Monday, October 28, 2013

Hiking to Grotto Falls

The next morning of our summer vacation in the Smoky Mountains, we woke up early and made breakfast.  After eating our breakfast outside on the deck of our cabin, we headed over to Grotto Falls.  Townsend to Grotto Falls is about a 30 minute ride.  You need to go into Gatlinburg and take the scenic, narrow, very high drive on the Roaring Fork Nature Trail.  This road is only one-way and only 10 miles per hour, but a beautiful drive.

We were lucky enough to find a parking space at the trail head for Grotto Falls.  The weather was nice, cool and sunny with no chance of rain.  (I would not recommend this trail in the rain, it is not paved and rocky)

The Grotto Falls Trail is a Moderate Trail that takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete.  There are bears on this trail.  We saw one last year.  This year a lady coming down the trail said they saw two bears on the trail ahead, luckily we did not see any.  Just remember Black Bear Safety.

On this trail, you have to cross four streams.  These are fun to cross, if you are not dizzy or have stitches to worry about.  I did lose my balance once.  I have now accepted that I am not able to do what I want on this trip, I have to take my time and be slow and use a walking stick and my daughter held on to me.  I felt like an 80 year old, but wait even they were doing better than me. (i hope to be that active when I am 80).  Some days are diamonds, Some days are stone.  Hopefully next time I get to visit, I will be in good condition again.

Anyways, we kept on trekking to the top.

We were almost there, when we ran into a crowd of people.  You just had to wait in line the rest of the way up behind the falls.

It was worth the wait to go behind the falls.  The cool mist blowing in your face.

People were climbing all over the rocks, especially near the falls.  I don't think that is a good idea, one wrong move, not worth it.  Please, please, please follow the waterfall safety guidelines.

If you look around in the area behind the falls, you may see some salamanders.

After the hike, we enjoyed driving the rest of the way through the Roaring Fork Nature Trail.

You can read about our hike to Grotto Falls last year when we saw the bear here.