Length: 5.4 miles
Duration: 3 hours
Trail Difficulty: Moderate/
Total Elevation Gain: 1685 feet
Highest Elevation: 4285 feet
Scenery: Waterfalls, old
Falls trail is a unique trail filled with an abundance of jaw-dropping views
throughout the hike. The name symbolizes the result of rainbows being produced
by the misty surroundings of the waterfall that become visible when sunshine is
present. Thus the name, Rainbow Falls.
Hiking Rainbow Falls Trail:
first part of Rainbow Falls trail is two-thirds of a mile hike through a field of large
sized boulders. While going through this part hikers will see LeConte Creek flowing
down the mountains, which makes for a nice view if a break is needed. If hikers
continue up the northeast slopes of Mt. LeConte, two footbridges will be
available after a mile and a half with another footbridge less than a mile from the
first. Once the second footbridge is crossed the 80 foot waterfall is just a
third of a mile away. This particular waterfall is the highest single-drop
waterfall found in the Smokies.
the waterfall is the most appealing part of the Rainbow Falls trail it is also the most
dangerous due to the slippery rocks around the falls, caused by the high
amounts of mist. Hikers are urged to take caution and to restrain from climbing
the rocks near the fall as many people have fallen and suffered severe
may be wildlife along the banks during the first part of the hike, so be sure to
gaze in the various puddles and pools for other critters that inhabit the area.
The falls are set back away from the trail, allowing hikers to figure out tree
roots and boulders for up-close views of the drop pool and the secondary
to bring plenty of drinking water and hiking shoes are recommended due to the
combination of trail length, elevation gain and the rocky terrain.
Directions to Rainbow Falls Trail:
- Starting at light 8 in Gatlinburg turn on the Historic Nature
- Veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road where you will enter into the Great
Smoky Mountain National Park.
- From there, drive another 2.2 miles and enter the Cherokee Orchard Loop.
After about a half mile on the loop the Rainbow Falls trailhead will be on the