Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500' in elevation. 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. From the Visitor Center the trail leads upstream to spectacular Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is located one hour away from Asheville and near Lake Toxaway. Las Vegas, Nevada 8 contributions. Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. This is a moderate one way trail to Rainbow Falls in Pisgah National Forest. Click on a route, trail, or point on the map and select the GPS Data tab to download its data. Do not bring young children, but it highly recommended for those who are capable of hiking a moderately difficult 5+ mile trail. Turtleback Falls is a popular sliding, swimming, and jumping spot. Review of Gorges State Park. I'm pretty sure the figures here are accurate, but if you have some more data or something to share that shows it's farther I'll be glad to take a look! Rainbow Falls is a beautiful waterfall just minutes from downtown Chattanooga in the town of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. I talked to the agent on the phone and get the information that it is a 3-mile hike from the Gorges State Park trail entrance to Rainbow Falls and another 1 mile to Turtleback Falls. Much of the hike to Rainbow Falls, which begins at Jones Gap State Park (seen here at the start of the trail on the right side of the map), follows along the Middle Saluda River. 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. Start the hike on the trail leading away from the sign boards. Rainbow Falls, SC. Trail Description The beginning of the Rainbow Falls trail is newly built, graveled, and easy. See more ideas about Waterfall hikes, Beautiful waterfalls, Waterfall. 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. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. Go left, down a small scramble path onto the river rocks, to get a view of Drift Falls across its plunge pool. Hikers report that the beautiful Rainbow Falls, lush vegatation, and amazing scenery make the difficult hike well worth it. The strong sun and constant mist mean all the mud, grass, and rocks are completely covered by an impossibly slippery slime. It is an in and back hike that is ~3 miles total (1.5 in and 1.5 out). The Horsepasture River thunders down a 125-foot drop spraying up a mist that creates rainbows that sparkle in the sunlight. This frontal view of the falls is the best place to see the rainbows in the mist that give the falls its name. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! Schoolhouse Falls: the hike. It is on Pisgah National Forest land just outside Gorges State Park. From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … available at all times due to system maintenance or outages. Once it it crosses onto the National Forest - and into the Horsepasture Wild and Scenic River corridor - the trail is no longer gravel-surfaced and blazed; however, it is easy to follow. Base layers may not be You will cross into South Carolina approx. 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. 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. After dri… Within the next .3 mi you will come upon Turtleback falls (10ft), and a 3rd ' sliding rock falls (40ft). Follow gravel trail downhill for 1 mi (easy), then meets Horsepasture River. This is a easy out and back trail to Drift Falls in Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). government agencies, and field observations. Rainbow Falls earns its label honestly, though the namesake phenomenon only happens under certain conditions: On sunny afternoons, particularly in summer, the sunshine on the wafting mist of the waterfall produces a rainbow effect that’s spectacular to witness. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. Scramble paths lead to the rocks in front of the falls, but if you choose to go that way, be extremely careful. History. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. As you can see, the cliff over which the falls roll is made of a variety of materials, some of which cast mineral dust into the air causing the colorful hues in the mist. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. The hike begins at the trailhead for Rainbow Falls and descends steeply to Horsepasture River. No matter where we are, we always stop to take a million pictures of the beautiful rainbow that forms after an afternoon storm, as if we've never seen one before. On a hot day lingering near the base will give you a very cooling mist. It's the same old road bed you were on before anyhow. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. You can return to your vehicle from here to make this a 3-mile round trip hike as officially advertised by the State Park. Use caution - it's not a cliff or anything, but it's a steep dirt slope below the trail. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. September 2008 Copyright © trailpeak.com & trailpeak.ca 2020. It is moderately steep at times, but well marked. July 2013 Several signs and maps with trail description to Rainbow Falls … There is a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls for those adventurous visitors looking for a place to cool off. Just next to Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest, is the impressive 150ft tall Rainbow Falls of North Carolina. Green highlight indicates the route to follow within the trail network for this hike. Load the file directly into your GPS to help find your way on your next trip! All reviews turtleback falls strenuous hike great hike welcome center well worth the effort beautiful waterfall hiking trails visitor center was closed steep steps worth the trip sliding rock take your time viewing area rainbow rocks path sticks spray shoes maps nc. Tip: Printing this map? [Site Admin] Jordan M. said: Mark - according to the best GPS data I have, it's 1.379km or 0.85mi from the trailhead parking to the park boundary, and 2.492km or 1.55mi all the way from the trailhead parking area to the overlook for the falls. Angela said: I am looking to hike the Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Apr 6, 2018 - Hike the Rainbow Falls Trail to a towering 150-foot waterfall through a wildflower-filled forest in North Carolina's Gorges State Park. Go 0.9 miles South on NC 281 from US 64 to the park entrance road on the left. