Spruce Flats Falls is an off the beaten path hike that every visitor needs to enjoy. Located just off the ground of the Great Smoky Mountain Institute, the Spruce Flats Falls is a short hike that allows you to enjoy a spectacular 30-foot water fall.
Minutes away from the Sugarland visitor center, make their way to Tremont Road and follow the signs to the Great Smoky Mountain Institute. Once you have arrived, there is plenty of parking and an on-site restrooms located inside the institute visitor center.
Hiking to Spruce Flats Falls
To begin make your way to the wide gravel road behind the Institute. Continue along this path, as you pass the dormitories (yurts) on your right-hand side. Continue to follow the signs, which are simple in their message, and only say falls with an arrow pointing toward the direction you need to head. Eventually you will no longer see the signs but will be able to follow the wide dirt path all the way to the falls.
As you begin to approach the falls, the path will start to descend to the base on the falls. Proceed with caution. Once you make your way down to the falls, you will notice the four level cascade travel down the mountain. The second level of the cascade is the most accessible will which is where you will find yourself on the hike path. It does appear that many visitors do make their way down into the lower pools, but this is not recommended.
Spruce Flats Falls Trail Quick Guide
Total Distance: 2.0 miles out and back
Elevation Change: 435 Feet Gain, with an average of 245 feet gain per mile
Difficulty Rating: 3.75, which is considered a moderate hike
Restrooms Available: Restrooms at the trail head
Parking: Minutes away from the Sugarland visitor center, visitors will need to make their way to Tremont Road and follow the signs to the Institute. Once you have arrived, there is plenty of parking for visitors and on-site restrooms located inside the institute visitor center.
Interested in finding more fantastic hiking opportunities within the Great Smoky Mountains, check out our picks for the best Smoky Mountains Hiking Trails.