Smoky Mountain Waterfalls: Grotto Falls

Smoky mountain rocky river flowing in autumn fall leaves nature

Grotto Falls is off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It is 2.4 miles roundtrip though a hemlock dominated forest. This easy trail crosses three small streams and leads behind the falls. The cool moist environment at the falls is perfect for salamanders and summer hikers. The walk is easy, the way broad, and the falls peaceful and refreshing. Though often crowded, Grotto Falls is an excellent stop over in route to Mount LeConte. Large boulders and fallen trees offer plenty of seating. The falls itself is 15 – 20 feet high, usually having a good amount of water coming over. The trail takes you right behind the falls! This is an exciting initiation into the ‘wilderness experience’ for many. Wet rocks are extremely slippery; be very careful. The scenery here is hardwood bottomland, somewhat rocky and rooty, but quite negotiable for even the out of shape hiker.