Great Smoky Mountains Natl. Park — From the ever-popular Laurel Falls to the lesser-known cascades tucked in its foggy foothills, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has dozens of waterfalls to explore.
At just over 3 miles, the hike to Baskins Creek Falls is considered moderately difficult. Baskins Creek Trail is downhill to the falls and can be steep in some spots. You'll have to cross one small creek without a bridge and scramble down some rocks to get to the falls. The trek back to the trailhead is uphill and can be challenging on some of the steeper sections.
Due to the steeper sections and roots and rocks throughout the trail, wear sturdy shoes, especially after rain as it can get muddy and slippery.
The trailhead is on the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg. Parking is limited at the trailhead with room for only a couple of cars. There is more parking near the popular Rainbow Falls trailhead before the motor nature trail so plan ahead and get there early if possible.
If the Baskins Creek Trail is too crowded, the Trillium Gap Trail is nearby and leads to Grotto Falls.
What to expect on the trail:
Some tips before you visit:
- Let someone know where you plan to hike, when you plan to be back, what clothes you are wearing and what your car looks like.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Take a light source with you (preferably not your phone). The park said the number one reason people have to get rescued in the park is not bringing a light.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
- Pets are not allowed on the trail.
- Be courteous to other park visitors.
- Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
- Have a backup plan if the trail is closed or too busy.
- Check on road closures at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps.