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Laurel Falls

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

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Laurel Falls

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  • Trailhead signage for the short hike to Laurel Falls. - Laurel Falls
  • Trail description for Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Paved trails take hikers to Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Hikers enjoying the stroll to Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Small grotto along the trail.- Laurel Falls
  • Sitting bench for hikers to rest along the trail.- Laurel Falls
  • Thick fog settling in the thick, old-growth forest that surrounds the trail. - Laurel Falls
  • Upper Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Upper Laurel Falls gushes after it rains.- Laurel Falls
  • View from Upper Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Lower Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
  • Lower Laurel Falls.- Laurel Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Family friendly. Stunning waterfalls. Short distance.
Cons: 
Very crowded. Limited parking.
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Region:
Smoky Mountains, TN
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Highest point: 
2,677.00 ft (815.95 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.30 mi (3.70 km)
Total elevation gain: 
314.00 ft (95.71 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,363.00 ft (720.24 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Laurel Falls is an 80-foot waterfall and one of the most popular hikes for families in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The falls consists of an upper and lower section and is a stunning site to see. The trail that leads to Laurel Falls is much shorter (2.3 mile round-trip) and flatter compared many of the other trails in the Smoky Mountains. It is a beautiful, paved trail that flows through a lush, old-growth forest. The trail ends at the base of Upper Laurel Falls and provides for a stunning, up-close view of the falls. When snow starts to melt in the spring, or after a period of rain, the falls flow becomes quite heavy and it is truly a beautiful site for the family to see.  

Because the hike is so scenic and popular, it may be difficult to find a parking spot during the peak season. If you are looking to avoid the heavy crowds, it is best to embark on this hike in the early morning, evening, or during the off-season. Expect the heaviest crowds during the weekends of the peak season.

Although this is a very popular trail for families, there are still some dangerous aspects of the hike. It is best to keep an eye on smaller children because the trial sits on the edge of steep drop-offs at some points. In addition, the trail traverses through bear country. Bear sitings are rare because of the heavy traffic of people, but there have been bear sitings in the past.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(35 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

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Who's Done It
10 Members
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