Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls

MODERATE 26 reviews

Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls is a 6.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles
1243 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers




no dogs

Combined hiking and horseback riding trail leading to Mt. LeConte Access to the trailhead is along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This is a one-way loop road. Large vehicles (motor homes) and trailers are prohibited. Trillium Gap trail is rocky and has lots of tree roots in the trail. Grotto Falls is easier and more scenic. It's all uphill to Grotto Falls, but worth the effort.

1 day ago

Moderate may be a conservative classification is this trail, but a great trail nonetheless. The trail is well marked. Between me trailhead and the Grotto Falls Trail, the trail is lightly trafficked. The Grotto Falls portion of the trail is highly trafficked. We were fortunate to arrive at the end of a cold snap, so there was still a lot of snow on our trail. It was a beautiful reminder of what nature offers.

3 days ago

Trail was pretty with blooming trillium. However, this trail runs along with the road which made it very noisy.

17 days ago

Very pretty trail! We found the Grotto Falls hike to be very heavily trafficked and often had to wait a few minutes to cross small puddles or streams. We came in a bit late on Trillium Gap so we ended up doing 6.2 miles total. It took us 3.5 hours. We had 2-6 year olds and a 9-year old and they did just fine...sans falling on a couple of roots!! Overall it was great and I would def recommend it!

1 month 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.

2 months ago


3 months ago

It took us to get use to the altitude, this was our first mountain hike. It was beautiful, not to hard to hike. Took us about 5 hours; we took our time. The path crosses several streams and creeks; might need waterproof shoes. Grotto Falls is beautiful! It was worth the trip; you can walk behind the waterfall!

6 months ago

My husband and I started the Trillium Gap Trail at the Rainbow Falls trailhead. It is possible to get to Grotto Falls by accessing Trillium Gap at different points along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail that are much closer to the Falls. If your plan is only to see Grotto Falls and not spend a long time hiking, follow the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail until you see a sign indicating parking for Grotto Falls. It's a breeze from there. If you start the trail where it meets the Rainbow Falls trailhead, it is near 8 miles. Our hike time was about 5 1/2 hours. The trail is moderate with moments that are more strenuous due to tricky tree roots, some pretty steep inclines, and wet stones especially near the Falls; bring good hiking shoes. Keep in mind, the trail it is not marked save a couple of trailhead markers (e.g. Baskin's Creek), but none along the trail. Once you near the Falls, you begin to hear the power of the water. You can go behind the Falls and feel the water rush over boulders. We had lunch on the rocks while watching the water. If you plan on resting there for a while or going behind the Falls, I suggest bringing a rain jacket; the temperature drop is significant. While Grotto Falls is not a very large waterfall, it is gorgeous and well worth the long trek.

8 months ago

We hiked this trail to return to our car at the Rainbow Falls parking area after a great hike and evening atop Mt. LeConte. The section between the Grotto Falls parking area and Grotto Falls was a zoo, even on a Monday. But once we got on the trail that parallels the one-way Roaring Fork Motor tour, it was pretty much just us. The falls were absolutely beautiful and the quieter section with some gentle ups and downs between the parking areas featured some deer and pileated woodpeckers! The Rainbow to LeConte to Trillium back to the Rainbow parking area is a great loop.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

good hike, nice falls, keep going to next set of falls about 2 miles past grotto falls. recommend this hike, and nice drive to get to from trailhead

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Awesome hike! Not an easy trail when you add trillium gap!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Went up Trillium Gap Trail to LeConte shelter in August of 2016. Hardest trail I have ever hiked but, I made it. My best friend and my 14 yo son right behind me.

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Friday, May 29, 2015