Rainbow Falls Trail. Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. Rainbow Falls is the first one you’ll encounter. About a mile and a half down stream is the impressive Rainbow Falls. As of October 3, we are following modified Phase 3. Please follow social distancing guidelines, and bring a cloth face covering so you can wear one when you encounter other visitors along the trail. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. Our 2.2 mile hike to Rainbow Falls begins at Jones Gap State Park. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! The trailhead for the Summey Cove Trail is on L next to bridge; hike 0.2 mi. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail … 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. Continuing upriver, Turtleback Falls (Umbrella Falls) are reached in 0.3miles. Added by Ivan Snyder Waterfalls are always amazing, and Rainbow Falls has three! 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. 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. Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. This waterfall is named Rainbow Falls because on sunny days after the mist rolls out, you will be able to see a rainbow. Sorry for any inconvienance. Just downstream is Stair Step Falls. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. Enjoy! Amazing 200 ft falls. Great trail, tremendous views. The 80-foot waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the national park, cascading dramatically over a jutting cliff face and … Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. Follow the marked path upstream to the base of Rainbow Falls. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500' in elevation. These falls are spectacular and worth seeing in any season. Whitewater Falls. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. Drive to parking lot at the end of road (2 mi in). Fantastic hike and experience. NOTE: Pets are not allowed on this trail. You should find a flat with firepit and nice hammock trees. Rainbow Falls NC Rainbow Falls is tall, and absolutely gorgeous. 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. Hi/Low, RealFeel®, precip, radar, & everything you need to be ready for the day, commute, and weekend! Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). DIRECTIONS. The waterfall is enormous, and you can get a really good view from the overlook on the trail or you can take a smaller trail down to the bottom of the falls (just be careful). Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. To start your hike, go to the Grassy Ridge parking area in Gorges State Park. The rainbow was spectacular and so fun to go under. 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. Rainbow Falls is a beauty. Dry Falls. Come prepared for a moderately difficult 5.4 mile out and back hike to the falls as the Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500 feet in elevation. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. Nice trail with some pretty Mountain Views, a couple of easy creek crossings and three falls. 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. There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. … FEATURED IN. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. 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 … The Rainbow Falls Trail to Mount LeConte is a challenging 13.8 mile hike with a total elevation gain of 3,993 feet. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The 7,500-acre park incorporates a portion the long-distance Foothills Trail and touches Lake Jocassee at the South Carolina border. The trail continues past the falls for a total of 6.7 miles up to the summit of Mt. To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. Review of Gorges State Park. Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Rainbow Falls, SC. The Crabtree Falls Loop Trail has made several of our lists, including 11 incredible hikes in under five miles. The are 2 sections of narrow, very shallow streams you cross on stepping stones. Lots of ups and downs and lots of stairs. Travels from the Grassy Ridge parking area in Gorges State park, onto National Forest property, then down to the Horsepasture River above Stairway Falls. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. The trail is a little muddy in places from the waterfall’s mist. Be aware that waterfalls can be extremely dangerous. Hiking boots recommended. 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. Many people out enjoying the trail. We encourage park visitors to conduct their own First Day Hikes with members of their household. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. east from Franklin, 9 mi. This includes the roadside overlook. 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. The parking area is part of the Gorges State Park and is clearly designated. Some wet areas along path and lots of tree roots. A hidden-gem waterfall hike in a lush forest. Just next to Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest, is the impressive 150ft tall Rainbow Falls of North Carolina. This is a great place for a summer swim. After dri… Driving to the Trailhead: Take Historic Nature Trail Drive (traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg) into the park.At mile 3.4, just after the road becomes one-way, turn right into the Rainbow Falls Parking Area. Its combination of height and power are almost unmatched (save for perhaps Linville and Whitewater falls). Lots of mountain laurel and rhododendren make for a great hike in late spring. Great trail, and the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen.. ). Rainbow Falls gets its name from the mist that’s generated & often creates a rainbow effect when the sun is bright. Continue up the trail to get to Turtleback Falls. Whitewater Falls. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). There is a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls for those adventurous visitors looking for a place to cool off. Decent beginners hike, I always see always see a few kids on the trail. The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. This trail access is at the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Dry Falls is a kid-friendly hike with only a quarter of a mile trail to reach the 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. It’s mostly downhill on the way to the falls and uphill on the way out. Fun and easy trail with a beautiful waterfall as a reward. 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. Please note that parks may be busy on New Year's Day, so please be prepared for parking delays and make backup plans. 1615 Mail Service Center My sister came with us - … Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species, and exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive visitor center with its museum-quality exhibits, augmented by picnic grounds and shelters. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. From the Visitor Center the trail leads upstream to spectacular Rainbow Falls. Turtle Back is a very safe place for riding the waterfalls. Rainbow Falls. This magical sight can be seen at Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park, one of the best Western North Carolina waterfall hikes… 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. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park is one of my favorite waterfalls and trails in our area. The falls are located on Nantahala National Forest property, but accessed from Gorges State Park's Grassy Ridge access. It then heads up the Horsepasture river to Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls, and ends at the private property boundary just below Drift Falls. The picnic shelters are not currently available for reservations. to the 60 ft. falls. From here, climb approximately 1,000 feet … The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. 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. