Explore GSM - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

We started the hike at the Trillium Gap Trailhead (easy access from the auto tour--we didn't experience any roads closed on Saturday). It was a quick hike to Grotto Falls. It's always fun to see a waterfall, but I wouldn't suggest this one unless you have extra time to kill. We weren't overly impressed with the hike or the waterfall.

the road is still closed! If you have older kids the extra 3 miles might not phase them but it's steep to get up. wait to take your littles.

Trail was nice. 2.5 miles to a small waterfall. nothing to brag about.

hiking
3 days ago

Went this morning before 9am. Not too many people compared to coming down after 10am. Wow, what a difference. Very pretty waterfall and very manageable hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful falls and an easy hike for all ages. Wildlife is abundant and there is always something interesting to look out. The trail is a little broken up for the last .25 miles, so just be careful with where you step.

Absolutely love this trail. The trail itself is pretty steep on the way up, but there are views all around, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Every time I drive through the Smokies I make sure to stop at this trail, especially if it's clear and sunny. Last time we were able to spot a black bear alongside the road as we drove to the trail head. There are also plenty of wildflowers growing along the trail as well.

Good trail, amazing waterfalls

The steep drop-offs made me nervous, but it was a beautiful hike and the waterfall was an amazing destination.

hiking
6 days ago

A beautiful short "walk in the woods" Most of the way out to the falls is a gentle uphill and it is only a little more than a mile out. This path is all paved and the hike is good for all ages. Not a lot of parking so you should probably plan on being there early

Nice paved trail. Takes some effort getting up but it’s totally worth it. It is a little colder at the top but so so beautiful. My husband proposed to me up there and it was a wonderful memory I’ll never forget!!

Awesome! We loved it! It’s cold up there and VERY windy so be prepared. Totally worth it though. With the paved path easy for the kids too!

hiking
10 days ago

This is a great hike for the whole family but not small children

hiking
10 days ago

Wow...moderate maxed out!

Not really a trail. A steep short paved path up to the observation tower. A decent amount of people around and some AT-thru hikers starting in early April. A nice little shop and bathrooms by the large parking lot.

beautiful view. step hike, but worth it

Love this hike, it is beautiful! The hiking path is clean and wide and unobstructed. The hike for the most part follows the river closely but at times the trees obscure the view of the water. I wish there were markers to let you know when arrive at the falls because I have missed it and walked right passed it and arrived at the next falls. You do have to “hunt” for it along the river if there is no crowd to tip you off. No dogs are allowed on the trail, which stinks. I’d really love to take my 4 legged child with me. We always clean up after our pet and they enjoy the outdoors and need exercise also.

Did this one 4-13-18 it was a great hike difficult on the way back it was a steady steep climb until almost to the end ! The waterfall was beautiful!! Worth the climb!

11 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views and spectacular waterfall!!

I wouldn’t call this a hiking trail by any means, I honestly wouldn’t have walked up if it weren’t for my significant other telling me how amazing it was. Granted the view from the top was amazing and there are real trails that lead up to the same place you can hike if you want the true experience, but honestly the crowds and actual trail makes me want to rate this as 1 star the view makes me want to rate this as 5.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice hike waterfalls worth the hike. You would enjoy it more if you don’t have young children. It was a bit crowded but we expected that.

Very steep climb, but beautiful view from the top. Paved trail, and the Appalachian Trail crosses near the top.

hiking
14 days ago

Easy trail, beautiful falls.

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail. Saw a young black bear in a tree about 1.5 miles in.

Very foggy that day

I've hiked this trail many times over my life. It's a pretty easy trail, and the views are awesome. Also, on the way up, you'll find a great swimming hole with tall rocks to jump off of. Always a summertime favorite of mine!

Nice easy trail with great waterfall views.

hiking
20 days ago

Took this trail two days ago. Not what I was hoping for. Very very busy. The trail is paved but run down to about 3 feet across. A bit of an incline but manageable. The last half mile could be nerve racking to anyone that don’t like heights. The trail followed a ledge and rude hikers all over that are looking down the whole way and not watching where they are going. Causing people to hug the ledge. For an adult family it’s ok but anyone with little ones please control them and hold the tightly.

The falls were good but we visited at a way to busy of a time which ruined it for us. One infant had pooped there pants and the mother was washing it at the base of the first section of falls. Everyone below got to enjoy. The vehicle traffic was worse to get out. Tourist trap for sure.

hiking
20 days ago

We accessed the trail head by the rainbow falls parking area. Road was closed so we had to hike to the trail head. There are two options to get to the trail head. First option is to take the paved road all the way to the Grotto falls trail head, Good incline the whole way with a couple of stop points to look at the view of the mountains. Second option is about half mile in you will see a sign for Trillium gap trail. Go right in the woods then left up the hill. This is a much better hike but harder. It follows the paved path but much closer to nature in my opinion.

We saw three bear, a bob cat and a deer almost ran into us on the trail. The Grotto falls trail was busy and it was busy at the falls. Total trip was around 5 miles with the road being closed. Worth it to walk behind the falls.

We took the pavement path back.

Very nice trail, crowded right now due to springbreak.

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