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Grotto Falls Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from April until November.

Length 2.6 mi Elevation gain 534 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

The Trillium Gap trail is closed until November 12, 2020 Monday through Thursday for rehab, but the closure is past the waterfall and does not impact the out & back route of this trail. An easy to moderate hike that is popular with families. 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.

16 parking spaces. Overflow requires a lot of patience or creativity since you are on a narrow, one-way road. Restrooms are in the parking area.

From Gatlinburg Parkway, turn at Light 8 turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Rd. After about 2/3-mile, Keep right on Cherokee Orchard Rd., entering Great Smoky Mountain NP. Drive another 2.2 miles onto one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop. Drive 0.9 miles before right turn onto Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The parking lot is on the left side after about 1.6 miles.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1654)
Photos (1141)
Recordings (1251)
Completed (4439)
Rendy Rend
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Fun but rocky. Once you get to the falls it’s awesome

dorian naveh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike but too crowded especially during COVID. Waterfall is great. Enjoyed walking behind it. Steady climb till the falls gets your blood pumping but stream crossings are. Wanted to continue up past the falls but trail is closed Monday thru Thursday :(. Still worth it.

Joshua Shilko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Nice, short hike with a great payoff. Went while it was raining and it cleared up during our hike so there were very few people at the falls.

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Tim McDaniel
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Hiking

Hardly anyone on the trail due in to rain. More people on the way back.

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Macalin Bedford
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Hiking

Very trafficked with families and young kids! Went in the afternoon, figuring it would be, but definitely wished we had got there earlier. Still a nice view and waterfall. Definitely hard to find parking spot. Had to park about 900ft from trail head parking lot. Worth it!

View Macalin's Recording
Amber Smith
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HikingMuddyRocky

I really like this trail. Only 1.4 miles there. Takes you to a beautiful waterfall. I really enjoyed this, and it was my first Trail we hiked when we got to Gatlinburg!

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Catherine Overton
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Hiking

Great hike and well worth it. Bring a change of clothes is you have kids. They will love the waterfall.

Frank Todaro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!

We tried to hike this trail yesterday after hiking the Rainbow Falls Trail, but there was no way to find a parking spot close by mid morning, so we came back first thing this AM. We were at the trail head at 7 am plenty of parking and we were maybe the third group on Trail. This is not a difficult hike and the falls, as always are pretty. During our stay we had plenty of rain so all the falls were active. We did this on a Friday and had the pleasure of seeing the LLama's at the trail head and then again coming up the trail. That was pretty cool. We did chat with their handlers. We did not get spit on lol. I highly recommend an early start on this one.

Jennifer Mayo
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HikingGreat!
View Jennifer's Recording
Brian Nance
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Hiking

Great family trail. We hiked with our 4 daughters (9, 7, 5, and 3) and they were all able to make it all the way to the falls without needing a lift in my shoulders. The slight elevation is gradual and the terrain is, mostly, pretty straight forward. Our family found this to be the best falls in the park, since you can go behind this one (great photos) and view the numerous salamanders that are hanging out there. We will be doing this hike again.

Michael Haas
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Hiking

Beautiful hike out and back easy trail. Beautiful waterfalls.

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Jacob Huez
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Hiking

Beautiful waterfall to walk under at the end. Climb up all the way there and then downhill the way back.

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Ewa Labuz
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Hiking

Really Nice relaxing trail

Eduardo B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Falls are great!! no question about it. A lot of water and pools to take a dip. But it's way too busy. Not really a nature hike but much more a walk to the falls through a built trail and with hoards of people moving through it. It would be a 5 if you can find the right time to go to minimize the number of people you will find.

Samantha Day
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Wonder trail! Was a little crowded but not to bad (we went on 7/26) took my 9 month old and two year old. My two year old hiked the whole trail himself he LOVED it.

James McGowan
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Hiking

Nice hike up, parking was tough with cars all around. Grotto was very crowded but it is July. Saw a bear walking past as we got down to the road. Very attainable climb just need to be patient for older or less fit.

Erik Schillo
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HikingGreat!

Nicely maintained trail! Grotto Falls at the top is worth the mild climb. You can walk under the falls and swim in the pool to cool off before heading down. Got there at 8am and parked pretty close. people parked all over at great distances when we left at 1130. Get there early!

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Matt Marcotte
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Hiking

This was a great water fall. Nice and cool up there. It felt good after a nice hike up to it. Pretty crowded but it’s expected for summer time. #thisguytravels

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Kirtan Davda
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HikingMuddyWashed out

Amazing views and good trail. Caution: you might slip as the path is not paved. Great hike and great waterfall. Went there just after sunrise (7 am). There were a LOT of people on my way out (9 am).

Leyna Tobey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, steady incline the entire way. Beware this path is packed and most people are not wearing masks! The falls are really cool and definitely worth the hike. Took us about 1 hour round trip.

Nicole Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Fun hike to do in the late afternoon. Make sure to explore to make it to the top of the waterfall. Goes by quick and the crowds die out a bit. Got to see the llamas on their way down the trail and a bear on the drive back!

Gianna Canada-Grant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingRocky

Very nice trail that is easy to follow. It is steep, but I saw all ages hiking it. It is busy. Take your time going up so you don’t get weary. Enjoy the scenery. When you get to the top there are some hidden trails to explore. Walking behind the falls was fun.

Caitlyn H
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Hiking

Extremely crowded, couldn’t really enjoy the falls or swim. Still nice views though. Trail was slightly tiring, but not too bad.

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Christian Mota
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HikingGreat!

My girlfriend and I decided to hike the trail at 10am and it was PACKED. We had to park about a 1/2 mile down the road from the trailhead. While walking the trail, there was a fair amount of people so be advised. As far as the actual trail, it was great! There's quite a bit to stop and look at along the way up such as mini waterfalls, and there's also one spot that offers a nice view of the mountains. Once to the top, the falls themselves are beautiful! It was so much cooler up there and the water was nice and cool. Although there was a good amount of people, we were still able to sit on a rock and enjoy the water and take a break. The photo scene is nice; you can get some good snapshots. Overall, would recommend this hike. The difficulty was 2.5 out of 5; most of the trail is a slight incline! Go and enjoy!!

Karen Robins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Easy hike with a beautiful waterfall. Go early: we got there just before 8 and there wasn’t much parking...but thankfully when we got to the falls, there were only a couple of groups there...we passed a LOT of people on our way out!

Ryan Zimmerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Easy quick trail with a nice water feature at the end. Great place to take a dip.

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Megan Cipolla
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Hiking

This is a good family friendly trail. Bring a change of clothes or wear a bathing suit because there are pools you can go in if you want to swim. The reason this trail doesn’t get five stars is all the people on the trail. You will see them everywhere you go and especially at the water fall. If you don’t mind all the people go before or after lunch. If people aren’t your thing try for early in the morning around 8 am. This way it will be quieter and there will be more solitude.

View Megan's Recording
Meredith Fain
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Hiking

We took a shorter route, get there early because there were a ton of people around 8am and 0 parking spots. Very pretty

View Meredith's Recording
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