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Grotto Falls

 4.6 (21)


2.6 Miles 4.2 Kilometers

515' 157 m


-516' -157 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (11°)

3,690' 1,125 m


3,174' 968 m


Shared By Michael Flanigan


All Clear 4 days ago
Some Mud History

Getting forecast...

One of the few waterfalls you can hike behind in the Smokies.

Michael Flanigan

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Family Friendly Not too steep or too long. We did Grotto Falls as a family hike with my 6 year old son. My son loved going under/behind the waterfall.

Roaring Fork Motor Trail is closed during the winter. Check the NPS site for road closures to make sure that the road is open.


A fun and relatively easy hike that can be enjoyed by the entire family.


The trail is not too steep and is in pretty good shape. There are spots that have a lot of roots or are pretty rocky, but most of the trail is dirt until the last 150 ft or so around the waterfall. There are a few places where shallow (< 2 inches deep) streams run across the trail. Most of these you can get through without getting wet.

Along the trail, there are several places that you give you a good view of the area. We also saw several different insect species (butterflies, millipedes, and caterpillars) on or near the trail. My son loved looking for these insects which kept him interested as we were hiking.

The hike took us a little over 2 hours, but we also stopped and had snacks at the waterfall and took several pictures. Going to the falls, the trail is all uphill even though it is not very steep. But what goes up, must come down! When hiking with a small child, it's nice to be able to say "it's all downhill from here".

The only drawback to this trail is that parking can be difficult. It is a pretty popular trail being so close to Gatlinburg. The actual parking for this trail is a fairly small lot, and there are lots of cars on the side of the road. We ended up parking about half a mile from the actual trail on a gravel shoulder.

Other than the parking, this was a fun hike with our family.

Flora & Fauna

Salamanders and varying insects that my 6 year old liked.


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Your Check-Ins


Oct 20, 2018
JustinandAngie Bowers
Oct 16, 2018
Courtney Fisher
Oct 11, 2018
Lacey Gaylord
Oct 10, 2018
Ashley Troyer
Oct 9, 2018
Kristi Stainback
Oct 5, 2018
Justin Malbrough
Sara, George, Lorraine and I hiked this on Friday afternoon. Trail wasn’t that crowded. Waterfall wasn’t that large but it was cool hiking behind i… 2.6mi
Sep 30, 2018
Jennifer Wicker
Hiked to the falls
Sep 29, 2018
Stacy Dorn
3.5 miles in around 2 hours

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 21 votes


in Roaring Fork


  4.6 from 21 votes
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