Laurel Falls Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 37864

Distance4.0mi
Elevation Gain2,226ft
Trailhead Elevation2,290ft
Top4,028ft
Elevation Min/Max2279/4028ft
Elevation Start/End2290/2290ft

Laurel Falls Trail

Laurel Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Sevier County, Tennessee. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 4.0 miles long and begins at 2,290 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,226 feet. Laurel Falls Parking and another parking and the Fighting Creek Gap saddle are near the trailhead. The Chinquapin Ridge can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Little Greenbrier Trail and Cove Mountain Trail.

Laurel Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The hike to this waterfall is so popular that the park service paved the trail to it. This makes the footwork easier but detracts from the wilderness aspect of the hike. However, a well-timed visit will allow you to view this 80-foot spiller in relative solitude."

"This very popular hike exudes beauty that outshines its sometimes-bothersome crowds. Start at Fighting Creek Gap, then angle up the north side of Cove Mountain. Turn into Laurel Branch, where rock formations and a steep-sided valley avail views. Come to the middle of 80-foot Laurel Falls, gaining glimpses of the cataract above and below.

Solitude seekers will want to visit the falls in the off-season, from late autumn through spring. Spring will also have the boldest falls. Winter is a good time for both solitude and views. If you’re going in the summer, when the crowds are at their peak, hit the trail at dawn or dusk."

"This is a Jekyll and Hyde hike. The first 1.3 miles to Laurel Falls are possibly the most popular hike in the park and is insanely crowded. You might have the remaining 2.7 miles to Cove Mountain all to yourself, as nearly everyone stops at the falls.

They don’t know what they’re missing, as this section passes through a scenic old-growth forest carpeted in spring with abundant wildflowers."

"This wide, paved trail is very heavily traveled for the first 1.3 miles until it reaches the 75-foot Laurel Falls. You will usually find a crowd at the pool at the base of the upper falls, but after passing the falls, the crowds disappear, and the trail ascends through mostly virgin forest to Chinquapin Ridge, and the trail connection to the fire tower on Cove Mountain, 4 miles from the base.

The Laurel Falls Trail was built by the Civil Conservation Corps in 1935. The trail begins on the north side of the road, bearing off to the left around the side of the ridge toward Laurel Falls. This paved trail is very heavily traveled, and its length makes it appropriate for families with children, or groups with a less ambitious hiker along. It has been paved to prevent erosion because of the heavy traffic."

Laurel Falls Trail Reviews

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7/17/2018
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6/3/2018
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5/1/2018
Please be advised that Laurel Falls Trail is NOT a dog friendly trail. There are only 2 trails in the entire Park that are dog friendly and those are the Gatlinburg Trail located behind the Sugarlands visitor center and the Oconolufte Trail located at the Oconolufte visitor center. There are steep fines for having a dog on any of the other trails. Dogs are very upsetting to the bears, now numbering over 1800 in the park, many other visitors and all of the other small mammals within the park. Please make other arrangements for your dog if you plan to hike some of the over 800 miles of beautiful trails within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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8/20/2014
nice little trail for beginners real easy paved the whole way. not difficult at all
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5/7/2014
Was a nice hike there and back...beautiful waterfall... worth the trip
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11/18/2011
From behind Sugarlands Center, cross the creek and begin a gradual climb with nice views in and out along the way. Keep climbing for 8.5 miles til the sign for Laurel Falls off to the right. Easy trail down to the beautiful falls, across the bridge, it is mostly paved til you reach the parking lot.
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12/29/2010
Nice hike to the falls and back. The Path was iced over in a lot of spots, but I can't complain, it was the 29th of December. I would like to do it again in the summer months.
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5/4/2009
12:30 pm Matt, Amber, and I hiked the Laurel Falls trail and we LOVED it. It was a total of 2.5 miles roundtrip. The trail is paved. The first 1 1/4 miles to the falls was all uphill. We are novice hikers so it was a bit rough but not unbearable. The return hike was much simpler though as it was all downhill. We saw alot of nice views of the mountains, birds, bugs and Laurel Falls was absolutely breathtaking. I would definitely do this hike again! This hike started my new hobby of hiking in the wilderness. Loved it!
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11/30/2007
We hiked to this trail from the other side of the mountain, taking Metcalf Bottoms to Little Brier to Little Green Brier Gap to Laurel Falls. 8.8 Miles including the side trip to the Walker sisters cabin. Awesome hike! It took us 4-Hours which included time sightseeing. We did not see a single person on this hike, amazingly enough, there was not anyone at the falls. The falls and the short walk up to the falls from the parking lot would definetly be a big tourist draw, guess we just got blessed having the falls all to our self.
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7/25/2007
We started out about 8:30 a.m. The paved trail is a steady climb, but nothing too strenuous. By getting to the falls early, we had it pretty much to ourselves. But passing it on the way back about noon, the crowd was so thick there was virtually nowhere to stand - not to mention any parking spots remaining at the trailhead. Above the falls, the crowd thins out dramatically. The first mile of natural trail is fairly rough and steep, but levels off and widens once you reach the old growth. The size of the hemlocks really is impressive. All in all, a very worthwhile hike - IF you get an early start.
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Laurel Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nearby City
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Parks
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
Views, Wildflowers, Waterfalls
Features
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Rd., Gatlinburg, TN 37738, (865) 436-1200, www.nps.gov/grsm
Local Contacts
Great Smoky Mountains National Park; USGS Mount LeConte
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018