The Great Smoky Mountains are renowned for their stunning beauty with vibrant flora and fauna, serene waterfalls, panoramic views, and historical sites. With over 800 miles of trails, choosing the perfect hike can be daunting. Here's a list of our top 10 picks for the best hikes to consider on your next vacation to Gatlinburg. Remember to always bring plenty of water, snacks, and layers for changing weather conditions!
Alum Cave Bluffs: This moderate 4.4-mile trail leads to beautiful geological formations and panoramic views. Highlights include the Alum Cave Bluffs and stunning vistas of the Smoky Mountains from Inspiration Point.
Andrews Bald: This 3.6-mile round-trip hike takes you to the park's highest bald, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and vibrant wildflower displays in the summer.
Charlies Bunion: A strenuous 8-mile trek that rewards hikers with some of the best mountain vistas in the Smokies. The trail follows along the Appalachian Trail, offering a unique hiking experience.
Chimney Tops: A challenging 4-mile hike that boasts one of the best panoramic views in the park. Despite its difficulty, the incredible view from the top is absolutely worth the effort.
Laurel Falls: An easy 2.6-mile trail, perfect for families. The trail leads to the park's most popular waterfall - the 80-foot high Laurel Falls.
Mount LeConte via Alum Cave Trail: One of the most popular hikes in the park, this strenuous 11-mile round-trip takes you to the third highest peak in the park, Mount LeConte, providing stunning views along the way.
Rainbow Falls: A moderately difficult 5.4-mile round-trip, leading to Rainbow Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the Smokies. On sunny afternoons, you might even catch a rainbow in the mist.
Abrams Falls: This moderate 5-mile hike leads to a beautiful waterfall and pool. While the waterfall is only 20 feet high, the volume of water rushing over falls is impressive.
Clingmans Dome: A short but steep half-mile trail that leads to the highest point in the Smokies, offering 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Ramsey Cascades: The longest and most difficult waterfall hike in the park, this 8-mile trail rewards the effort with a view of the park's tallest waterfall, surrounded by old-growth hardwood forest.
Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Great Smoky Mountains offer trails suited for every level of experience. Remember to pack plenty of water, wear sturdy shoes, and leave no trace to preserve the beauty of these trails for future generations.