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
  • Wear good shoes and dress in layers. Although not a long hike, it's more involved than just walking flat land. You can hike behind a small waterfall. Go early. It gets very busy on nice days, and hard...  more »
  • Grotto Falls is always a tried-and-true hike for me if I just want to pop in to hike in the Gatlinburg area. The trail is scenic no matter what time of year, but it's best to go when we've had consist...  more »
  • To clarify this, it seems like sometimes the gate is somehow open and cars get on the road to the Falls, but the road is supposed to be closed due to the fire damage. The Ranger confirmed this with us...  more »
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.

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