Grotto Falls is one of our favorite hikes! The trail is short and easy, so most everyone is able to hike this trail. And the waterfall is in a small little grotto, which is like its own personal cave. We especially love this hike in the Fall, but it’s extra fun in the summer, too, when you can splash in the water a little bit.
- Distance: 0.6 mile RT
- Rating: Easy
- Elevation change: 180 ft.
- Dog Friendly: Yes
Grotto Falls hike is beautiful. It walks through the shady woods and next to a small stream. My boys love that there are little bridges to walk across the water. There are at least 7, and they always insist on crossing with no assistance. These bridges are nothing more than some boards that someone has laid down, so if you aren’t up for balancing across them, this trail might not be for you. See the pictures below to decide.
The best part of the trail is the end, of course, when you arrive at Grotto Falls. For those of you who don’t know (like I didn’t before Dad explained), a grotto is a cave formed by water. That is exactly what you come across at the end of this hike: a small cave that has been carved out by a waterfall. The boys always enjoy throwing rocks in the water, and exploring the little cave. You can stay mostly dry if you’d like or get extra wet by walking right under the waterfall. The hike to Grotto Falls only took us about 20 minutes, about 1/3 mile each way.
We lucked out and arrived when everyone was leaving, so we had the cave to ourselves, but we passed quite a few people on the way down. This trail can be very popular, especially during the summer. We think this trail is perfect for young and beginning hikers.
We visit this waterfall every year and it never disappoints. We also recommend it to everyone who is looking for an easy outing, and the drive along the Nebo Loop is beautiful. You can pair this adventure with Payson Lakes that are nearby. Or if you are looking for other easy waterfall trails, check out our Easy Waterfall Hikes in Utah for more ideas.
Grotto Falls is located 7 miles up on the Nebo Loop from Payson, UT. There is a large parking lot right before the road curves to head up the mountain.