Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pictures And Movie
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a great hiking trip. I stayed in Gatlinburg at night and hiked the park in the day. It was a four day trip so I made plans to see as many popular places as I could.
We started our first day down the Roaring Fork nature motor trail. It is a eight mile
loop south then back to Gatlinburg. In the Southern side of the loop is
Rainbow Falls Trail.
The 5.4 miles roundtrip proved to be a challenging hike. The trail is rated moderate to difficult and gains about 1,500' in elevation.
The rocky trail reveals continuous old growth forests and cascading waterfalls. The rhododendrons must be spectacular during their flowering months because they were everywhere. I had to pause occassionally to film the largest trees and the brightest moss as they shined in the sun.
I finally heard the awesome sound of Rainbow
Falls Trail as I came around the bend. The falls was so beautiful as I
walked up to it and all around it. A rainbow produced by mist from this 80' high waterfall is visible on sunny
afternoons and can freeze into a hour glass shape in the Winter. That was a great hike.
There were a few hikers here on a Monday afternoon so I knew this was a popular trail. The vista were beautiful when I could see through the old growth forest. The roaring cascades grew louder as I knew I was close. Now water seeped out of the green mosses and ferns near Grotto Falls.
Finally I came across the falls. I enjoyed walking under the falls. Grotto Falls is distinctive as the only waterfall in the park one can walk behind. I filmed this treasure as it roared over me. Another great memory.
There was plenty of small rapids to see along the road. I filmed more beautiful vistas enroute. At the stops there
were many bright red and yellow leaves that I
took in. Laurel Falls is
only a 2.6 miles roundtrip hike.
It follows a paved trail. The trail cuts through a series of cascading
waterfalls. Laurel Falls is 60 feet high.
I filmed the best vistas that I saw. I zoomed in to reveal the dazzling Fall colors of the old growth trees. There are
hemlock, spruce, fir and oak trees.
Finally I arrived at Laurel Falls I had fun filming the falls up close. I climbed up the hill to get the best pictures and movie of the falls. There's nothing like getting sprayed by Mother Nature's natural showers. There were many other hikers at this popular place. Now let's go to The Sinks on the little river road and then on to Cades Cove
Cades Cove is about 25 West on The Little River Road from Gatlinburg. After a hike up to Laurel Falls and back I was excited to see another part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cades Cove has an 11 mile loop road that surround thousands of acres of open meadows. The vistas are great and I hoped to see some Elk or Bear during the drive.
The Western section of Cades Cove has another great hiking trail called Abrams Falls Trail That was my destination to top off the day. The trail is a 5 mile roundtrip hike that begins in the back of the Western section of Cades Cove loop road. It has the largest water volume of any park fall, and is among the most photogenic.
when I finally arrived at Abrams Falls it
stood out roaring like a lion. I filmed it up and close.
Now was the time to climb the steep inclination to the top of the falls. None of the other hikers knew what they were missing up here. However daylight was short so I had to step up the pace back to the parking lot. Another memorable hike for the ages.
On the way back to Gatlinburg I was lucky enough to see a few Elk in the meadows of Cades Cove loop.
Mingo Falls Trail is located just South of the park, off the Newfound Gap Road, within the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It's only .4 mile up a paved trail. I heard the roar of the falls in no time. When I arrived I was amazed with just how extra beautiful this falls was. Mingo Falls was the most spectacular falls that Mother Nature sculptured. It cascaded down 120'. I hiked up to the base of the falls for the best filming. I zoomed into every part of the falls for a spectacular movie. This was one waterfall that was very hard to leave. It's natural cascading shapes will draw you into her spell.
is the highest peak in the Smokies at 6,643'. On a clear day the observation tower on the summit of
the mountain will offer a spectacular 360 degree view of the Smokies and beyond. As I arrived at the trail Via the
Newfound Gap Road, it was
very windy around 50 miler per hour. Filming was tough and a challenge. The trail was steep but paved. I was
surrounded by Red Spruce and Frazier Fir trees in all directions. The Appalachian Trail
paralleled Clingmans Dome and
I planned on taking it back down later.
The vistas were magnificent as I climbed up the trail. I couldn't help but wonder what the 360 degree vista on top the dome would reveal. When I arrived on top of the dome I filmed the signs that showed what you were looking at in all directions. I was lucky for it was a clear day. You could see all of the Smokies park this day.
I then hiked back down the .5 mile section of the Appalachian Trail to the parking lot. The Appalachian Trail cuts through the entire park and is located on the West to East mountain ridge border between Tennessee and North Carolina. The Red Spruce and Frazier Fir trees made for another great and memorable experience in this great Smoky Mountains National Park. I felt lost on this trail because of the endless sea of mountains and trails. Now I was really by myself.
Chimney Tops Trails was to finish off another great day of hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Going back North on the scenic Newfound Gap Road were many more vistas and cascading rapids to film. When I was almost there, I stopped to film Chimney Tops from a distance. It stood out like a volcano in the horizon. This should be good I thought.
The climb is 1,700' and is 4 miles roundtrip. Once again I was surrounded by old forest growth hardwood trees near the bottom and knew there were spruce and firs on top. This was a steep trail that hosted many new cascading rapids, mosses, and ferns. The uphill vistas were great. As I neared the top I noticed the difference in the thickness of the air. It was quiet and still on top with the sun penetrating deeper onto my face. This was my favorite place to be in the entire park so far.
As I neared the end of the trail on top the trail now had drop offs on both side of the narrow path. I realized that the vistas were going to be great. The path changed into pure polished black shale. The end of the trail was totally awesome as it revealed more vista over the edge drop off. I sat down and soaked in the most beautiful scenery that I've seen yet. My very own little spot on top of the world. The vistas were great but I had to chance a slippery climb up the black shale to the very top. It was worth the climb because now the entire 360 degree scenery was before me. I felt like a giant as I filmed the panoramic. A little blue bird all but ignored me as he hopped by me. Flying above was a large Eagle who seemed happy to just tuck in his wings and drop like a rock only to catch himself later.
Yes, another most memorable, great and awesome hike. I am so lucky to have experienced Chimney Tops. I am so lucky to meet The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Grotto Falls Trail
Laurel Falls Trail
Abrams Falls Trail
Clingmans Dome Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
Newfound Gap Road