Grotto Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

(4.7/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This trail is fairly narrow and is littered with tree roots and half buried rocks. It is very uneven and slippery when wet. I couldn't begin to tell you about the views from the hike, as all of us wer...  more »
  • First of all, Grotto Falls parking is somewhat limited - many cars parked half off/on the road. It is a steady, well marked, uphill walk. We started our walk at approximately 0930 Tuesday morning. We ...  more »
  • It's one of trails within Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It's quite hard at the beginning but the falls are quite impressive. 
Google
  • My girlfriend and I went on our very first hike ever up to grotto falls. It was a challenge for us but so worth it in the end. So beautiful that we didn't want to leave. Get there early to avoid the crowds. We went at about 8 AM and it was nice and cool. If you're new to hiking and want to see something beautiful, I would highly recommend grotto falls.
  • Awesome hiking spot for beginners and children. You can also keep hiking past the falls to a few more trails. These are a bit harder and longer though. Awesome views and ample parking.
  • Beautiful falls and not too difficult of a hike. Took 4 kids ranging from 5 to 13 and they had no problems with the hike. The only falls in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that you can walk behind. Can be crowded on the weekend.
  • Great easy hike! Definetly get there early!!! We went on a Monday expecting it to be empty and most parking was already taken up by 9am by 12 when we left there were sooo many cars parked alongside the road due to no parking spaces. The hike starts off steep but levels off quickly for an easy hike. Lots of families with lots of kids so again, get there early to enjoy the view and quiet before it gets crowded and noisy. Enjoy!!
  • Absolutely wonderful. What a great hike and waterfall. One memorable anniversary for my wife and I.