Grotto Falls Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and horses and is accessible from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.
An easy to moderate hike that is popular with families. Because of this, an early start - before 7 AM - is desirable. The highlight is Grotto Falls, under which the trail continues. Accessed via the Trillium Gap Trailhead, this is a cool, well-shaded hike with gentle elevation gains. The only "difficulties are numerous rocks and roots that just require you to watch your step. There is llama scat on the trail, but it is neither as plentiful or as noxious as some people would have you believe.
Like others have said, it was pretty busy when we got there around 10:30. Parking wasn't great but the hike definitely got our heart rates going. My 64 year old grandma did this with us and we made it up in about an hour with 3-4 stops along the way. The waterfall wasn't heavily flowing but we weren't disappointed when we got there. It would've been better if there were less folks there, but I guess that's what happens when you go on Saturday though!
Going up to the falls is a good workout, but worth it in the end. I do recommend going early morning because it does get crowded, and there is limited parking. It was a great hike with beautiful scenery. Lastly, there are rocky areas and lots of tree roots, so I would not recommend sandals or flip flops.
Great little hike! As others said, you can choose to keep going past the falls for extra mileage and it is quiet. If you go early in the morning on M/W/F, you will see the llamas taking supplies up to the resort!
A very nice out and back hike on the Trillium Gap Trail. Be sure to check out the view from behind the falls as well. The trail continues another 5.3 miles all the way to the summit of Mount LeConte. It is popular and parking can be a problem, as spaces are limited on Roaring Fork Road.
Loved this trail. Trail up to the waterfall was moderately trafficked, but we kept climbing past the waterfall where there was no one. If you do that be careful bc it is extremely slippery, but it is worth it. Saw a mama bear and a couple cubs but they were a good distance from us.
This was my first GSMNP hike way back in 2007. It was a great hike then, and still is.
Crowded. Go early. Continue past the falls up to brushy mountain for a quick glimpse of the Smokies. Low side of moderate only because it's up hill.
I would rate this as one of the easier hikes in the GSMNP.
Here is a short video I made of the hike.
Here is a short video of a bear we saw near the trailhead.
Nice hike beautiful piece of the forest. All up hill.
rained the week we were there so the trail was very muddy. However because of the rain the falls were SPECTACULAR. We saw several species of salamander on the hike. The hike was well worth the mud.
Hike is a good workout but the falls are worth it
Great trail. Some roots and rocks to go through, but was a great trip. Going behind the falls is the greatest!! Did see a bear come up through the woods and cross and go up a part of the trail we had just crossed.
Great place to take pictures. I hiked with my child on back and didnt stop. took about 30 min up and coming down was shorter time do to walking down hill.
Great, short, easy trail. 30 minutes in, some pix, snack and 20 minutes out. Parking was ridiculous, with rude people blocking the road for others. Even though the trail was easy, rocks and roots abound; I was amazed at hikers in street shoes, etc.