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. The trail continues upstream, passing some nice slides, cascades, and agitated pools, and reaches Turtleback Falls in about 0.2 mile. The 140-foot waterfall plunges over a granite cliff surrounded by steep granite walls in the secluded gorge. From intersection of US 64 and NC 107 take NC 107 south for approximately 10 mi. Rainbow Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that boasts impressive 360-degree views. My research kept taking me back to Rainbow Falls. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. So bear left, continuing to follow the river. If you are a fan of these beautiful sky images, there is one spot about 55 miles from Asheville that you need to visit. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Some narrower paths thread through the woods on the left just before the creek - that is the trail to Stairway Falls, which is not officially part of this hike. 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. This trail goes by a spur trail leading to Stairway Falls. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. 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. in Google Earth for viewing. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. Look for the cluster of information boards at the end of the parking lot. Driving to the Trailhead: Take Historic Nature Trail Drive (traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg) into the park. The roar of the river grows louder before fading completely as you dip into a side cove. The trail climbs steeply as it winds up and around toward the top of Rainbow Falls. Follow trail upriver passing access points and several rapids and minor falls. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. Rainbow Falls NC. This waterfall is named Rainbow Falls because on sunny days after the mist rolls out, you will be able to see a rainbow. No matter where we are, we always stop to take a million pictures of the beautiful rainbow that forms after an afternoon storm, as if we've never seen one before. Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. The trail winds through a flat area, crosses over a small tributary stream, and ends abruptly at a huge sign at the private property boundary. One spot climbs up over a rock outcrop which gives you a neat view down on the river from above. I took a pint bottle and could have used more... Lots of mountain laurel and rhododendren make for a great hike in late spring. Follow the trail through the campsite and out the other side, which will take you to within a few feet of the river. Rainbow Falls NC. (Source 2) It's a fabulous sight, just save some strength for that long walk back. But be sure to stay back from the private property line. If you promise not to take unnecessary risks, it's well worth the effort required to see them. Several signs and maps with trail description to Rainbow Falls … Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. There is even a large sloping rock next to the swimming hole that is great for relaxing. Hover over a trail to see it highlighted. The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. To hike to Rainbow Falls from the Gorges State Park parking lot, follow the trail for 5 minutes, bearing right at the intersection. I do not recommend getting in the Horsepasture River at all. It's 1½ miles to the BORDER of the state park and at least another 1½ miles in the Pisgah National Forest till you get to the falls, making it closer to a SIX MILE round trip. At mile 3.4, just after the road becomes one-way, turn right into the Rainbow Falls Parking Area. Michele C wrote a review Nov 2020. It resembles more of an ATV track than a trail at this point. If you have Google Earth installed, clicking the KML link should open the trail or point directly 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. The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. It might be off some, but even if it was off a tenth of a mile it'd still only be 3.2 round trip. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! Many During extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the falls. 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. The elevation change and the rocky nature of the trail make this a “strenuous” hike. Details about taking this hike: Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail. Drive to parking lot at the end of road (2 mi in). Gorges State Park. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Mark Mikrut said: Please revise the length you report for the hike to Rainbow Falls. 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. Rainbow Falls is located one hour away from Asheville and near Lake Toxaway. Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. Several signs and maps with trail description to Rainbow Falls (3mi round trip). summer fall winter spring. Explore western North Carolina's most beautiful waterfalls on these top hikes near Asheville. alltrails.com At about the halfway point, the trail turns to the right to head up to Rainbow Falls. it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary). The old roadbed continues downhill as well, and its surface has also been graveled. In no case was anyone hurt who didn't risk it and just stayed on the trail. At this point you're near the river. Remember, this section of the river is extremely risky to explore up-close, so just enjoy it from the trail. This waterfall is named Rainbow Falls because on sunny days after the mist rolls out, you will be able to see a rainbow. 1 mi. Make note of it, so that on the way back you can visit if you'd like. Rainbow Falls gets its name from the late afternoon hues of rainbow colors that are magically cast into the air as the sun sprays through the mist cast off by the waterfall. I wasn't very scientific in my earlier assessment. This trail goes by Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. However, too many people read the article and found this area, leaving the social trail unsafe and creating many alternate trails. Go 0.9 miles South on NC 281 from US 64 to the park entrance road on the left. As you hike up the Rainbow Falls Trail, at about 1.5 miles, you’ll see and hear this amazing waterfall to your left. GeoJSON is a newer, lightweight data exchange format which can be used to quickly share map data and may have a smaller size than KML or GPX. There are several cascades along this stretch of river, interspersed by deep pools - but nothing like what lies just upstream. Photo journals of hikes in Michigan, the Great Lakes region, North Carolina and the Rockies. