July 06, 2020
Are you going to be visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer? There are so many fun things to do in the national park, but the most popular is hiking. You will find a ton of trails you’ll want to explore and plenty of natural features you will want to see. Here are 6 of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on this summer:
A great trail to go on that is considered easy is the Gatlinburg Trail. This trail is accessible from downtown Gatlinburg, and it is 3.8 miles roundtrip. Along the first part of the trail, you’ll follow along the Little Pigeon River. Then you’ll cross over it on a footbridge. The wooded views from this trail are really beautiful, especially if you want to explore the mountains. Near the end of the trail, there are old remains of homes you can explore, such as fireplaces and chimneys. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of the only trails in the national park that is open for dogs and horses.
One of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on in the summer is Grotto Falls . This trail is considered moderate and is 3 miles roundtrip. It usually takes about 2 to 3 hours to hike to the falls and back down the trail. You’ll hike beside a creek and through old forest growth, which is a great way to see what the dense forest of the Smokies is like. Once you reach the falls, you will enjoy seeing the 25-foot-tall waterfall. Grotto Falls is unique because it is the only waterfall you can walk behind in the national park. Due to the moist, cool environment, you are likely to see salamanders around the falls.
Another waterfall hike you should check out this summer is Rainbow Falls. This trail is considered moderate at 5.4 miles roundtrip. This trail can actually take you to the summit of Mount LeConte if you continue for another 4 miles past the falls. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to hike to the waterfall and back. At the beginning of the trail, you’ll climb through a boulder field. You’ll cross footbridges over creeks and walk through a ton of forest. When you reach the falls, you’ll be amazed at the height. Rainbow Falls is the tallest, single drop waterfall in the national park at 80 feet.
Andrews Bald is one of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on during the summer. If you want to go on a relatively short hike that’s moderate but provides you with an amazing view, this is the trail for you. It is 3.6 miles roundtrip and near Clingmans Dome. You’ll make your way along rock staircases and through the forest. Once you reach the top, you will come out on the bald and have an amazing view of the mountains. Some people like to pack a picnic and eat their food once they reach the bald. In the spring, you will find all kinds of beautiful wildflowers in the area.
A pretty popular trail people love to go on in the summer is Alum Cave. This moderate hiking trail is 4.6 miles roundtrip to get to the bluffs. You can continue past this point if you want to hike to the summit of Mount LeConte. At the beginning of this trail, you will go through dense forest and then come to Arch Rock, a large rock formation. Some of the trail is rock staircases to make climbing easier. Then you will finally reach the bluffs, which stand 80 feet tall and 500 feet wide. There are beautiful mountain views from the bluff.
One of the best Smoky Mountain hikes, and one of the hardest, on our list is Ramsey Cascades . This trail is 8 miles roundtrip, but the sight you see at the end of the trail is worth every mile. You’ll make your way through dense forest as you climb up the mountain and cross several creeks. Once you see the cascades, you’ll be able to take in the beautiful sight of hundreds of rocks with water rushing over them. The cascades are 100 feet tall and pour into a deep pool at the bottom. You’ll want to take a ton of pictures, and you might even want to dip your feet in the water!
These are some of the best Smoky Mountain hikes you should go on this summer. There are several fun things you should do when you visit us for your summer vacation. Want to know what else you should try? Look through our Freedom Fun Pass to see what kind of deals you’ll get on area attractions when you book a cabin with us!