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Indian Flat Waterfalls GSMNP

  • 05/15/2021
  • 7:00 AM
  • Upper Tremont Road at Middle Prong Trailhead
  • 5


  • Members and visitors are invited to register.

Registration is closed

SANP Field Event

Indian Flat Waterfall Cascades & More

Saturday, May 15th, 2021


Leader: Dale Potter    Phone:  (865)-773-8114      E-mail:

Meeting place: Middle Prong Trailhead on Upper Tremont Road in GSMNP

Time: 7:00 am

Registration available:  Beginning today 

Description: Indian Flat Falls are not on the trail maps, but the falls are one of the more photographed falls in the smokies. The falls consist of four cascades. One is easily access by a short off trail, the others require a little more effort.  This is an easy to moderate, 7.5  miles walk roundtrip on an old road bed up Middle Prong Trail. Elevation gain: 1100 feet.

We start at the end of Tremont Road where Old Tremont, the 1920s logging town, once stood. The Middle Prong Trail follows an old railroad grade along beautiful Lynn Camp Prong. In places the trail will be somewhat rocky. Panther Falls can be seen within the first mile. At 3.0 miles there's evidence of the old CCC dining hall and a furnace. Further up, the trail crosses Indian Flats Prong on a wide bridge. Less than half a mile up is a short side trail to Indian Flats Falls. We will follow a side trail about 150 feet to the uppermost falls. The side trail isn't marked. The first type I led a group to this location in 2010, I was told that the falls did not exist by another hike leader. Since then more people have discovered the falls, especially photographers.  It is a great location to photograph from in the fall.  Some of the better photos require you getting in the water.  Four falls in all that drop 65 feet and run 170 feet. 

Learning opportunities: 

This is a good location to work on your technique for getting pleasing images of waterfalls and fast water.

How to meter for the best exposure

How to interpret the histogram for the best exposure.

What shutter speeds to use for the look you want

How to use polarizers and neutral density filters

Lenses of any focal length from 20mm to about 300mm will be useful. Tripod…..mandatory.

What to bring: Shoes that you are comfortable getting your feet wet in. You can change at the falls if you so desire but you may want to stop along the walk to the falls to get some other photos in the water.

Bring water and snacks.  

An overcast day would be ideal for this trip.  An early start allows us to get to the Falls without a bright sun.

Walking required: The trail is an easy to moderate 7.5 mile in and out trail.  It is an old road bed for most of the way.  

Bathroom is available at Tremont Institute if you want to stop before heading up the Upper Tremont Road. 

COVID-19 precautions:

We will practice social distancing and wear masks to mitigate the risk of virus transmission.  


Driving directions:  From the intersection of Little River Road and Laurel Creek Road, go 0.2 miles toward Cades Cove and turn left at the Treemont sign. Follow Treemont Road, it will turn into a gravel road, follow it 3 miles until it ends at a turnaround.  You can Google Middle Prong Trailhead, Townsend, Tn.   I will be in a red Jeep Wrangler.

Contacts:     Jerry Whaley, President       Julie Glibbery, Membership Manager       General Information

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A-231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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