Enjoy a Winter Hike in the Smokies
Dec 10, 2015
Winter Hike in the Lower Elevations of the Smokies
Get ready for breathtakingly beautiful views of snow-capped peaks, glittering forests, frozen waterfalls and more! Continue reading to learn about some of the best winter hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Laurel Falls Trail
Laurel Falls Trail is admired by many hikers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trail provides a paved hiking trail for 1.3 miles and is speckled with grand oak and hemlock trees perfect for gathering snow on their branches. Along this trail, you will be greeted with picturesque views of Blanket Mountain and Meigs Falls. Once you reach the end of the paved trail you are greeted with an 85-foot tall cascading waterfall.
Rainbow Falls is a 5.5-mile round trip hike to one of the most impressive waterfalls you will ever come across. During the months of winter in the Smokies, this waterfall's cascade forms into a spectacular icy spray formation. If abrasive and cold temperatures are continuously present, a column of ice has the potential to form along the falls.
Alum Cave Bluff Trail
The Alum Cave Bluff Trail is a five-mile hiking trail that winds its way up to Mt LeConte. The bluff of Alum Cave rests at a whopping 4,950 feet high in elevation. Alum Cave Bluff Trail can be quite challenging during the winter due to the elevation and unpredictability of the weather along the trail. During the winter, Alum Cave Bluff has been known to harbor iconic icicles that dangle around the bluff. From the bluff, you can see out upon Inspiration Point, The Eye, and Arch Rock. Be mindful on your way up as you will access the bluff by a series of stairs in a cave - this portion can be prone to being a well packed and frozen incline area from top to bottom during inclement weather. If you continue your hike past Alum Cave Bluff, you will end up at the Leconte Lodge and will witness some of the best views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Alum Cave Bluff Trail, Laurel Falls Trail and Rainbow Falls are right around the corner. Vacationing in a Gatlinburg cabin with Heartland Cabin Rentals will get you closer than ever to tranquil hiking in the Smokies. The cabins in Gatlinburg that we provide have every essence of home, including comfortable bedding, large hot tubs and fireplaces for you to warm up with after your hike.
By Doug Shanks a Google Local Guide Smoky Mountain blogger and writes about things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Area interests include hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, shopping, and family fun.