It sure does! Here’s a list of some of the Smoky Mountain waterfalls you can see on your driving tour.
Rainbow Falls boasts the tallest single-drop waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains. Springwater from the top of the mountain falls 80 feet before it hits the rocks below! If you visit on a sunny day, Rainbow Falls will live up to its name. The sunlight refracts in the misty water droplets, creating a powerful rainbow effect in the air. The Falls are gorgeous even when the sun isn’t shining: when chilly weather hits, the falling water freezes into unique formations. It’s worth a trip any time of year!
If you don’t mind a walk, take the three-mile trek down to Baskin Creek. No one with the name “Baskin” ever settled in the Smokies… but there WAS a pioneer nicknamed “Bearskin Joe” for his skill in hunting and trapping. The creek near his house was known to locals as “Bearskin Joe’s Creek”. Eventually, Bearskin Joe was no more, but his name stuck around… sort of. Over the decades, the name dropped some syllables and turned into “Baskin’s Creek.”
If you’re on the lookout for reptiles and amphibians, you want to check out Grotto Falls! The shade from beech trees, along with the 25-foot-high waterfall kicking up mist, creates a cool, moist environment– perfect for all sorts of little critters. One type of lizard you can find here is the Junaluska salamander. This animal is ONLY found in North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
4.The Place of a Thousand Drips.
Most of these waterfalls require a bit of a hike to reach. But this one stands right next to the road–– there’s no need to even leave your driving tour vehicle to see it. Rather than a sheer straight drop like Rainbow Falls, the water here cascades over a series of rocks, causing the path of the water to split into a thousand directions. Over the centuries, the water has eroded the rock into intricate patterns. Even if you’re visiting during a dry season, it’s worth a look to see the all-natural carvings in solid stone.
Let’s end on one of the Smoky Mountains’ best-kept secrets. Cataract Falls is a lesser-known waterfall compared to its more famous cousins along the Roaring Fork, but it’s one of the hidden gems of the National Park! A short three-quarter-mile trail, shaded by a canopy of beech leaves, leads to a 25-foot low-flow waterfall, babbling peacefully through smooth rocks and tangled roots of trees.