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The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

The Grotto Waterfall & trail is more of a stroll, rather than a hike. At only 0.25 miles one way, this trail is very kid friendly. 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

Fees/permits? None

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

The Summer parking lot is large dirt parking area with tons of people!

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 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!

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Kids and dogs enjoy walking on these bridges. I was so hot I just walked through the creek in my Chacos.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Ahh, finally the trail to myself.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Cross a few more bridges.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 10 minutes from the TH you’ll have reached the Grotto Waterfall.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Charlie enjoys playing in the pool of water.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Now for a “how the trail really looks” photo – people everywhere.

The Grotto Trail and Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

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.

April 2020

The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

The winter gate makes your hikes 1.6 miles one way to the falls.

The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

Raging waters from spring run-off!

The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

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.

The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

Charlie loved the falls!

Check out my video!

Trail map for The Grotto Waterfall from the winter gate

Hiking to Salt Creek Canyon Falls

Hiking to Salt Creek Canyon Falls

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The Grotto Trail & Waterfall, Nebo Scenic Loop Road trails, Waterfalls in Utah

 

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