Best Smoky Mountain Hikes

Nestled along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking awe-inspiring landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unparalleled hiking experiences. With over 800 miles of trails winding through ancient forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas, choosing the best Smoky Mountain hikes can be a daunting task. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the most captivating trails that promise adventure, serenity, and a profound connection with nature.

Alum Cave Trail: A Gateway to Majestic Views

Begin your Smoky Mountain adventure with the Alum Cave Trail, a moderate 5.5-mile round-trip hike that leads you through a striking natural tunnel, known as Arch Rock. As you ascend, witness the breathtaking views from Inspiration Point and continue to Alum Cave Bluffs. The trail culminates at Mount LeConte, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks.

Charlies Bunion: A Rocky Outcrop in the Sky

For those craving a more challenging trek, Charlies Bunion is a 8-mile round-trip journey that rewards hikers with an unforgettable perch above the clouds. Traverse the Appalachian Trail and reach this rocky outcrop for a stunning 270-degree view of the Smoky Mountains. The rugged terrain and the sense of accomplishment make this trail a favorite among seasoned hikers.

Rainbow Falls Trail: Chasing Waterfalls

Immerse yourself in the beauty of cascading water on the Rainbow Falls Trail, a 5.4-mile round-trip trek leading to one of the tallest waterfalls in the park. Witness the mesmerizing play of light in the mist as you stand before the 80-foot waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery. The journey offers a perfect blend of challenging terrain and natural splendor.

Clingmans Dome: The Pinnacle of the Smokies

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome stands as the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains. A paved path leads to the summit, making it accessible to all. Revel in the 360-degree panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. The observation tower provides an unrivaled vantage point to witness the rolling mountains and the ethereal mist that gives the Smokies their name.

Abrams Falls Trail: A Serene Waterside Retreat

If you seek a tranquil escape, the Abrams Falls Trail is a 5.2-mile round-trip hike leading to a picturesque 20-foot waterfall. The trail winds along the peaceful Abrams Creek, offering opportunities for serene contemplation amidst the soothing sounds of nature. This family-friendly hike is a gem for those looking to combine natural beauty with a leisurely stroll.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park beckons adventurers with its diverse trails, each offering a unique perspective of this enchanting wilderness. Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking a challenging ascent or a nature lover yearning for a peaceful waterside retreat, the Smokies have a trail to match your preferences. So lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and embark on a journey through the heart of one of America’s most cherished natural wonders.

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