Spruce Flat Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked away in the quiet Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although it’s certainly not an unknown waterfall, Spruce Flat Falls is not one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. Getting to the falls requires about a 2 mile hike that is moderately strenuous at the beginning since the trail is uphill for the first ¼ mile. Then the trail is fairly level for the rest of the way going slightly downhill as you get close to the falls. My first hike to the falls was in late July 2011 on a day with high humidity and temperatures in the mid-90’s…the pool at the base of the falls felt really refreshing that day!
As you can see from my images, autumn is a beautiful time to visit Spruce Flat Falls, and in my opinion it’s the best time to photograph them. Many different compositions are possible, so be sure to move around to find the best ones. The image above is a side view, and below is a low angle shot a little downstream. Don’t forget a close up shot isolating just part of the falls. For some of the best compositions you may have to stand in the water so use caution if you get in the water!
About 100 yards west of the “Townsend Y” you’ll see a sign for the Smoky Mountain Institute. Turn left at the sign and after 2 miles, you’ll come to a left turn that will take you to the Institute. It’s well marked so you can’t miss it. Go to the visitor’s center and get a map to guide you to Spruce Flat Falls.
You can see more of my photography of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in my Great Smoky Mountains National Park gallery here.
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