Fall Adventures Free activities Hikes Water activities Waterfalls

Grotto Falls

(Last Updated On: August 31, 2020)

Grotto Falls is one of our favorite hikes! This week we went for our annual autumn drive up the Nebo Loop (Payson Canyon). The leaves were beautiful, but we also stopped because Dad wanted to try a new trail. I wasn’t prepared with good hiking shoes, just some old slip on shoes, but it proved to be a very easy trail.

Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls

Hike Info:

  • Distance: 0.6 mile RT
  • Rating: Easy
  • Elevation change: 180 ft.
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

The hike was beautiful, through the woods and next to the stream. My boys loved that there were little bridges to walk across. There were at least 7, and they insisted 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.

There are a few bridges/boards to cross on the way to Grotto Falls.
These are a few of the bridges you cross on the way to Grotto Falls.
We love hiking Grotto Falls in the fall.
The bridges–there are 4 in a row right here.

The best part, of course, is the end–you come to a little waterfall. 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 had fun throwing rocks in the water, and exploring the little cave, and they only got slightly wet. It only took us about 20 minutes to hike to the falls, probably about 1/3 mile each way.

The sign at the trailhead.
The sign at the trailhead.
My boys loved these stairs built into the trail.
My boys loved these stairs built into the trail.
It's not really a cave-- but you can't tell him that.
It’s not really a cave– but you can’t tell him that.
Grotto Falls
Enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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. I think it is a popular attraction, and probably pretty high traffic in the summer. But it is worth it, especially for young hikers. This is a great beginning hike!

Our kids love sticking their hats in the waterfall to cool off.
Our kids love sticking their hats in the waterfall to cool off.
The Grotto is a nice shady place to cool off.
It is a beautiful little hike!
Grotto Falls is a great little waterfall.
Grotto Falls isn’t tall, but it’s fun!

We have been back quite a few times and even in the summer with the crowds, we always enjoy visiting Grotto Falls. It’s our favorite place to take friends and spend some time enjoying the outdoors.


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.

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