Height of Falls: 25'
Round-Trip Hike: 3.0 mi.
Difficulty: Moderate / Hourly
The cool, moist environment surrounding Grotto Falls makes it an ideal destination not only for summer hikers, but for salamanders as well. The 25-foot-high waterfall is located just off the Trillium Gap Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The access trail for the Trillium Gap Trail is on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Trillium Gap Trail actually runs through an old-growth hemlock forest behind Grotto Falls. The hike to reach the falls is three miles round trip and is considered moderate in difficulty. It usually takes between two and three hours to hike to the waterfall and back.
While the roar of the waterfall may make carrying on a conversation difficult, the main draw of Grotto Falls is the opportunity to be able to walk behind it. In addition to the visual spectacle it provides, the rushing cool waters make for a welcome respite from the heat of hiking.