background reporting on local communities, now living and reporting on the Baltimore area. Check out my website and find me on twitter @kaleahmcilwain!

Baltimore, MD
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