Grotto Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

4.7
#2 of 21 in Trails in Tennessee
Winding its way along a 4.2 km (2.6 mi) round-trip route, Grotto Falls Trail offers you the chance to walk behind a waterfall--the only opportunity to do so in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The path through old-growth forest makes the hike relatively easy, as it's a straightforward climb aside from some protruding stones and roots. You'll find another waterfall on your way to the trail's namesake. Once you reach the 7.6 m (25 ft) tall Grotto Falls, continue following the trail to find yourself behind a curtain of cascading water. Be sure to wear proper footwear and watch your step, as the surrounding rocks can be extremely slippery due to the constant moisture. Put Grotto Falls Trail at the forefront of your travel plans using our Great Smoky Mountains National Park tourist route planner.
Create an itinerary including Grotto Falls Trail
map
Grotto Falls Trail Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
689 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    What a wonderful place! We have a 12 and 9 year old. It took us about 3 hours round trip to leisurely walk this trail. That includes time spent playing in the water. Easy enough hike for both kids and...  more »
  • August 12, 2017
    It was raining when we left for the trailhead. Don't let the weather stop you! It's well-worth getting drizzled on (the tree cover mostly prevents a soaking), and the path was only starting to get mud...  more »
  • August 11, 2017
    This was a nice, fairly easy hike to a waterfall at the end. We went in the pouring rain and the trail looks as though it might be slick coming down, but it was pretty sturdy and traction was fine.  more »
Google
  • June 14, 2017
    Loved this hike. Some have said it's an easy hike but it's pretty strenuous and has many inclines, rocks and roots along with fallen trees. It's definitely doable though, my 6 and 8 year old were able to do it. Very fun, interesting and great to do it. The waterfall was definitely the highlight. Just remember a couple things, after 9am on most days, parking is very difficult to find. Take plenty of water and wear ankle support shoes.
  • May 20, 2017
    This is my second time I've been there. I would seriously recommend to anyone. I see people of all ages hiking this trail. It's pretty easy to hike. & the waterfall is gorgeous. I love just sitting on the rocks enjoying the view and some snacks. & all the people that hike are so kind and friendly. It's easy to get to. The only issue is parking. I went on Wednesday around 12 and it was pretty busy, but nothing too extreme. Just had a little extra of a walk no big deal. 10/10 would recommend to visitors and locals! Definitely a must see.
  • May 31, 2017
    I have a few issues with my back and leg so I wasn't sure if I could do the hike. My husband and I also had our 6 and 4 year old grandsons on the hike. The hike did have a few places we had to watch to continue on our journey such as a few large tree roots to walk over, some slippery rocks to walk through a few low water creeks We just walked in the water instead of walking on the large rocks). We did not bring walking sticks so we located a few down tree branches and made our own. I would recommend to get a walking stick. It helped. We even spotted a black bear and her Cubs coming down. What an adventure. Do It! It is worth the hike. We took a few breaks along the path up the mountain to the waterfall. It helped
  • June 14, 2017
    1.4mile hike to the falls wasn't bad even for a 6 and 8 year old. Took us about 30-40minutes to get there. Had an amazing time! Highly recommended.
  • June 21, 2017
    This is a moderate difficulty trail with big rewards at the end! My favorite falls! I have been there several times and it's always a little different every time. Trail is not paved and can be a little difficult in places. Water runs over the trail in creeks after some rainfall.

Plan your trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, choose between developed campgrounds where you can pitch your tent by your car and access restrooms and showers, or more primitive vehicle-accessed campgrounds. The park also offers accommodations in a permanent structure at LeConte Lodge, which is accessible via five different hiking trails. (There is no car access; you must hike in to use this lodge.) For a wider array of lodging options, stay in Gatlinburg. Serving primarily as a resort gateway to the park, the town offers various styles of accommodation, from national chain hotels to mountain lodges to small inns. Most places lie within 8 km (5 mi) of the park's entrance.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Great Smoky Mountains National Park by other users

15 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Tennessee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: January, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 28 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Continental USA BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans