Smoky Mountain Rafting chose four “must see” Smoky Mountain waterfalls. I have hiked Grotto Falls a couple of times and that is a good hike for me. I like Grotto because you can go behind the falls. I would love to try the rainbow Falls….maybe this summer.
1. Mouse Creek Falls
If you love history and beautiful scenery, you should hike to Mouse Creek Falls. You will take Big Creek Trail. At 1.4 miles the trail passes Midnight Hole, a deep, clear pool that displays colors of green and blue, which is under 6-foot tall waterfalls. At 2.1 miles, you will reach Mouse Creek Falls. There is a short side trail on the left that leads to a bench where you can rest and admire the falls. The waterfall is 45 feet tall. This trail is considered moderately difficult and takes about 2 to 3 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.
2. Grotto Falls
Smoky Mountain waterfalls have some of the most spectacular sights in the entire region, and Grotto Falls is definitely one for the books. Trillium Gap Trail, which leads to Grotto Falls, goes through an old-growth hemlock forest and actually runs behind the 25-foot high waterfall. The cool, moist environment near the falls is ideal for viewing salamanders, so it is great for kids who love learning more about wildlife. The hike is 3 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty.
3. Rainbow Falls
One of the Smoky Mountain waterfalls actually creates rainbows during sunny days. A rainbow produced by mist from the 80-foot tall Rainbow Falls is visible on sunny afternoons throughout the year. Also, during extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the fall for an incredible view. Between the trailhead and the falls, Rainbow Falls Trails gains about 1,500 feet in elevation. The 5.4-mile roundtrip trail is considered moderate in difficulty. If you are feeling extra adventurous, the Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount LeConte, where you can experience breathtaking mountain views throughout the year.
4. Abrams Falls
Maybe you are looking for more dramatic waterfalls. If you are, Abrams Falls has exactly what you are looking for. Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet tall, the large volume of water rushing over the falls makes up for its lack of height. Then, at the bottom of the waterfall, there is a deep pool of water that makes this scene even more breathtaking. It’s no secret that Abrams Falls is one of the best Great Smoky Mountains waterfalls. To get to the falls, you will hike 5 miles through a pine-oak forest. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty.