This post is part of a travel series of our vacation in the Smokey Mountains. To start at the beginning, go HERE! The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!
Hello! If you missed me last week I am back from a one week blogging break. I didn't intend to take a break, but the kids and grandkids were all here for the 4th of July holiday week and we were so busy I never had time to blog. We had so much fun and I can't wait to tell you all about it, but I really want to finish this travel series to the Smokey Mountains first. I'm almost done with this series, I promise! I think I have about two posts left.
This week I am sharing our hike to Grotto Falls. Grotto Falls is a very popular hike in Smokey Mountain National Park because it is the only waterfall in the park you can "legally" walk behind. I say this, because my hubby and many others disobeyed the warning signs, and climbed the rocks and walked behind Rainbow Falls.
Grotto Falls is 25 feet high.
The hike to Grotto Falls is rated as "Easy" as it is only 2.6 miles roundtrip with a 565 elevation gain. However, to get the "Easy" hike you need to access the trailhead from the Roaring Forks Motor Road which is closed in the winter. You can get to Grotto Falls from other trails, but then you will add another 3.4 miles to your trip. When we were there it was very early spring, and the road did not open until the VERY LAST DAY of our vacation. I was so grateful, the road actually opened on our last day, because it was one of my favorite highlights of our vacation.
The hike to the waterfall is very unimpressive. It did not offer amazing views like Laurel Falls or have constant beauty all along the trail like Alum Cave Trail. And we actually found the river area leading up to the falls kind of "messy", filled with old fallen timber washed down the mountain. I know, it's "natural", but not very photogenic.
We did come across our first snake on this trail. This black snake was just hanging out in a tree along side the trail.
You cross four small streams on this trail without footbridges.
Because we reached this trail in the late afternoon it was quite busy. I much would have preferred being there bright and early in the morning to have the whole place to myself. But we were so busy visiting other areas of the park on day five, that we couldn't get to Grotto Falls until late in the day. I'm sure the crowds affected my feelings about this trail. Perhaps I would have had a more positive feeling if there were less people.
When we reached Grotto Falls, everyone waited "in line" to have their picture taken behind the falls.
It is quite slippery behind the falls as the stone is constantly wet. There are no handrails, so I was grateful to have my walking sticks.
Below I've added three short videos. The first one is when we first started driving the Roaring Forks Motor Road. It was my favorite scenic road in the park. I liked it more than the Cades Cove Loop...and I really loved that one too! I will share more about our drive on the Roaring Forks Motor Road next week, but the video gives you just a taste of what's to come. It is much more narrow of a road than the Cades Cove Loop, and there is also an elevation gain that can be pretty scary on such a narrow road.
The next two videos show Grotto Falls. The first one is taken from the front of the falls and the second one is taken from behind.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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