Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls

MODERATE 19 reviews

Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls is a 7 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.

7.0 miles
1220 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.

28 days ago


1 month 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!

5 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.

6 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.

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

28 days ago

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Friday, May 29, 2015