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gem icon Rainbow Falls

11 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

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4.2 from 11 votes


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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.

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Shared by Kristen Arendt on Aug 4, 2016. All Page Views: 543. Last Month: 47.