Visit Gatlinburg, your gateway to the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This city has become synonymous with outdoor adventures, particularly hiking. With over 800 miles of trails in the national park, hikers of all levels can find a trail that not only matches their expertise but also offers them amazing sights and experiences in nature. Check out the top five hiking trails in Gatlinburg and learn more about what makes them so great, their popularity, suitable skill levels and more!
Alum Cave Bluffs Trail
The Alum Cave Bluff Trails, one of the most popular in the Smokies, spans 4.4. miles round trip. It’s selected for its variety of diverse terrains and spectacular views. You get started at the Alum Cave Trailhead which can be accessed on Newfound Gap Road. Initially, as you begin, you’re walking through hardy forests, and lush landscapes. You’ll make your way past Arch Rock. The gap in this rock came about because of repeated freezing and thawing over time. The Alum Cave Bluff trail ascends upwards, and showcases breathtaking panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains, ultimately leading you to the Alum Cave Bluffs. You’ll be left in awe by these geological formations. The bluffs, a concaved cliff, about 80 feet in height, are a spectacle worth the hike. The recommended skill level for this trail is intermediate hikers. The trail isn’t too strenuous, but some parts will definitely challenge you.
Rainbow Falls Trail
Hike this trail that will lead you to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s highest single-drop waterfall! Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.4-mile round trip trail that was named after the rainbow that forms from the mist on sunny afternoons. With such a beautiful name comes a beautiful sight to behold. You can start the trail at Rainbow Falls Trailhead on Cherokee Orchard Road. On your way to the falls, you can observe mountain views on clear days. If you’re prepared and feeling adventurous, then be sure to hike an additional 4.2 miles from the waterfall to reach the summit of Mt. LeConte, one of the park’s highest peaks! This hiking trail in Gatlinburg is moderate to advanced since the path can get a little steep and rocky in some places.
Grotto Falls Trail
This is a great trail for beginners. It’s a relatively short trail, that is 3 miles round trip. What makes Grotto Falls unique is that it takes you behind a 25-foot waterfall. Walking behind the cascading water and feeling the cool mist is an experience you won’t soon forget. The area around the waterfall is moist and lush, making it a habitat for salamanders which are cool little creatures to observe as you hike. The trail is relatively flat, making it ideal for families and casual hikers. Start it at Trillium Gap Trailhead off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Chimney Tops Trail
This trail is recommended for advanced hikers. Even though it’s only 4 miles round trip, it is one of the more challenging hikes in the Smokies because of its steep ascent and challenging rocky outcrops. Access this trail from Chimney Tops Trailhead on Newfound Gap Road. As you make your way up the trail, you’ll be traversing through forests, crossing streams, and climbing steep rock stairs! This trail is not for the faint of heart! After a grueling way up, you finally reach the top and are stunned by the views. Take in the panoramic views of the mountains.
Laurel Falls Trail
This hiking trail in Gatlinburg TN is one of the most visited in the park. This 2.6-mile round trip paved trail leads to an 80-foot-high waterfall! You can view the falls from the upper or lower section. There are walkways that cross the stream in between them. You can get to the Laurel Falls Trail on Little River Road. It’s perfect for people who are just getting into hiking, as well as people traveling with little hikers. The paved path and short distance make it easily accessible.
Plan Your Hiking Journey in Gatlinburg Today
So, there you have it, the top five hiking trails in Gatlinburg TN! There’s a hiking trail for everyone, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trekker. Get outside and come connect with nature in Gatlinburg. Whenever you’re hitting the trails, remember to always make sure you’re prepared with the appropriate gear, sufficient water, and snacks, and always notify someone of your hiking plans.
When you make your way to Gatlinburg for your next hiking adventure, find the right place to stay with The Cabin Rental Store. The Cabin Rental Store is your ideal destination for Gatlinburg cabins. Check out our selection of luxury cabin rentals in Gatlinburg and choose the one that resonates with you and your unique travel needs. Contact The Cabin Rental Store today to book a cabin that will keep you close to the trails!