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Hike Details Difficulty: Moderate Length: 1.5 miles each way to Rainbow Falls, an additional 1 mile round-trip to Turtleback Falls Region: Duration of hike: 30 minutes each way (add an extra 10 each way for Turtleback) Elevation gain: 800 Feet Type: Out & Back Blazes: Orange Circles Facilities & Parking: Parking lot, portable toilet June 2010 From Highlands, it's just over 20 miles on US 64 East, thru Cashiers, to NC 281 South - turn right. As you continue on, you'll soon come to Rainbow Falls, which is big and powerful. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. Rainbow Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that boasts impressive 360-degree views. 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 drops 100 feet over steep walls streaked with black and tan from the alternating layers of amphibolite gneiss, granitic gneiss, and mica schist. The first section of trail you will hike has a gravel surface. Helps to see start and end points for an individual trail. During a flood, the wind coming up the slope here is almost enough to knock you off your feet! This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. 135. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. Mark Mikrut said: I sit corrected five years later. See more ideas about Waterfall hikes, Beautiful waterfalls, Waterfall. At this point a spur trail heads left and stars to descend toward the Horsepasture River. (There are plenty of signs to remind you). Michele C wrote a review Nov 2020. All the research I did, didn't really prepare me for just how big Rainbow Falls actually are. Drive to parking lot at the end of road (2 mi in). This section is gradual downhill, so the trek back will mostly uphill. At times, the trail is very close to the river; at other times, it climbs uphill a bit further away. But you've seen what's just downstream, and people have been swept from here all the way over the brink of Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls, SC. Details about taking this hike: Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail continues around Turtleback Falls, crossing a small trickling tributary, and then comes out on the rocks above the main drop. Then the trail is easy to follow with a creek crossing that can be a wet one when the water is high. From the split to the base of Stairway Falls is 0.3 of a mile. Start the hike on the trail leading away from the sign boards. 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. Just past this crossing, the trail passes off of Gorges State Park property and onto National Forest property. Continuing upriver, Turtleback Falls (Umbrella Falls) are reached in 0.3miles. Difficulty Rating: 4.92 Tread Condition: Moderately Rough Climb: Hilly Lowest Elevation: 2480 ft Highest Elevation: 2920 ft Climb Total: 800 ft Configuration: Out-and-back Starting Point: Grassy Ridge/Rainbow Falls Trail Parking Area. The length reported at the trail head only measures the distance in the state park. We have done this hike several times. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the You'll get soaked, too. Trail Description The beginning of the Rainbow Falls trail is newly built, graveled, and easy. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). It's about another 1/4 mile to Drift Falls from here. KML is the main file type used by Google Earth. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. It leads gently uphill at first, but very soon begins descending. From the very beginning, you can hear the roar of the Horsepasture River in the valley far below, which you'll reach in about 1 mile. Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). Hike the Rainbow Falls Trail to a towering 150-foot waterfall through a wildflower-filled forest in North Carolina's Gorges State Park. These falls are spectacular and worth seeing in any season. Park there. Continuing upriver, Turtleback Falls (Umbrella Falls) are reached in 0.3miles. The opening is thought to be kept open naturally by the constant spray mist and wind from the falls. Las Vegas, Nevada 8 contributions. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. The trail goes through the mist zone and goes back into the forest on the other side of the opening. so if you're not sure which one to download, KML is a good bet. Open Database License - you are free to copy and use September 2019. Drive to parking lot at the end of road (2 mi in). 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.. LeConte summit, expect an even more difficult hike. That meant we had to descend from the trailhead then ascend towards the Rainbow Falls before having to repeat this V-shaped elevation profile on the way back to the trailhead. Another path splits left just before the trail goes into the forest. Using GPS, the walk in was 1.6 miles. Rainbow Falls is tall, and absolutely gorgeous. The falls is located on the Horsepasture River. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles one way to Rainbow Falls. Do not bring young children, but it highly recommended for those who are capable of hiking a moderately difficult 5+ mile trail. Rainbow Falls Trail is most likely the rockiest of all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's about a mile to the Rainbow Falls parking area straight ahead, past the visitor center and turn-off for the loop road. There are other trails in the park as well which I have not explored. As you approach Turtleback Falls, a little side path leads to a boulder with a great front view of the rounded falls, which ends in a deep, churning pool. Start the hike on the trail leading away from the sign boards. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). 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. Article by Asheville Trails. 20 minutes further, the trail enters the Nantahala National Forest, with a side trail to the left that heads to Stairway Falls. The GPX format stands for GPS Exchange - a free, open, XML format for exchanging GPS and map data. Feb 17, 2018 - Let's hike! When you've seen enough, return to your vehicle on the same path. Veer to the right to continue to Rainbow Falls … The trail will begin a more significant climb before long and that's when you know you're getting close to Rainbow Falls. 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