gem icon Rainbow Falls

9 votes

Overview

Rainbow Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and a visit to the falls is certainly a worthwhile outing! The falls are named for the rainbow that can be seen in the mist on a sunny afternoon as the 80-foot tall waterfall cascades to the ground. If you aren't lucky enough to visit the falls on a sunny day, don't despair, as the falls are still equally impressive on a cloudy afternoon. Even in the winter, they are spectacular as during longer cold spells, a beautiful ice formation will build around the falls, sculpted by the still falling water.

Be sure to bring plenty of water, wear appropriate shoes, and do not climb on the rocks near the waterfalls as they tend to be slippery.

Half-Day Run: From the Rainbow Falls parking area, head out on the Rainbow Falls Trail. Come prepared for a moderately difficult 5.4 mile out and back run to the falls as the Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500 feet in elevation.

Family Friendly: While the trail to the falls is probably too difficult for younger kids, older kids will enjoy the challenge of this hike to explore the falls.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Kristen Arendt

0 Comments

Rate Gem


   Clear

4.1 from 9 votes


Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 7, 2017
Adam Steinhoff
This says 5.4 mile round trip. My Garmin Fenix 3 said it was 8.5. Pretty trail, but pack more food; something is fishy with the distances.

Nearby Trails

10.2 mi 16.4 km
Alum Cave Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
10.2 mi 16.4 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud - A bit wet, some mud, but well maintained.
59 days ago
54 
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.9 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
72 days ago
29 
4.2 mi 6.7 km
Chimney Tops Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
4.2 mi 6.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Last .25 miles to peak closed
3 days ago
25 
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
48 days ago
14 
15.6 mi 25.1 km
Hazel Creek Trail
Robbinsville, NC
15.6 mi 25.1 km Robbinsville, NC
Unknown
Update
Bryson City, NC
3.6 mi 5.8 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
28 days ago
13 
Bryson City, NC
49.4 mi 79.5 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
2.8 mi 4.5 km
Baskins Creek Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
2.8 mi 4.5 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
Bryson City, NC
0.8 mi 1.3 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
77 days ago
Gatlinburg, TN
0.5 mi 0.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
Shared by Kristen Arendt on Aug 4, 2016. All Page Views: 460. Last Month: 32.