The Grotto Trail & Waterfall
Not only is the distance short, but at the end is a rewarding waterfall that is a popular hang out on hot weekends throughout summer. Be ready to pass anywhere from 50-100 people on this trail – you won’t find solitude unless you get there really early in the morning. This trail is great for dogs to cool off as well, as they are allowed off leash. From November 15 until May 15 (winter), there is a gate making the walk 1.6 miles one way to the falls.
From SLC drive south on I-15 and take exit 250 for Payson, UT. At the first light, turn left onto E 100 N. At the next light, turn right onto the Nebo Scenic Loop Road. Reset your odometer to 0, and drive 6.7 miles to the trailhead on your left. There is a very large dirt parking area on the right side of the road. No restrooms are available. Here is a driving map from Payson, UT.
Distance: 0.25 miles one way
From the winter gate: 1.6 miles one way
Elevation gain: 200 ft
Time: 20 minutes – 1 hour, depending on how long you stay at the waterfall
Dog friendly? Yes off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
The Summer parking lot is large dirt parking area with tons of people!
The trail is very wide, but as you can see, I’ve already encountered lots of people. I knew going into this I wouldn’t be the only person there, but went merely for Charlie to cool off after our hike up to Santaquin Peak. He was pretty hot, and I knew he’d enjoy some water time. The things we do for our dogs!
Kids and dogs enjoy walking on these bridges. I was so hot I just walked through the creek in my Chacos.
Ahh, finally the trail to myself.
Cross a few more bridges.
10 minutes from the TH you’ll have reached the Grotto Waterfall.
Charlie enjoys playing in the pool of water.
Now for a “how the trail really looks” photo – people everywhere.
After our big hike up to Santaquin Peak, and finally The Grotto Trail, Charlie was done for the day! He fell asleep within 5 minutes of being in the car.
The winter gate makes your hikes 1.6 miles one way to the falls.
Raging waters from spring run-off!
So nice to cool off in the water and shade. This time I had the falls all to myself for a good 15 minutes. The best time to go is definitely April while its starting to warm up but the gate is still closed. Way less people.
Charlie loved the falls!
Check out my video!
My track via Gaia GPS from the winter gate – the best tracking app! Get your app here for a discount.
Hiking to Salt Creek Canyon Falls
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