Summary: Your hike will begin along a easy wide and popular path to Grotto Falls. When you reach the falls you will follow the trail behind the falls. From this point you will start a steady climb to Trillium Gap maybe sharing the trail with the Llamas carrying supplies to Mt LeConte.At 2.8 mi you reach the junction of Brushy Mtn Trail which is a good resting point before the final 3.6 mi.There are several creek crossings which are tricky along with the rocks and roots.You trail will reach the backside of the cabins of Mt LeConte, turn left at the sign that reads "AT Shelter".The grassy path will go beside some more cabins before reaching the junction of the Boulevard and Rainbow Falls Trails.The piped spring you pass is for overnighters that can treat the water, if you need a re-fill the is a pump well near the lodge.For a lunch break you can sit on the porch of the lodge or take a side trail to the Cliff Tops and enjoy views from 6550'!Return using Trillium Gap Trail.
Trailhead: I-40 Exit 407 follow Hwy 66 South 8 miles to 441 South to Gatlinburg;turn left at traffic light #8, take Historic Nature Trail Dr. The road will turn into one lane. The main Trillium Gap Tailhead at the Rainbow Falls Parking Area but drive past it and located 2 miles is the Grotto Falls Trailhead below the parking area. By starting here you can cut off 4.6 miles of your hike that is just road side trail.
This section of the motor trail is closed during Nov-Mar so you would need to start at the Rainbow Falls parking area and use the Trillium Gap Trailhead and add 4.6mi to your trip.
Trail Guides for Mt Leconte/Trillium Gap Trail:
Day Hikes in GSMNP
by Johnny Molloy ()
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: GSMNP Headquarters 865-436-0120
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Bobby Trotter, who has posted 74 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Viewer on 8/3/2008
We only went as far as Grotto Falls but they are beautiful and the kids loved going behind them. Easy hike for most. Carried my 4 year old 1/3 of way. Wife carried our 4 month old. Saw a bear cub. Definiately will go back and eventually make it all the way up.
Reviewed by Shannon on 10/10/2007
I'm 15 years old, and have hiked Mt. LeConte four times! I love this hike. My family and I have gone up and down many times, and I would go so many more... It is a difficult hike for beginners, but the difficulty is well worth the bearing for the reward recieved by the view from the Lodge, and from Cliff Tops. If you love hiking, I HIGHLY recommend this trail!!!
Reviewed by Donna on 7/31/2006
Let me begin by saying that my husband and I have NEVER hiked before so we started out going as far as Grotto Falls, which are very beautiful. We felt pretty good and decided to continue. We went as far as Brushy Mountain and returned to the trailhead at Grotto Falls because we had no more water and had brought no snacks or lunch. (We never dreamed that we would want to continue on and hike nearly six miles!) We LOVED the experience and have decided to look into the Ozark Trail (in Missouri where we live) and are making plans to return to the beautiful Smoky Mountains to continue our new interest!
Reviewed by Robert Todd on 6/13/2006
I hiked this trail with my wife and 3 sons (8,6,4). We only went to Brushy Mountain. I only carried my 4 year old twice. All my kids loved the view at Brushy mountain. We had lunch and then went back down total time 6 hr 15 min with 3 kids. Hopefully in 2 years we will make it to Le Conte
Reviewed by Julia on 6/6/2005
For inexperined Hikers I review:Rainbow Falls hike is extremely strenuous. Leave at least 3 hours to up the trail to the falls. theer are very dark and cool hemlock groves. But the geologicla information is worth it. This area is filled with Glacial rock activity. bears and deer withn eyesight. Coming down in tehdark is trecherous. but can be done. I fell twice. Use flashlight. I loved it, and when in better shape will prbably hike it again.
Reviewed by Julia on 5/30/2005
The trail winds upwards of about 2 miles at a 25 to 28 degree incline. The trails just this past Memorial Day pre weekend were slowly loosing it Trillium flowers and other flora. If you look down you will see white fuzzball flowers, trilliums and other flowers. The roots of the trees make water breaks and at times make the trail narrow. There are 3 smaller waterfalls as you climb up. All have to be crossed in order to get to the main fall. They are opportunities to look at smaller versions and to grab a cool drink or refill a water bottle. There are scattered throughout the trails on the sides and overlooking the stream runoffs, perfect examples of glacial rock debris. Large boulders the size of VWs, SUVS, that literally litter the
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Tennessee Hiking, Tennessee Trails, Tennessee Hikes, Sevier County Hiking, Sevier County Trails, Sevier County Hikes