alum cave bluff in smoky mountains
Jan 29, 2020

Just because it’s winter in the Smokies doesn’t mean you can’t explore in the national park! The mountain views are more visible on trails because they aren’t obscured by leaves, and you might even get to enjoy snow along the trails. Here are 6 of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains to try during winter:

1. Abrams Falls

abrams falls in cades coveAbrams Falls trailhead is located in Cades Cove along the Loop. This hiking trail is considered moderate with a 5-mile round trip length. Enjoy walking through old forest growth of pine oaks and hemlocks. You might even spot some wildlife along your hike! Once you reach the falls, you’ll be impressed by the massive amount of water rolling over the falls. There might even be some icicles around the water!

2. Alum Cave

If you want to see unique rock features and stunning views of the mountains, you should hike to Alum Cave. The Alum Cave Bluffs are 2.3 miles from the start of the trailhead. This trail is often used to hike to the summit of Mt. LeConte, which makes the trail 11 miles round trip. One of the first unique things you’ll see on this trail is Arch Rock, which is a great place for pictures. Once you get to the bluff, you might see huge icicles and a ton of snow.

3. Ramsey Cascades

ramsey cascades in smoky mountainsRamsey Cascades is a difficult hike yet worth all 8 miles round trip. It’s one of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains during winter. Because of the higher elevation, you’re more likely to experience snow along the trail. Make your way across creeks on footbridges, and you might even spot creatures along the way. Once you reach the falls, you will see water flowing over many tiers at 100 feet tall. This area is known for icicles in the winter. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!

4. Spruce Flats Falls

Want to go on one of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains that’s also shorter? Spruce Flats Falls is only 1.8 miles round trip. There are beautiful mountain views you will only be able to see during winter. Spruce Flats Falls has a ton of water pouring over rocks, which can freeze during winter and create a beautiful sight.

5. Laurel Falls

laurel falls smoky mountainsOne of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains during winter is Laurel Falls. This easy trail is only 2.6 miles round trip, and the trail is paved, making it easy to walk. There are steep drop offs along the trail, so be cautious as you hike. The 80-foot-tall waterfall is beautiful during winter, especially when there is snow surrounding the falls. You’ll also be able to have great views of the mountains.

6. Meigs Creek Trail

Meigs Creek Trail is a moderate trail that has a round trip length of 6.5 miles. The trailhead is near the Sinks, so before you even start hiking, you’ll be able to see an impressive sight. Once you make your way through the huge trees, you will eventually come to Meigs Falls, an 18-foot-tall waterfall that might have icicles and snow around it.

These are just some of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains you should try in the winter. Want to know more about the Smoky Mountains? Check out our area information to find out about Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and more!