Length: 3 miles roundtrip
from nearest parking lot
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Highest Elevation: 3,777 feet
Total Elevation: 585 feet
Scenery: Waterfalls, old
Hiking Grotto Falls:
your hike of Grotto Falls trail you will follow the Trillium Gap trail as it cuts
through a forest filled with large hemlock trees. During the month of May you
will also see an array of wildflowers ranging from white and yellow trillium,
to white violets and stitchwort.
full hike of Grotto Falls trail will be a moderate climb through a wide worn out path
that will put you in a peaceful state of mind as you cross four small streams.
After about a mile into the trail, hikers will come across a tumbling cascade
where by looking upstream Grotto Falls will come into view in the distance. This
waterfall is unique, as it’s the only fall in the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park that has a walking path directly behind it. This provides a
unique experience and allows for a cool and misty break area for summer hikers.
It also makes for a nice spot to look for salamanders.
away from the falls is the Brushy Mountain summit and 5.6 miles from the
waterfall is the trail to reach the Mt. LeConte summit. Both summits will offer
some of the most rewarding views of the area.
Remember it is important to drink
plenty of water for any hike into the mountains. Portions of the trail can get
very rocky and uneven so sturdy hiking shoes are also recommended. Pets and
bicycles are prohibited on the trail.
Directions to the Grotto Falls Trail:
- Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail/
Airport Road. From there you will veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road.
- After driving 2.2 miles you will arrive at the one-way Cherokee Orchard
- You will drive for about a mile on the loop before turning right onto the
Roaring Fork Nature Trail.
- Parking for the Grotto Falls Trail will be on the left side of the road
after 1.6 miles on the loop. The trailhead can be found on the opposite side of