• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls in Cades Cove

Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over falls more than makes up for its lack of height. The long, deep pool at its base is very picturesque. The waterfall and creek are named for a Cherokee chief whose village once stood several miles downstream.

The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. The hike is 5 miles roundtrip and considered moderate in difficulty.

Due to strong currents and an undertow, swimming in the pool at the base of the falls is extremely dangerous. Swimmers have drown here! Don't be the next victim! Please read additional water safety information.

Access trail: Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove

Trailhead: The turnoff for the trailhead is located past stop #10 on the Cades Cove Loop Road. The turnoff is signed.

Trail Notes: The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 5 miles and the hike is generally considered moderate in difficulty. Due to the length and terrain however, some visitors may rate it as difficult. It takes about 3-4 hours to hike to the waterfall and back. Please remember that if you begin your hike late in the afternoon, you may have to return in the dark!

Carry drinking water with you. Portions of this trail are rocky-sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Do not attempt to hike the trail in sandals or flip flops. Hikers must cross three narrow log bridges to reach the waterfall. Pets and bicycles are prohibited on the trail.

Do not climb on rocks around the waterfall. Over the years, several people have fallen to their deaths and many others have suffered serious injuries from climbing on rocks near waterfalls or along the riverbanks. These rocks are slippery due to mist and algae. Closely supervise children at all times.

Black bears are sometimes active in this area. Please read What Do I Do if I See a Bear.

Did You Know?

The park is named for the misty clouds that hang over the mountains.

The wispy, smoke-like fog that hangs over the Smoky Mountains comes from rain and evaporation from trees. On the high peaks of the Smokies, an average of 85 inches of rain falls each year, qualifying these upper elevation areas as temperate rain forests. More...