The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is full of natural wonders people from all over the world come to see. If you’ve visited before, you’ve probably seen the most popular waterfalls in the Smokies. But, some of the most interesting falls aren’t that well known, and we want to share them with you! Check out these hidden Smoky Mountain waterfalls you’ll want to find:
1. Road Turn Branch Falls
Road Turn Branch Falls is a hidden Smoky Mountain waterfall you will want to see. You’ll have to do a little unofficial trail hiking to find this secret spot though. The trail is named Courthouse Rock Trail, and to find the trailhead, you’ll want to use the coordinates available here. You’ll hike through a highly wooded area, and come across a moonshine cave before you get to the falls. After a little more hiking, you’ll come to a split in the trail. Take a left and head down the side of the mountain where you will find Road Turn Branch Falls!
2. Rainbow Cave Falls
You may think we’re talking about Rainbow Falls, but there’s actually another waterfall in the area called Rainbow Cave Falls. It stands at 40 feet tall, and the water runs over rocks and pours into a cave at the bottom. To get to Rainbow Cave Falls, you will start out on Schoolhouse Gap Trail, located near Townsend. You’ll make your way through the woods for about 1 mile, and then you’ll come to a split in the trail where there’s a sign for Turkeypen Ridge Trail. Right behind the signs, there’s an unmarked trail on the left, and it will take you to the Whiteoak Sinks area. After hiking for another mile, you’ll come to another fork where you will go right. Then you’ll see Rainbow Cave Falls!
3. Spruce Flats Falls
Another hiking trail that will lead you to a breathtaking waterfall in the Smokies is Spruce Flats Falls. This trail isn’t on the official map of the national park, but enough people hike it that the trail is easy to follow. The trailhead is next to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute building, and about 20 yards into the trail, you’ll come to Buckeye Trail Junction. Take the right trail at this first split. At the second split, you’ll want to take a left. As you descend down the mountain, Spruce Flats Falls will come into view. Arguably, this is one of the most beautiful Smoky Mountain waterfalls in the park. Spruce Flats Falls stands at 30 feet tall and has 3 tiers. Water spills from the tiers into a pool at the bottom.
4. & 5. Trickling and Talking Falls
You can actually see two secret waterfalls if you hike along Chimney Tops Trail! Trickling and Talking Falls are off the main trail, and to get there, you’ll follow Chimney Tops Trail for about 1/4 mile. At the split, you’ll go south on Road Prong Trail. This part of the hike is fairly narrow, with several rocks along the way. You’ll also have to cross the creek as you make your way along the 2-mile trek to the falls. Trickling Falls is the one you’ll see first, and Talking Falls is about 0.4 a mile further up the river.
Some of the most beautiful sights you could see are hidden Smoky Mountain waterfalls. Now you know which ones you should try to find on your next trip! Wondering what else you will do when you stay with us? Check out these other things to do in Gatlinburg for some ideas!