The Great Smoky Mountain is blessed with picturesque waterfalls. It has the two essential ingredients for this and that is ample rainfall and an elevation gradient. During the wet season abundant rainfall rushes down the mountain sides from high altitude to low. Sometimes the water more than a mile in elevation from high peaks to the foothills below. For a chance to see such a wondrous waterfall head to Baskins Creek Falls.
Baskins Creek Falls is fairly steep and rugged. This 40-foot two tiered waterfall is a great place to enjoy picnic lunch. The falls received its name from a local hunter named Bear Skin Joe and over time it evolved into ‘Baskin’. Baskins Falls is located on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail out of Gatlinburg. The only marking is a small brown sign for Baskins Creek Trail. The trail is a one way road that goes through the forest. The forest is a thick undergrowth of hickory, dogwood, and laurel. Laurel blooms are inexhaustible by mid-May, a compelling reason to visit in itself. Maple, poplar, silver bell and beech form a laced canopy. The trail goes to the top and then drops sharply to a small tributary. It continues through to the forest floor and on to the Baskins Cemetery. There is a huge canopy of Jack in the Pulpits.
The hike can get slippery if it rains but most of it is fairly easy to get to. Soon the hike will ease to the Baskins Fall which swings left and is covered by rhododendron. Also, there are a couple of creek crossings that could be tricky in high water. You have to keep searching you way so that you don’t wade in water.
The viewing area gets cluttered with leaves and boulders depending on the season. But there’s plenty of space up the far side to a rock terrace that separates the fall into two. The water beneath the falls is shallow and small but you can play below the force of the falls. The waterfall faces northwest so there will be plenty of shade, at least on the lower two-thirds, for much of the year.
Baskins Creek Falls Travel Tips
- It is not crowded so go see this beautiful rare untouched falls.
- If it rains, there will be mud so wear hiking shoes.
- Pick your way through the mud by walking on tree roots.
- Carry water and a picnic basket if you want to stop and rest.
- Be aware that it is downhill most of the way to the falls, and uphill most of the way back.
- During summer there are bare branches crossing in front of the water, so it is shaded.
- It’s an ideal location to take great pictures.
- Kilwin's: Ice Cream
- Donut Friar: Donut
- Log Cabin Pancake House: American
- Crocketts Breakfast Camp: American
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10.82% of people who visit Gatlinburg include Baskins Creek Falls in their plan
2 PM - 3 PM
55.56% of people start their Baskins Creek Falls visit around 2 PM - 3 PM
1 Hr 30 Minutes
People usually take around 1 Hr 30 Minutes to see Baskins Creek Falls
87.5% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Baskins Creek Falls
Baskins Creek Falls Reviews & Ratings
We took a different trail than planned since the GPS went in and out, causing us to pass our desired trail head. While it was cool to see the cemetery and the waterfall was awesome, it was a good 4 miles total on some intense trails. We almost gave up a few times but decided to push on. Totally burned off all the fudge we had eaten on the trip to that point lol. Definitely a good waterfall to go see. It's up there with the Grotto falls in my opinion, just a bit more of an advanced trail.
Place itself is nice, but staff is not friendly what so ever. Any questions or concerns we had were meet with attitude. Will not be staying here again.
Well worth the hike in. We had the falls and trail all to ourselves. 1.5 hours total hiking time with a 30 minute break at the falls. Happy to say my 71 year old pops made it with no problem.
Great fall, but hike was fairly steep at spots. 3 miles round trip took us about 4 hours with kids age 6&8 and grandparents (in decent shape in their 60's). Not an easy hike.
Trail was a little harder than anticipated. We entered the trailhead off of the Roaring Fork Motor trail just past the trailhead for Rainbow Falls. Hiked to the waterfall and back. Beautiful views on top of the mountain. Hike is downhill most of the way there. A little tough hiking back. Roughly 3 miles round trip.