DIRECTIONS. Water levels can rise unexpectedly and even the best swimmers may be swept downstream by strong currents. Hikers should be aware of all State and Federal rules in these areas. Go right and just keep following the trail. west from … Although the Rainbow Falls Trail is difficult and will take 3-5 hours to hike, this is one of the most enjoyable and scenic hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Great hike with our kids! Just downstream is Stair Step Falls. Rated appropriate moderate as 1-2 way to falls is mostly downhill and the. Its combination of height and power are almost unmatched (save for perhaps Linville and Whitewater falls). For campgrounds with 24-hour access, please observe the Night-Time Public Closure Period guidelines and do not leave the campground between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. This is a easy out and back trail to Drift Falls in Gorges State Park. You will … Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. Absolutely worth it. Decent beginners hike, I always see always see a few kids on the trail. Several more smaller falls and some more scenery are located above Rainbow Falls, in case you're up for a longer hike of 4 miles round-trip. It's mostly wide enough to accommodate big groups, but please be courteous to your fellow trail users as this area is popular, especially on weekends. The are 2 sections of narrow, very shallow streams you cross on stepping stones. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Rainbow Falls Trail. We encourage park visitors to conduct their own First Day Hikes with members of their household. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. Whitewater Falls. Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The area surrounding Panthertown is incredibly scenic and offers some of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in Western NC. and turn L on Courthouse Falls trail, which descends 0.1 mi. In past years the only access to this waterfall was by way of a steep trail from Camp Greenville at the NC/SC border south of Brevard, NC. Rainbow Falls. Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. Visitor's Center and Trail to Rainbow Falls The Visitor's Center is closed because of the Covid-19 virus, but trail maps are available at the door and the restrooms are open. Hi/Low, RealFeel®, precip, radar, & everything you need to be ready for the day, commute, and weekend! It is not recommended that anyone swim in the Horse Pasture River. Waterfall is one of a kind and hard to beat. Fairly easy walk, steep in places for some but well worth it for the falls. Hikers report that the beautiful Rainbow Falls, lush vegatation, and amazing scenery make the difficult hike well worth it. The Rainbow Falls trail begins by the bulletin boards at the end of the parking area. This trail access is at the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Turtleback Falls and Rainbow Falls (Not for young children or the less than physically fit) Directions from Whitewater Falls – Exit parking lot to right (north) and continue on NC 281 for 7.5 miles. Some wet areas along path and lots of tree roots. for 10.7 mi. Review of Gorges State Park. Parks are open every other day of the holiday season, including New Year's Day. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park is one of my favorite waterfalls and trails in our area. Rainbow Falls NC: the hike. Use the Grassy Ridge Access entrance off of Hwy 281s, in Sapphire. Rainbow Falls Trail located in Gorges State Park, NC is a rally nice deep woods hike, that begins in Gorges State Park and ends in Pisgah National Forest at either Rainbow Falls or Turtleback Falls. For questions or updates, call the park office at (828) 966-9099. Very wet but a beautiful day with family. We enjoyed the beautiful views and clearly marked trails the entire way. After dri… hike Hiking Trail. Gorges State Park is one of the newest in North Carolina’s state park system, and with an annual rainfall of over 80 inches, the park classifies as a temperate rain forest. Please note that parks may be busy on New Year's Day, so please be prepared for parking delays and make backup plans. The Rainbow Falls Trail begins in Gorges State Park at their Grassy Ridge parking area. NOTE: Pets are not allowed on this trail. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Turn right into Gorges State Park. Nice trail and beautiful forest with background sound of the falls. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. Turtle Back is a very safe place for riding the waterfalls. Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. Departing Jones Gap, travel approximately .75 miles along the blue blazed Jones Gap Trail, then veer to the right onto the red blazed Rainbow Falls Trail. IMO, it’s better than Turtleback Falls so if you want to stop here, feel free to. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. https://www.exploreasheville.com/stories/post/rainbow-falls-and-turtleback-hike From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … Our 2.2 mile hike to Rainbow Falls begins at Jones Gap State Park. The trail is a little muddy in places from the waterfall’s mist. The 80-foot waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the national park, cascading dramatically over a jutting cliff face and … The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail … Gorges State Park. Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Rainbow Falls, SC. The trail is mostly downhill - so you will have an uphill walk much of the way back to the car (important to remember if you have small children! The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Started out around 9:30 this morning, a few folks at both falls. ADD TO LIST. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. You will cross into South Carolina approx. The plume of mist at the bottom creates a distinct rainbow effect, giving the falls its name. However, it is possible to view the falls during spring and winter from at least one point on the Hickory Nut Falls trail, at Chimney Rock Park. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Be aware that waterfalls can be extremely dangerous. Dry Falls. 9:00am to 5:00pm Amazing 200 ft falls. Do not bring young children, but it highly recommended for those who are capable of hiking a moderately difficult 5+ mile trail. Location: Gorges State Park near Sapphire NC Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. Follow the marked path upstream to the base of Rainbow Falls. When viewing the falls from the top, extreme caution should be used, as every year or so, someone is seriously hurt or killed in this area. My husband and I are experienced hikers and would rate the hike more of a "moderate" hike. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Only 5 years ago the hike to these falls was a strenuous all-day event involving a combination of overgrown trails and bushwhacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Le Conte. Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. Gorges State Park: Rainbow Falls Trail - See 312 traveler reviews, 266 candid photos, and great deals for Sapphire, NC, at Tripadvisor. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. There is even a large sloping rock next to the swimming hole that is great for relaxing. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order, Maintain a social distance of 6 feet, regardless of the behavior of others, Bring a mask or face covering; they are required to be worn inside buildings and when social distancing cannot be implemented, Share the trail — warn other trail users of your presence, step to the side or wait at the end of a bridge, Do not enter restrooms until others have cleared out and please be patient when staff is cleaning them, Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, Do not share equipment like phones or cameras with other visitors, If the park seems crowded when you arrive, come back another time, Stay at home if you are exhibiting symptoms. