Water Safety - important information you should know.
Photo by Robert Crootof.
The Great Smoky Mountains abound with the two ingredients essential for waterfalls-ample rainfall and an elevation gradient. In the Smokies high country, over 85" of rain falls on average each year. During wet years, peaks like Mt. Le Conte and Clingmans Dome receive over eight feet of rain. This abundant rainfall trickles and rushes down the mountain sides, from high elevation to low, sometimes dropping more than a mile in elevation from the high peaks to the foothills at the park's boundary.
The following are brief descriptions of the Smokies most popular waterfalls. Please pick up a copy of the park's official trail map from any visitor center before hitting the trail to these waterfalls. Additional information about hiking to waterfalls can be found in various publications available at bookstores in the park.
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. more...
Indian Creek and Toms Branch Falls
An easy 1.6 mile roundtrip hike will allow you to enjoy two beautiful waterfalls in the Deep Creek area. more...
Juney Whank Falls
Juney Whank Falls is divided into an upper and lower section. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. more...
This picturesque, 80' high waterfall is one of the most popular destinations in the park. more...
At 120 feet tall, the waterfall is one of the tallest in the southern Appalachians. more...
Mouse Creek Falls
Big Creek is off the beaten path, so if you wish to avoid the crowds at other popular waterfalls, this 45' high waterfall is a treat. more...
A rainbow produced by mist from this 80-foot high waterfall is visible on sunny afternoons. more...
Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the park and one of the most spectacular. more...
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for other books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.
Waterfalls You Can Drive To
Meigs Falls The pulloff to view Meigs Falls is along Little River Road, 13 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center (7 miles east of Townsend). The falls is tucked away on the far side of Little River and can be easily missed while driving.
Place of a Thousand Drips During wet periods, this waterfall is dramatic as the flow of water splits into numerous small channels cascading around rocks and creating "a thousand drips." From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail into the park. Take Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (closed in winter). The waterfall is at stop #15. See a photo of this waterfall in photo gallery above.
Waterfalls of the Smokies
Did You Know?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...