Trillium Gap “Brushy Mountains” Trail


Trillium Gap: Brushy Mountains Trail: 5.8 Mile Hike with Mountains

  • The Brushy Mountains Trail via Trillium Gap is known for its old-growth groves and stunning waterfalls.
  • The route is moderately difficult with 6.8 miles round trip and more than 1,700 feet elevation gain.

Brushy Mountains Trail description:

This trail ascends to Grotto Falls, on Roaring Fork Creek. It is a popular hike due to the waterfall payoff. The 25-foot plunge, with its misty alcove, is certainly one of the most scenic peaks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It’s a little more than a mile away from the sunscape akumal trailhead, but you have amazing natural sights at your disposal before you get there. Tramping through cove-hardwood forest, an example of the vast amount of virgin woods that is protected in the Great Smokies, will be your next adventure. You should keep an eye out for large old eastern hemlocks. They are among the most spectacular conifers in this range. Spring through summer, forest wildflowers–trillium, Dutchman’s breeches, and others–brighten the ground cover.

Grotto Falls is a waterfall that feeds a pool in a jungle-like setting. It takes just a little over a mile to reach it. You will be amazed at the breathtaking view from the trail that leads to the water chute.

After passing Grotto Falls, you’ll be able to climb to Trillium Gap, a wooded pass along the southern flanks the Brushy Mountains. It is three miles from the trailhead. This intersection is where you will find the Trillium Gap Trail towards Mount Le Conte, which runs to the south. The Brushy Mountains Trail coming from Porters Flat comes in from the east. And the path to the top Brushy Mountains, which you choose–the one that ascends to the north.

The summit is only a quarter mile away through dense mountain-laurel and rhododendron forests. The shrubby crown of Brushy Mountains in the Southern Appalachians is known as a “heath-bald”. It is a name that refers to the spectacular view from the summit. You can see Mount Winnesoka, Mount Le Conte, Mount Guyot and Mount Guyot all within reach, along with Charles Bunion, Greenbrier pinnacle chiflada and other iconic landmarks of eastern Smoky Mountains.

Insider Tips

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail is usually tucker smith open from spring to late fall. You can reach Brushy Mountain from Cherokee Orchard Road by the Rainbow Falls Trail or via the Porters Creek Trail from Greenbrier.

Grotto Falls and the Roaring Fork Gorge can be slippery.

-View wise, make sure to look at Mount Guyot and Mount Le Conte, which are, at 6,593 and 6,621 respectively, the highest mountains in the Great Smokies.