Grotto Falls, Gallatin County, Montana

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

Situated within Bozeman’s Hyalite Canyon, the beautiful Grotto Falls form from the gushing waters of Hyalite Creek, forming stunning pools and swimming holes.

The falls are easily accessible for most and definitely belong on your must-see list for your Bozeman visit. So, grab your swimsuit and comfy shoes and head on over.

We will take a closer look at Grotto Falls near Bozeman, including the best ways to get there and what you can do:

Details About Grotto Falls

grotto falls

Grotto Falls is located near Bozeman in Gallatin County, Montana. The falls are found within Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area, where many other waterfalls, lakes, streams, rivers, and other scenic locales are tucked in.

Can I Drive to Grotto Falls?

You may drive most of the way to Grotto Falls, with a short hike to get to the falls themselves. Drive from Bozeman on South 19th Avenue. Go about 6.5 miles and turn left onto Hyalite Canyon Road, following the road to the trailhead.

There’s a fork just before the inlet of the Hyalite Canyon Reservoir – take the right fork.

Are There Trails to Grotto Falls?

There’s an easy-paced, family-friendly trail to Grotto Falls that both kids and pets enjoy.

Grotto Falls Trail #432

According to hikers using All Trails, one of the most comprehensive hiking trail apps around, the trail length from the trailhead to the waterfall is 1.25 miles. In total, you’ll be hiking about 2.5 miles round trip on the out and back trail. The trail is a wide, natural dirt trail leading to the waterfall.

The trail climbs about 170 feet, making it an easy hike for almost anyone if they can cover the 2.5 round trip distance of the trail. Along the trail, you’ll see scenic meadows, evergreen forests, natural beauty, wildlife, and wildflowers.

The trail is well groomed and heavily trafficked. At the waterfall, you’ll find benches and picnic tables for your resting and picnic spot. The waterfall itself isn’t huge, but the volume of water flowing over the rocks makes up for the height!

The trail continues on to other waterfalls, as well, if you’re game for a longer hike and more beauty. Arch Falls, Champagne Falls, and Hyalite Lake are all along the trail’s destination list. Ultimately, the trail leads to Hyalite Peak, a soaring 10,298-foot peak.


Are There Lakes Near Grotto Falls?

Hyalite Lake is 10.9 miles from the trailhead on an out-and-back trail – the same one that takes you to Grotto Falls.

The rest of the route to the lake is considered challenging so not generally suggested for children or folks with mobility concerns.

What Can I Do at Grotto Falls?

gallatin county

At Grotto Falls, Gallatin County, you can go swimming, enjoy a pleasant picnic, play games in the area near the falls, or just sit and watch the falls for as long as your heart desires.

There is a minimum of hiking involved already, just to get to the falls, but further, more intensive hiking is available beyond the falls on the same trail or trails within the nearby trail system.

Grotto Falls is located near Bozeman, as well, so the activities nearby are nearly unlimited. Dining out, theater, film, shopping, window shopping, and much more is within half an hour’s time from Grotto Falls.

Visiting Grotto Falls in Gallatin County, Montana

Grotto Falls is a stunning natural feature near Bozeman, in Gallatin County Montana. The falls are accessible only via a short hike (2.5 miles round trip), with easy parking nearby.

Hike the mostly level trail with your kids, pets, and enjoy a picnic, swim in the waterfall pools, or a casual rest along the trek to higher points along the trail.

Before you head out, consider a few things:

  • Decide ahead of time if you plan to hike further than the waterfall so you can properly prepare
  • Bring a picnic or snack to enjoy at the base of the waterfall
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Pack snacks if you plan to hike past the waterfall
  • Wear comfortable hiking or walking shoes, with closed toes
  • Bring the pup along!
  • Wear or bring your swimsuit if you’d like to take a dip
  • Apply sunscreen before you set out
  • Wear sunglasses and other sun protection

Know this trail or waterfall? Let us know what we missed!

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About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a travel blogger and editor for over 5 years, working with some of the biggest brands in industry. She’s taught English as a foreign language in 5 different countries, and her most fulfilling role was as a tour guide around some of Europe’s finest vineyards. She the one behind the social channels here at Discovering Montana, whilst also finding the time to perform an assistant editor role.

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