Nature's Eye Candy Doesn't Disappoint
We’re here to tell you that you should ABSOLUTELY go chase some waterfalls. The Great Smoky Mountains are the perfect place to do just that. While the national park is full of wonder and beauty, it is also overflowing with beautiful cascades and waterfalls waiting for you to find them. During your stay in Gatlinburg, check out these 5 waterfalls that are just a skip and a hop away from downtown.
Before you go - it's always a good idea to be prepared and knowledgable about the trip ahead, and some of the best know how comes from those who have experienced the journey first-hand. Below you'll find in-depth videos cataloging the hikes to these spectacular waterfalls from beginning to end, narrated by one of the most seasoned hikers of the Smokies, Hiking with Braids. As a 2020 Appalachian Trail thru-hiker and Great Smoky Mountains National Park "900 miler", you'll have the ultimate travel companion on your side. Be sure to watch the 360° videos below, as well, for a glimpse of the breathtaking views to come.
Spruce Flats Falls
An unofficial waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Spruce Flats Falls is officially a must-see during your excursion to the mountains. Falling 30 feet in 4 individual tiers, the waterfall is a beautiful midpoint to an approximately 1.4-mile-long roundtrip hike in the historic Tremont area accessible on the Buckeye Trail. The hike may be short, but definitely has a sweet reward.
View in 360
Indian Flats Falls
To get to this waterfall, you have to be determined. Accessible from the Middle Prong Trail, it’s about an 8-mile roundtrip adventure. However, as you descend down the winding trail into the clearing and set your eyes on the top section of the triple tier 60-foot fall, you’ll see why the journey was worth it. If you are a history buff or just a regular treasure hunter, the trail has plenty of hidden surprises to keep you entertained. Along the trail, be sure to keep an eye out for remnants of life a century ago, including a 1930s abandoned Cadillac.
View in 360
Fern Branch Falls
The journey to Fern Branch Falls is full of everything you could ask for. Historic homesteads, structures, and remnants of an old way of life dot the Porter’s Creek Trail leading to Fern Branch Falls. If you come in the Spring or Summer, this trail is a wildflower lover's dream, too. At about 4 miles roundtrip, the falls are located in the Greenbrier section of the national park. Rolling down the stones lining the mountain, the 60 foot waterfall is a sight to see, especially after a period of rain or wet season.
Baskins Creek Falls
Baskins Creek Falls is a 2 tiered, 40 foot tall beauty located on the Baskins Creek Trail found along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This trail is perfect if you’re wanting a hike that’s not too long, but not too short, either, as it’s approximately 3 miles in length roundtrip. A tip from an insider – as you hike down the homestretch just before the falls, be sure to watch your footing as the rocky terrain becomes a bit more difficult here. This just makes the beautiful views of Baskins Creek Falls that much sweeter, and a nice reward to all your hard work once you complete the trek.
View in 360
Grotto Falls is one of the most popular sights to see in the Smokies and with good reason. Here, you can literally immerse yourself in nature by experiencing a walk behind the 25 foot fall. Also located off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the waterfall can be found by accessing the Trillium Gap Trail. On a spring or summer hike, don’t be surprised if you find the very wildflowers the trail is named after, along with many more colorful blooms lining the forest floor.