There are an abundance of ways to enjoy the beautiful sights of the Smoky Mountains, including with a scenic hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our hotel in Gatlinburg TN is only 1 mile from the entrance to the park, giving you easy access to over 850 miles of hiking trails. As a reminder, you will be required to purchase a parking pass in order to hike the trails in the national park. If you are looking for the best trails to soak in the mountain views, wildlife, and gorgeous waterfalls, we have some hikes you will want to check out. Here are 4 of the Smoky Mountain hikes with the best views:
1. Andrews Bald
Andrews Bald is an open grassy meadow that provides a remarkable view of the Smokies. To get to the bald, begin your hike on the Forney Ridge Trail for just under two miles. This part of the hike features a long trail that is easier to manage than an uphill trek. Once you reach the bald, you will be treated to a panoramic view of the hills and valleys that make the Smoky Mountains so incredible. The total roundtrip distance of this hike is 3.6 miles, and it is most popular during the spring and summer months when you can enjoy the blooming wildflowers.
2. Chimney Tops
If you are looking for a short hike that still features amazing views, the hike to Chimney Tops is for you! The roundtrip distance is 3.8 miles and it features an array of spectacular sights. To start off, you will follow the trail along the creek, where you will be serenaded by the sound of the rushing water. From there, the trail continues where you can soak in the sights of incredible wildflowers during the warmer months of the year. Once you pass by Beech Flats, you’ll finish the hike by venturing up to the observation point where you can see stunning views of Mount LeConte! While this trail is rather short in distance, please note that it is a rather difficult and strenuous hike.
3. Rainbow Falls
Arguably one of the most impressive sights to see in the Smokies is a waterfall. Luckily, there are plenty of Smoky Mountain hikes to choose from that include amazing waterfalls, including the trail to Rainbow Falls. This trail covers a total of 5.4 miles roundtrip, but the views are well worth the effort to reach the falls. Rainbow Falls is an amazing 80-foot waterfall that is most stunning after long periods of rainfall. On sunny afternoons, you may be lucky enough to see the rainbow produced by the mist, which is where the falls got its name. If you want to continue your journey, you can hike 4 miles past Rainbow Falls to reach the summit of Mount LeConte.
4. Porters Creek
Porters Creek Trail has a little something for everyone across its four miles of beauty. The trail begins by traveling through a forest along the banks of Porters Creek. About two-thirds of the way, you will also get to experience some of the remnants of an old civilization that includes the Elbert Cantrell farmstead and Ownby Cemetery. The hike also contains a visit to Fern Branch Falls, which is a stunning 60-foot waterfall that drops off the ridge of the trail. The mixture of mountain views, history, and the waterfall make this one of the must-visit trails in the Smokies!
Now that you know about some of the Smoky Mountain hikes to check out, be sure to explore all the other things to do in Gatlinburg during your stay at our hotel! We look forward to seeing you soon!