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. west from … The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. You will cross into South Carolina approx. This short hike along the Horsepasture River features outstanding views of 4 large waterfalls and good camping. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You will cross into South Carolina approx. Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. If you stay straight on the trail, you'll end up at another waterfall: Jones Gap Falls. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. If backpacking overnight follow the river approx. The area surrounding Panthertown is incredibly scenic and offers some of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in Western NC. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). Turn right into Gorges State Park. Trails and restrooms are open. 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. This is a easy out and back trail to Drift Falls in Gorges State Park. For specific details about each park, please visit the park website page. Both falls were nice we were able to sit and enjoy Turtleback by ourselves. At about the halfway point, the trail turns to the right to head up to Rainbow Falls. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. Within the next.3 mi you will come upon Turtleback falls (10ft), and a 3rd ' … All North Carolina state parks are closed on Christmas Day, December 25. Details about taking this hike: Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail. Heavy traffic. Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. Rainbow Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Visiting the Falls. As you continue on, you'll soon come to Rainbow Falls, which is big and powerful. IMAGE VIA @GOLDNEOPHOBIA | INSTAGRAM. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. waterfall in Pigsah National Forest accessed by trailhead starting in Gorges State Park. We enjoyed the beautiful views and clearly marked trails the entire way. Camping reservations must be done online. 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 hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC ( view maps and driving directions ). Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbow Falls is just one of a … Other backcountry campsites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. Good track.ups and downs and some mud from waterfall spray. Beautiful views! Rainbow Falls, SC. awesome hike....the water was flowing heavy. Hikers report that the beautiful Rainbow Falls, lush vegatation, and amazing scenery make the difficult hike well worth it. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. Access to Rainbow Falls is prohibited. Rainbow Falls drops 100 feet over steep walls streaked with black and tan from the alternating layers of amphibolite gneiss, granitic gneiss, and mica schist. After dri… 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. It is one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. Make sure to wear boots, not sneakers, to pass the streams you have to walk through! From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … and turn L on Courthouse Falls trail, which descends 0.1 mi. View the cascading waters as they plunge over the rock ledges of Rainbow Falls on their way to Lake Superior. For questions or updates, call the park office at (828) 966-9099. My husband and I are experienced hikers and would rate the hike more of a "moderate" hike. View the contact sheet for the email address and phone number of each park », (General information – please do not call this number for camping or park-specific questions), Office Hours To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. Water levels can rise unexpectedly and even the best swimmers may be swept downstream by strong currents. 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. Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. The trail to Rainbow Falls is a good example of this. The falls themselves are gorgeous, the trail itself is kind of average. This one is known for its rainbows, which can be seen in the ample mist they produce. The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail … After about 1/2 mile you can hear the rushing water of Turtleback Falls. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the visitor center. The Rainbow Falls trail begins by the bulletin boards at the end of the parking area. 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. Backtrack back to the parking lot. 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. Rainbow Falls. There are signs to indicate when you are entering and leaving State Park property. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! 9:00am to 5:00pm Rainbow falls is absolutely "Gorges" with Turtle Back falls not far after. 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. Cullasaja Falls – Visible from U.S. 64, in Cullasaja Gorge, 11 mi. 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. Beautiful autumn hike to see the 3 falls along this trail. Trail Conditions: Elevation change of 1,700 feet; trail contains switchbacks and is rocky in sections. The plume of mist at the bottom creates a distinct rainbow effect, giving the falls its name. Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles one way to Rainbow Falls. Gorges State Park. Campgrounds remain open under the order. Hike, Swim. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. From intersection of US 64 and NC 107 take NC 107 south for approximately 10 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. 1 mi. The trail is rated "strenuous". As you hike up the Rainbow Falls Trail, at about 1.5 miles, you’ll see and hear this amazing waterfall to your left. 3.4 miles SW of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. 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. Gorges State Park: Rainbow Falls Trail - See 312 traveler reviews, 266 candid photos, and great deals for Sapphire, NC, at Tripadvisor. We came here to hike the Rainbow Falls Trail. Whitewater Falls to Whitewater River Trail, Lower Whitewater Falls Via Foothills Trail, Schoolhouse Falls, Little Green Mountain, Greenland Creek Falls Trails Loop, Bearwallow Falls via Bearwallow Valley Trail, Auger Hole Trail, Foothills Trail, and Canebrake Trail Loop, Lower Bearwallow Falls via Auger Hole Trail. Rainbow Falls, SC. Trail continues upriver (downhill splits to falls access). The visitor center is open, but the exhibit area, classroom, and auditorium remain closed. Rainbow Falls gets its name from the mist that’s generated & often creates a rainbow effect when the sun is bright. Call the park office for more information (828) 966-9099. Large clearing gives great view of Rainbow Falls (appr 100ft drop). It is not recommended that anyone swim in the Horse Pasture River. The Horsepasture River swells in the rainy season, dumping a cascade of water 150 feet. This trail goes by Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Rainbow Falls is located one hour away from Asheville and near Lake Toxaway. Hiking Trail. From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … Start the trail by descending on a moderate grade downhill. 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.. Reviewed June 3, 2018. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. All campsites are open. There were a lot of places to stop and sit along the way so it was okay for us older folks. Only 5 years ago the hike to these falls was a strenuous all-day event involving a combination of overgrown trails and bushwhacking. Rainbow Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that boasts impressive 360-degree views. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Absolutely amazing! Started out around 9:30 this morning, a few folks at both falls. - The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team Great hike with our kids! Several great places to get out on the rocks and look up and down the river. One of the park rangers came out and answered questions.