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. Details about taking this hike: Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail. Rainbow Falls is one of the biggest and most scenic falls in the region. Backcountry-style recreation is a hallmark of Gorges with distance hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding welcome in various parts of the rugged interior. Scroll down to see more content This 5 waterfall hike is a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, NC that features 4 waterfalls and is rated moderate. 100 yards past the falls and hike a steep path to the right. and turn R (W) on US 64 to return to Cashiers. Campgrounds remain open under the order. Reviewed June 3, 2018. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Just next to Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest, is the impressive 150ft tall Rainbow Falls of North Carolina. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. This magical sight can be seen at Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park, one of the best Western North Carolina waterfall hikes… All campsites are open. Due to construction from the developed campground project, the one-way section of the park road is temporarily closed. The picnic shelters are not currently available for reservations. east from Franklin, 9 mi. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbow Falls is just one of a … Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. Great trail, and the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen.. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. Follow the marked path upstream to the base of Rainbow Falls. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Named for the rainbow that sometimes appears from the abundant mist, this beauty is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the state and is easily reached via a 1.5 mile hike though a beautiful North Carolina Forest that starts in Gorges State Park and ends up in the Pisgah … After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. Hike the trails which lead to the panoramic views of Lake Superior and Whitesand Lake.The Rainbow Falls Trail located within the park is part of the 52 km Casque Isles Trail section of the Voyageur Trail that runs between the communities of Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Rossport. Several great places to get out on the rocks and look up and down the river. As you continue on, you'll soon come to Rainbow Falls, which is big and powerful. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Chestnut Mountain Road will be Closed from January 16th - March 9th 2021 for Road Repairs. Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. In past years the only access to this waterfall was by way of a steep trail from Camp Greenville at the NC/SC border south of Brevard, NC. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. The Horsepasture River thunders down a 125-foot drop spraying up a mist that creates rainbows that sparkle in the sunlight. Cullasaja Falls – Visible from U.S. 64, in Cullasaja Gorge, 11 mi. Enjoy! To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. You can hike a 1.5-mile riverside trail from Stairway past Turtleback Falls, passing Rainbow Falls and Hidden Falls along with many scenic rapids. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). This short hike along the Horsepasture River features outstanding views of 4 large waterfalls and good camping. Absolutely amazing! Make sure to wear boots, not sneakers, to pass the streams you have to walk through! It is one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. Trail Conditions: Elevation change of 1,700 feet; trail contains switchbacks and is rocky in sections. The area surrounding Panthertown is incredibly scenic and offers some of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in Western NC. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte. There's a mild eddy to the right of falls and current to the left so swim towards the shore once you take your plunge. 3.4 miles SW of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. A moderate 1.7 mile hike gets you to the first two falls but a little trail takes you up to the third one that boasts a swimming hole at it's base. Trail continues upriver (downhill splits to falls access). Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. Beautiful views! Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! awesome hike....the water was flowing heavy. Several signs … Gorges State Park. Rainbow falls is absolutely "Gorges" with Turtle Back falls not far after. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping us keep you, your fellow visitors and our staff safe as we open facilities at our parks. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls at Gorges State Park. Parks are not hosting any guided First Day Hikes on January 1. The trail leaves the visitor center headed upstream. Intermittent climbs. Travels from the Grassy Ridge parking area in Gorges State park, onto National Forest property, then down to the Horsepasture River above Stairway Falls. The 140-foot waterfall plunges over a granite cliff surrounded by steep granite walls in the secluded gorge. Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Call the park office for more information (828) 966-9099. There are signs to indicate when you are entering and leaving State Park property. Turtleback Falls and Rainbow Falls (Not for young children or the less than physically fit) Directions from Whitewater Falls – Exit parking lot to right (north) and continue on NC 281 for 7.5 miles. It's about 1.3 miles to Hidden Falls (about 2/10 of a mile before Rainbow Falls). A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the visitor center. Continue up the trail to get to Turtleback Falls. Sorry for any inconvienance. It will be more difficult to view the falls during the summer and fall due to foliage on the trees, and binoculars will make viewing them easier. Easy trail perfect for all types of adventurers. In all, Casey said, there are 11 warning signs from the park to Rainbow Falls, and then a short hike upstream to Turtleback Falls, where there have been fatalities in past years. Beautiful autumn hike to see the 3 falls along this trail. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). Access to Rainbow Falls is prohibited. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! From the trailhead, hike a short ways through mixed forest with some blueberry bushes and sassafras lining the trail until you hit a trail junction. There is a heavy fence along the trail, where you can get very clear views of the falls, and the large rock cliffs the water falls down. Lots of ups and downs and lots of stairs. Start the trail by descending on a moderate grade downhill. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC ( view maps and driving directions ). The Horsepasture River swells in the rainy season, dumping a cascade of water 150 feet. The rainbow was spectacular and so fun to go under. Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. You should find a flat with firepit and nice hammock trees. Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. The Rainbow Falls Trail to Mount LeConte is a challenging 13.8 mile hike with a total elevation gain of 3,993 feet. We came here to hike the Rainbow Falls Trail. 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