wandering the waterfalls of Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Lonely Planet’s travel blog

Darren Curtis

The Fantastic Smoky Mountains NP is a superb showcase of nature’s ability © Nick Alvarez

Lonely Planet Pathfinder, Nick Alvarez of Be Real Journey, just lately returned from a excursion to Fantastic Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park – a single of our finest benefit destinations for 2019. Armed with his digital camera and tripod, he embarked on a journey to capture the park’s numerous waterfalls in full circulation.

As the most-visited countrywide park in the United states of america, Good Smoky Mountains is packed with outstanding sights including majestic mountains, charming wildlife, and historic buildings. Nonetheless, for this specific vacation, I experienced one particular target – waterfalls. Many thanks to higher elevations and plentiful rainfall, Terrific Smoky Mountains National Park is a waterfall chaser’s dream. Close to the conclusion of wintertime, regardless of temperatures normally getting down below freezing, I established out to stop by 6 of the park’s waterfalls, and to illustrate what makes each and every of them exceptional.


On our first day in the park, my spouse and I hiked to Laurel Falls, 1 of the its most well known sights. On reaching the waterfall, I promptly understood why it is so preferred – water streams down a number of levels of rock to remarkable outcome. The cherry on major of the cake having said that, is a walkway found just a couple of feet from the base of the waterfall, which permitted us to value the grandeur of the streams up close. While significantly of the hike to this waterfall is uphill, it is not way too tough – if my expecting spouse can do it, so can you!

Fast and furious

As the park is house to more than a thousand black bears, I carried an air horn with me on all hikes, prepared to defend myself in scenario of an experience. Although I didn’t conclusion up bumping into a bear, I did confront another beast: Abrams Falls. I was awestruck by the pace at which these a big volume of h2o raged down the waterfall. As I gazed at its uncooked ability, I pondered, ‘would an air horn actually scare a bear off?’ I’m happy that I didn’t have to uncover out!

Smaller, but properly fashioned

In addition to epic Instagram opportunities, there is another advantage to visiting a waterfall – it is really therapeutic. Lynn Camp Prong Cascades is a wonderful example of this, as the waterfall is set in just a superbly tranquil scene alongside a river. What this waterfall lacks in measurement, it would make up for in serenity. It was the ideal spot to de-worry and loosen up, aided by the relaxing sounds of trickling h2o.

What a tease

Meigs Falls taunted me from guiding the moat-like Very little River, which we weren’t able to cross thanks to heavy rain. Pressured to admire the waterfall from afar, I revelled in the lush scenery that surrounded it that considerably much more. Obvious from the highway, this waterfall is ideal for these that are not able to (or want not to) hike. I’m all for the perception of fulfillment that arrives with finishing a challenging hike, but if a waterfall needs small function for me to pay a visit to and love, you will not hear me complaining!

Immersed in the motion

Even though Mouse Creek Falls is an entrancing, multi-leveled waterfall, what can make it certainly magical is the way in which it can be knowledgeable. This waterfall exhibits two uncommon traits: initially, contrary to a lot of waterfalls that movement along a river, this waterfall flows down into the side of a river. Next, rocks jut out from the riverbank reverse the waterfall, which lets you to stage out into the middle of the action. With the river dashing on each sides of me and the waterfall crashing down in entrance of me, I was not basically an onlooker, I was a portion of the scene.

A track of ice and snow

Mountaineering in beneath freezing temperatures can be a severe endeavor, but as a result of it all, I was influenced by the risk of viewing a partly-frozen waterfall. My resilience was rewarded by Ramsey Cascades, a towering behemoth lined with ice and snow. I marveled at humongous chunks of ice breaking off and crumbling down the waterfall. If there’s just one detail that Good Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park taught me, it’s this: a waterfall is not just a sight, it is an expertise.

Do you love to publish about your travels? Or potentially Instagram is your point? Obtain out much more about our Pathfinders programme and how you can lead to Lonely Earth right here.

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