The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. Since it is so close to home, I have been lucky enough to spend my free time exploring the park. With more than 800 miles of trails throughout the park, it might be difficult to decide which trails are worth your time. I’ve come up with 7 of my favorite must hike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
7 Must Hike Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
#1 – Ramsey Cascades
Roundtrip Length: 8 miles
This is one of my new favorite hikes. Ramsey Cascades is quite impressive. The hike itself is a beaut with old growth all over the place. It’s a more lengthy hike, but I like how it is not as crowded as some of the other ones on the list. Read more about my hike to Ramsey Cascades.
#2 – Mount LeConte via Alum Cave
Roundtrip Length: 11 miles
Location: Newfound Gap Road
Mount LeConte is one of the most iconic hikes in The Smokies. It was on my bucket list for a long time, but it took me a while to actually hike it because I was worried about the length. 11 miles is a lot to hike in one day, but it is 100% worth it! The views at the top are hard to beat. This was probably the most rewarding hike that I have completed in The Smokies, and I highly recommend it. Read more about my hike to Mount LeConte.
#3 – Chimney Tops
Roundtrip Length: 3.8 miles
Location: Newfound Gap Road
The Chimney Tops Trail is a great day hike. It’s short, challenging, and has amazing views at the top! Unfortunately, the fires last year caused a lot of damage to the trail. The actual Chimney Tops remain closed due to fire damage, but they have reopened the trail with a new platform to enjoy the views. Climbing to the top of the Chimney Tops was my favorite part of this hike, so I hope they will be open again in the future. Read more about my hike to Chimney Tops.
Part of the Chimney Tops Trail
#4 – Rainbow Falls
Roundtrip Length: 5.4 miles
Location: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Gatlinburg Area
Rainbow Falls is a fun hike to a beautiful waterfall. You have to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Trail to get to the trailhead, which is a nice drive itself. The hike is moderate with nice mountain scenery that is typical in The Smokies. This is a rewarding day hike that is good for any skill level. (Tip: Don’t hike this trail when it’s frozen and you are wearing tennis shoes. You probably won’t enjoy it as much.)
Frozen Rainbow Falls
#5 – Abrams Falls
Roundtrip Length: 5.2
Location: Cades Cove
Abrams Falls is another beautiful waterfall hike and is located in Cades Cove. You will have to drive about halfway through the Cades Cove loop to reach the trailhead. This is a very enjoyable hike in one of the prettiest spots in the park. What’s not to love about a rewarding hike to a beautiful waterfall?
#6 – Andrews Bald
Roundtrip Length: 3.5 miles
Location: Clingmans Dome
Andrews Bald is a fun hike that is located right off of the Clingmans Dome parking lot. (So, you might as well take the short walk up to Clingmans Dome while you’re here!) The hike itself is pretty easy and there are some unique views at the end. It doesn’t have some of the impressive views or waterfalls like some of the other hikes on this list, but it is still very enjoyable. (Unless halfway through the hike you start to feel like you’re dying because you’re coming down with the flu…)
#7 – Little River Trail
Roundtrip Length: 4.9 miles
The Little River Trail is definitely a unique hike. There are a handful of old cottages near the entrance of the trail, which are pretty neat to check out. It’s an easy and beautiful hike that follows the Little River. You can read more about the Little River Trail here.
Little River Trail
Well, there you have it! Some of my personal favorite hikes that I hope are now on your bucket list as must hike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.