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Grotto Falls Trail – Payson Canyon Utah

Payson Canyon, Utah


Grotto Trail, the grotto waterfall


About .6 miles round trip

Parking Lot Elevation

6334 ft

Summit Elevation

6430 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

96 ft

Time Required

less than 45 minutes


Allowed on leash



Water Info

Bring a bottle of water.
Follows Peteetneet creek to the waterfall

Best Season

Summer, fall


Open year round

Sun Exposure

Lots of shade

Trail Condition

Good dirt trail




Bring snacks as needed

GPS Coordinates:

Trailhead: 39.95152, -111.67583
Grotto Waterfall: 39.94849, -111.67764

Trail Map

Driving Directions

The Trail:

Grotto Trail

I have had my eye on the Grotto Falls Trail for a few months now.  I wanted to go when I knew the fall colors were going to be out in full force and I sure wasn’t disappointed!

This family friendly hike is definitely for all ages and skill levels.  It is only about .3 miles to the grotto waterfall and there are plenty of wood and log bridges for your kids to enjoy as you cross over the shallow Peteetneet creek multiple times.  As I was coming back from the waterfall I stopped to speak with someone who I found out lived in the Payson area.  She told me that this is a local favorite hike and a “hidden gem” for Utah County.  I believe her!  This hike was really cool even though it was short and easy.

Grotto Trail

The trail begins at a sharp bend in the road where there is plenty of parking.  You will see a sign that says “Grotto Trail” and this is where you will begin.

Grotto Trail

The trail follows shallow Peteetneet creek (at least it was shallow when I hiked this in early Fall) for the entire .3 miles to the waterfall.  The dirt trail was easy to see and follow and I didn’t encounter any problems.

Grotto Trail Grotto Trail Grotto Trail

There are only a few stairs along the way.

Grotto Trail

You will soon come to the first wood/log bridges.  While I was coming up the trail there was a big family coming down.  Their kids were really enjoying crossing over on the logs and creek.

Grotto Trail Grotto Trail Grotto Trail Grotto Trail

I was hiking kind of slow taking pictures of the fall colors when I looked at my GPS and it said I only hiked about 10 minutes – this hike is short!

Just before you know it, you will turn a corner to find the Grotto and the waterfall.

 Grotto Trail

The waterfall is probably less than 15 feet tall but it was really peaceful to be surrounded by this rock grotto and hearing the water splash down.  You can see in my pictures that the creek isn’t deep too.  I can imagine in the summer it would feel really nice to be here when it is hot.

Grotto Trail Grotto Trail


You can also take a short trail just before the grotto that will give you a view above the falls. There is loose footing so be careful and probably don’t let your kids take the climb. I loved the different perspective!

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On the way back the sun was beginning to set and I got some great photos of the fall colors.

Grotto Trail

Personal Thoughts:

The Grotto Trail is a trail I would recommend you doing even if you plan on just passing through Payson on your way down/up I-15.  It was worth the short stop and it was beautiful to see all the vibrant colors of leaves.  Bring your kids!

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Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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