Favorite Gatlinburg Hiking Spots

laurel falls
October 1, 2013

Favorite Gatlinburg Hiking Spots, with Waterfalls! Everyone enjoys seeing waterfalls, and everyone enjoys hiking. So, why not combine the two? Here are the best locales for hiking that have great views of waterfalls somewhere along the path.

rainbow falls

Mt. Leconte (Via Rainbow Falls Trail)

This trail is unique for its fantastic views and access to both the gorgeous Mt. LeConte and Rainbow Falls. It is a very strenuous hike, coming in at a 13.8 mile roundtrip distance with multiple slopes and difficult terrain, but it is still fun, and offers great views of the Rainbow Falls as you go along. Best of all, you can summit Mt. LeConte as well, giving you the best of both worlds!

grotto falls

Grotto Falls

In all truthfulness, though Rainbow Falls is a bit more famous, Grotto Falls is probably our favorite location in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Not only is it an easy-ish hike, with only 3.7 miles roundtrip distance, it also gives you the unique opportunity to walk behind a real life waterfall. It’s not a huge waterfall, and is definitely not as slightly as you’ll find elsewhere, but it’s still an incredible experience that is definitely worth the trip. If you have a chance, make sure you visit Grotto Falls!

abrams falls

Abrams Falls

Without a doubt, no trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a hike on the Abrams Falls Trail. Again, this is an easy hike to complete—in terms of actual strenuousness—so most should be able to complete it with no problem (5.0 miles, relatively easy terrain). But, the hike is not the reason you are on this page. The reason, of course, is the waterfall, and Abrams doesn’t disappoint. While not the largest waterfall on this list, it does, in fact, have the most flow volume out of any waterfall in the entire park, making this a must see. Add in the gorgeous locale that surrounds it, and the fun hike to it, and you get a great hiking locale that is perfect for anyone! Just remember; it is a bit dangerous, so make sure to make the proper precautions before visiting.