Mingo Falls, Cherokee

4.7
Just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, discover Mingo Falls. The 36.5 m (120 ft) waterfall is one of the tallest falls in the southern Appalachians. Take a short hike along Pigeon Creek Trail to view the falls. The hike is only 0.65 km (0.4 mi) but includes many steep steps, making it a bit of a challenging climb. At the top of the stairs, you'll see and feel the mist of the powerful falls. There are no facilities other than parking here, but you'll find services in the town of Cherokee just a few miles south. For travelers who use our online itinerary creator, Cherokee holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Mingo Falls and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Mingo Falls Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
859 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I'm sure it's even more amazing in the spring and summer. About 10-15 minutes outside of Cherokee. Small parking lot but manageable and Porto potties are available. You start the incline on several st...  more »
  • We saw the falls when they were partially froze. They were beautiful. I think there are 160 steps to top. They were slick the day we went, small patches of ice....so be careful. It is worth the walk u...  more »
  • Nice, short trail to waterfall. The hike to the waterfall is uphill (stairs) but manageable. We visited during a cold spell and the falls were frozen over.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful hike to the falls! If your feeling adventurous there’s a rough rocky trail that you can climb to the top and look down with another trail that leads to two more sets of falls. Absolutely stunning
  • Very close to Cherokee Indian museum, the last leg of the falls is small 0.5 mile hike. Hike starts next to the river where you can see many camper trailers and people enjoying fishing. For a proper view, there is a small bridge in front of falls. Lovely place.
  • We went to the Smokie Mountain National Park for a long weekend in the beginning of October and planned our hiking trails around waterfalls. This was by far my favorite one to see. The hike there is short, but you go uphill on wide wooden stairs. You will find funny graffiti written on the stairs, which helped make the hike up them more entertaining. The hike there is entirely shaded by trees. We went there around 9 AM on a Saturday and we had the whole waterfall to ourselves for at least 30 minutes. Because the waterfall wasn't flowing with a lot of water, we were able to climb on rocks and fallen logs to get closer to the waterfall.
  • Beautiful falls. Partly frozen. Long hike up stairs but worth it. There were slick, icy parts when I was there last week.
  • Let's face it, everyone hates stairs but if you can make it past its great. Probably better to go during the off season to avoid the crowd and take clean pictures.

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Where to stay in Cherokee

Cherokee has no shortage of hotels, motels, and inns. Accommodations range from basic and affordable to lavish and extremely expensive. A towering casino downtown offers many rooms, but rustic cabins and cottages are more characteristic of the area. These places offer mountain views as well as fully equipped kitchens and in-room fireplaces and hot tubs. If you wish to explore the Great Smoky Mountains on your own terms, consider one of the area's campgrounds. Most are full-service, featuring both trailer and tent sites as well as hot showers, electric hookups, and on-site grocery stores.
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