Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls

MODERATE 35 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.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,243 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

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.

hiking
25 days ago

I'd rate this trail as very easy, slight uphill and very few obstacles. My family took this trail from the Rainbow Falls entrance up to Grotto Falls and then back. The trail follows the road for quite a while which was disappointing and fairly loud. The better part of the hike was the last 1.5 miles past the Grotto Falls parking lot, where you get away from car traffic (but expect to encounter much more family traffic). Rainbow Falls was closed, otherwise we would have continued along the Mt LeConte path and would have enjoyed something more challenging. This hike, as my family is calling it, is basically a nice long walk. If you're set on seeing Grotto and enjoy a good hike I'd recommend taking the shorter hike over following the full trail. I wore La Sportiva mountain shoes, which made crossing mini-creeks and walking along the falls very easy.

hiking
1 month ago

An easy hike. A lot of tree roots stick above the ground.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is not easy, but it was lovely! We took it all the way to Mount LeConte to stay the night at the top, and it was a wonderful experience. If you’re going all the way to the top, we heard that it rained often, and when we went in July last year, it rained about 80% of our hike! Be sure to wear good hiking boots (with extra socks!) and bring a hiking pole, as the majority of the hike is uphill. This is the trail the llamas take to/from Mount LeConte, so you might pass some on your way up/down :) there was also a small waterfall about 1.5 miles in that was a nice resting stop! Overall, a beautiful hike and an AMAZING view at the top, if you choose to go the full 6.7 miles :)

hiking
4 months ago

I started at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead and took the Trillium Gap Trail almost all the way to Mt LeConte before making the trek back to my car. This trail will definitely get your heart rate up! It is uphill 90-95% of the time. Starts out with just some small tree roots as obstacles, but you definitely have to work your way around/over large rocks and larger roots as you get closer to Grotto Falls. A walking stick (or two) is a must, as are good hiking shoes. There are a few small creeks to cross, but nothing deep or difficult. I was the only one on the trail from the trailhead until about a mile before the Falls, where there was a steady stream of people going to and from the Falls from a nearby parking lot. I did see two black bears and a handful of wild turkeys within the first two miles on the TG trail. Very little wildlife otherwise (besides tons of flies & mosquitos - bring bug repellant for sure!). It was my first time hiking, and even though I had physically prepared for it, I was definitely very sore the next day.

hiking
5 months ago

Moderate may be a conservative classification of this trail, but a great trail nonetheless. The trail is well marked. Between the 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.

5 months ago

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

5 months 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!

hiking
6 months 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.

7 months ago

Nigga

8 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!

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

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

backpacking
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.

hiking
28 days ago

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
Sunday, August 20, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Load More