Hike through the Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness

The Laurel-Snow Trailhead

Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness is exploding with trails, creeks, waterfalls, and steep gorges, perfect for hikers, climbers, photographers, and campers alike.

The Laurel-Snow Trail was the first National Recreation Trail designated in Tennessee and at just under 35 miles from downtown Chattanooga, it is perfect for a day hike, for a day of climbing, or for setting up basecamp for the weekend. The 2,000 acre area sits along the Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau and offers a plethora of trails to explore.

The area is named after the two waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 ft) and Snow Falls (35 ft). The first 1.5 miles is fairly flat and hugs the boulder-strewn Richland Creek, passing blue holes, an abandoned coal mine area, a reservoir, and more. The trail then veers up to the right to the 50-foot bridge, which is currently damaged but not necessary for crossing to the creek. The trail then forks with Snow Falls to the left and the larger, Laurel Falls to the right.

Albeit poorly marked at points, the trail to Laurel Fall is a beautiful one, snaking through gorges, foliage, and boulders. You’ll land at the base of the falls, finding plenty of room to roam and climb around the falls. Plan on getting wet from the copious spray created by the volume of water splashing down from above.

Parking lot coordinates:
N35 31.566 W85 01.310

Pack List

  • Water
  • Day pack
  • Trail shoes
  • Camera
  • Tripod
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RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 900 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Hike! Strenuous

This was my third hike here and it is one of my favorites. It is a difficult hike once you start up the switchbacks to the waterfall. My fitbit trekked it at just under 7 miles (Did some running here and there to get pics). Other websites say 4 (which I believe is incorrect since EVERYTIME I have done this I have had a different tracking device and they all are relatively close to the six miles being correct). A beginner could do this, if they are in relaively good shape. It is packed on the weekends. I suggest going mid week to avoid the crowds.

Great For A Overnighter

Great little hide away tucked in to the hills. This is a great overnight hangout!


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