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Top Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains

Family resting from hike on fenceThe Great Smoky Mountains are filled with beautiful hiking trails, wildlife, and history. Each hiking trail has its own beautiful sites and rich history. Some hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains are longer and more strenuous than others, so finding the perfect hiking trail is key to a successful hike.

One hiking trail option is the hike to Alum Cave. This hike is 4.4 miles roundtrip. The trail follows Alum Cave Creek to Arch Rock. Arch Rock was created by the thawing and freezing of ice each year, which eroded the softer rock. About two miles into the hike, you will reach Inspiration Point, which has amazing views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge and Myrtle Point. At 2.2 miles, you will reach the Alum Cave.

The Baskins Creek Falls is 3.0 mile hiking trail. This trail offers great views of the mountains and of Gatlinburg. While on this hiking trail, you will cross two creeks and past Baskins Cemetery. At the end, you will reach Baskins Creek Falls, a 40 foot, two tiered waterfall.

Brushy Mountains is a 6.8 mile hike. This hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains has many wildflowers, especially during the month of May. There are four stream crossings on this hiking trail, and you will walk past Grotto Falls. Grotto Falls in the only waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that you can walk behind. After checking out the waterfall, you can continue on the Brushy Mountain hiking trail to the summit.

The Bullhead Trail is a 5.9 mile hike. This hiking trail offers spectacular views of the mountains and wildlife, as well as different trail options along the way.
Chimney Tops is a 4.0 mile hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains. This trail is short, but don’t think that makes this trail an easy hike. Because it is shorter, this hiking trail is very steep. However, the reward for making it to the top is a beautiful view of Mount LeConte, Mount Kephart, and the Sugarland Mountain. The summit of this hike is bare rock, and the climb to the top is very steep, so be careful as many injuries occur here.

Huskey Gap is a 4.2 mile hike. The best time to hike this trail is in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom. This trail can be crowded during this time of year, but the wildflowers are the main attraction of this hiking trail, and they are too beautiful to miss.

Mount LeConte has many trails that lead to the summit, and one of them is the trail via Trillium Gap. This hiking trail is 13.9 miles long. As you walk this trail, you will pass many waterfalls on your way to the High Top, or the summit. Once at the top, there are two great locations for panoramic views. Myrtle Point is the best location if you want to see the sunrise, while Cliff Top is the best location to see a sunset.

Rainbow Falls is a 5.4 mile hike to the highest single drop waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. This waterfall was given its name because when the sun shines on the mist from the waterfall, it produces a rainbow. To reach the waterfall, hikers walk through a beautiful old growth forest.

The Boulevard Trail to Mt. LeConte is a tough trail, but you will see the North Carolina Smokies, Mount LeConte, and Myrtle Point on the way up. On this trail, you will come across and unofficial hiking trail called the Jump-off. This trail is great for panoramic views, and is definitely worth the extra hiking.

Another trail to Mt. LeConte is the trail via Alum Cave Trail. After passing Alum Cave, you will reach Gracie’s Pulpit, named after Gracie McNichol. She hiked this trail on her 92nd birthday! The next few miles you will pass several waterfalls and walk along rock ledges. Most of these rock ledges have hand rails, but they can be very slippery and icy in the winter months, so caution is advised. The top does not disappoint, though, with amazing panoramic views.

These are just some of the hiking trails that you will find in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains are definitely worth a visit, as they are filled with beautiful views, wildlife at every turn, history all the way back to the civil war, and adventure at every bend.