Grotto Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

(650 reviews on the web)
Hiking Trail Nature / Park
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
  • I decided to do this trail after reading reviews saying that it was easy and kid friendly. That was the longest 1.4 miles of my life and it was mostly all up hill. If you are out of shape or have back...  more »
  • We read online that this was a short, easy hike. Unfortunately, the road that leads to the trailhead was closed when we arrived. Apparently there were some fallen branches blocking the road so no one ...  more »
  • This hike is short enough that an amateur hiker can do it and still enjoy themselves. Beautiful scenery, a few small stream crossings where you walk across rocks, and awesome falls at the end.  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • We took the Trillium Gap trail to the main trail head to avoid parking issues. Great way to add some milage with little traffic in the beginning of the hike. The falls are worth the hike as well. And we saw a bear on the way back that added to the trip.