Grotto Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Categories: Hiking Trails, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
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.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • This was an easy family hike. There are a lot of tree roots and some wet spots. If you are out of shape plan on taking your time and a walking stick. It's mostly shaded and flat most of the time. It's...  read more »
  • This is a popular trail. It is a short, easy hike with not too much elevation change. Total distance 2.8 miles - time wise, probably 1-1/2 hours. 
  • Even though parking was tight and not much of it. The hike to GrottoFalls was great. If you are not in good shape don't do this hike. When you get to the falls, don't be disappointed as it is not a fu...  read more »
  • Went to the grotto falls for a day of adventure, trails, and an amazing water fall as the finale! My family had so much fun it was our favorite day of vacation you can climb to the top and look down the falls if your feeling adventurous ;) Tennessee is so beautiful! Bring water and hiking shoes as you are slightly uphill and there are a lot of roots and rocks to walk over during the walk 🗻❤️
  • This is a wonderful hike to a great destination. But, even though it's only about a mile and a half hike each way, the path is strewn with roots and other potential hazards and the altitude differential makes for some heavy breathing on a hot summer afternoon. Best to plan on 2 - 2 1/2 hours for the round trip.
  • Be aware there are black bears and rattlesnakes along the trail. We encountered both yesterday. A black bear was 20-30 feet behind us and we didn't see or hear him, until other hikers facing towards us started yelling.
  • This trail isn't horribly difficult but I wouldn't say it is easy either! It is a bit of an uphill to get to the waterfall but when you reach the falls it is well worth it! They are beautiful! It is a lot of fun to walk behind the waterfalls as well!
  • Loved this hike. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget. I do recommend the proper shoes though & bringing a little water etc. We were not prepared at all but it still turned out great ;) saw no bears on this hike but lots of evidence they were there!
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m