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Smokey Mountains Map

on Grotto Falls Trail

6 hours ago

We hiked this on 3/16, so had to start at the rainbow falls trailhead. This added a couple of miles to the hike, but they were fairly easy. We encountered a lot of mud on the last 1.5 miles. We saw more than one group heading out to the trail wearing white sneakers. Needless to say those shoes weren't going to stay white for long. Views along the trail are limited, but the falls at the end are a sight to behold.

3 days ago

My birthday hike! A crisp 32 degrees in the morning! Snow and ice after the footbridge made for a interesting trip back down from the falls. Temps warmed up enough to thaw out the froze mud which made it as slick as the snow and ice! Loved it!

4 days ago

We started the trail while snow was still falling and it was around 25-28 degree outside. I couldn’t believe we climbed up for 1,000ft from trailhead to rainbow. It didn’t seem to be that much to me though. It was very slippery and frozen in last mile. We had to crawl over the big rocks to get up to the fall. Bring spikes if you have them. They will help a lot in the icy condition. When snow was melting, trail got super muddy. I got hiking shoes so it didn’t bother me much. People going with me in sneakers was struggling little bit. Overall, the fall wasn’t that impressive to me but the surroundings along the trail is fun and beautiful.

5 days ago

Very gratifying hike. We started at rainbow falls trailhead so the trip was a bit longer. VERY MUDDY. 3-6 creeks to walk through depending where you start.

Had to climb over a few fallen trees at one point but a beautiful waterfall at the end you could walk behind. Not too crowded. Icicles fall from the top of the waterfall so be careful!

Very worth it and would do this hike again.

did this trail may of 2017, loved it a little difficult, but really fun. On the way down saw three deer on the trail and almost could reach out and touch them, they were standing that close it was awesome

Great trail. Pretty long walk for a creek. If you are looking for just exercise this is a good trail. Good walking grade and nothing too extreme terrain wise. The creek wasn't passable without waterproof shoes or wanting to get wet.

Beautiful trail. Some areas have big rocks that you have to sit and swing around to get over. If it’s a dry season the waterfall will only be a trickle with no rainbow.

This was a pretty cool hike. We went in March of 2018, so the road to get to the trailhead was closed for the season. But you can easily park at the rainbow falls trailhead and walk the rest of the way. It’s 2.0 miles to the trailhead and the trail itself is 1.4 miles long. The terrain of the trail was pretty rocky and rooty. We left out at about ten in the morning and didn’t encounter anyone on the way there, but encountered 3 or 4 groups on the way back. Once we got there, there were some nice photo ops from behind the waterfall.

Nice trail! Hiked it on 5/8. Rocks and the incline to the waterfall make it challenging. On a good day I don’t think it would to hard. The rocks would make it challenging for anyone who wants to attempt to run it. The day we hiked it was in the upper 20s to 31. Trail was snow covered and had lots of ice so that made to challenging and slow going, but the snow made the trail and waterfall look like a beautiful white winter wonderland!

9 days ago

Definitely more than a moderate trail in my opinion. Trillium Gap was easy enough but Grotto Falls was a HIKE. It was definitely worth it and I got some amazing photos and being able to go behind a waterfall and look in all those perfectly clear pools is incredible but just be prepared for lots and lots of uphill climbs, lots of water over the paths (lots of muck too), and lots of shade in the afternoons which makes the temperature drop REAL quick so layer accordingly. We did see 4 deer just chilling on the trillium gap trail and we got pretty dang close for some awesome photos. All in all it was great, and I would do it again but with a lighter pack, more food/Gatorade, and more layers.

13 days ago

Well laid out trail. Fairly easy if you exercise regularly. I highly recommend wearing correct hiking gear. The multiple areas of water accumulation make rocks and mud slippery in certain areas. Worst part is the trail is extremely well traveled and crowded. Waterfall at the end is amazing! There are a few small waterfalls on the way up that keep you entertained, but keep going until you see a large number of people crowded around the falls with a sign that says no climbing on rocks!

20 days ago

Great hike. Not super strenuous but not easy. Small waterfalls along the way and following a river. Gorgeous waterfall and great areas to climb/scramble around on some rocks!

This was a nice trail but we missed the view because of the fog. I’ll have to try it again on a clear day. I suggest doing Charles Bunyan on the same day.

25 days ago

Great experience. we did it on Jan 4th so the temperatures were in the teens ☃️❄️.

Great easy trail. The road to the trail head was closed so we got some extra steps in.

This is a fun easy hike kid friendly. My 8 yr old son and I enjoyed this hike. He walked behind the Falls. There was plenty people around. Parking was terrible.

I disagree with the mileage data. My Garmin GPS recorded this at 6.51 miles and elevation change of 1573 feet making this a 12% grade or averaging 600/mile. Awesome hike. My son was 8 and out hiking me. I had to keep telling him to slow down. I stopped lookout for bear. With burned stumps everywhere it looked like black ears. I bet this was amazing before the fire.

Great day hike! Not hard, more moderate if your in relatively healthy shape. Gradual but completely uphill, with some switchbacks. Easy to follow.

It was a very fun scenic trail. One my favorites

Absolutely beautiful. The higher elevations had fresh snow. It made for a great Saturday morning hike.

We hiked this trail yesterday. Not a hard hike, but definitely not for beginners or young children. It was a steady incline the entire way up. The falls were beautiful and well marked with a sign. There are 2 stream crossings towards the end, which were tricky with the snow and ice. It was extremely muddy and heavily trafficked on the way back out. I recommend wearing good waterproof shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, take snacks, and get an early start.

easy and beautiful

1 month ago

First, my reviews are from the perspective of an amateur photographer.

The trail itself is easy to follow and well maintained, but lots of tree roots across the trail if that bothers you. Gets muddy and slippery after a rain.

A big caveat is that after 1.5 miles you come to the start of many fords across the creek. The creek is not to deep, but the water will come over your hiking boots, so you'll want to try the fords. But as of Jan '18 the fords are hazardous due to many large logs washed up against the rocks that make up the ford. (You can reference my pictures of the first three fords)

Since I was by myself I didn't want to chance slipping on the rocks/logs at the fords, so I turned back at ford #3. I plan to go again in the spring, but I will be taking my river shoes (just in case the fords are an issue again) and wade across the creek.

Other than the waterfall at 1.7 miles (which I haven't seen yet) the first 1.5 miles are not that scenic. Typical woodlands and no views from the first ridge you come to.

Best backpacking trip I have ever done.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike! we hiked this trail on our new years this year and loved every minute of it. Something to see around every turn. We where even lucky enough to enjoy a light dusting of snow on our hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful muddy hike today!! Mud then muddy ice.....now just ice! We didn’t bring ice shoes or spikes which were most definitely needed for this hike today. We are coming back this summer to play so more! Well worth the hike!

beautiful! it was co eres with snow and ice.

2 months ago

had the trail to myself at the end which was nice. even with the mud and ice patches i dont think it should have been rated hard..

had more fun not using spikes >;^]

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