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. Cullasaja Falls – Visible from U.S. 64, in Cullasaja Gorge, 11 mi. 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. Beautiful autumn hike to see the 3 falls along this trail. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. 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. Lots of ups and downs and lots of stairs. Nice trail with some pretty Mountain Views, a couple of easy creek crossings and three falls. This is a great place for a summer swim. 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. … The trail leaves the visitor center headed upstream. Fantastic hike and experience. Whitewater Falls. 1615 Mail Service Center This is a easy out and back trail to Drift Falls in Gorges State Park. The are 2 sections of narrow, very shallow streams you cross on stepping stones. hike Hiking Trail. 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. Whitewater Falls. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls at Gorges State Park. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte. Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500' in elevation. 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. Follow the marked path upstream to the base of Rainbow Falls. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … 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. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park is one of my favorite waterfalls and trails in our area. waterfall in Pigsah National Forest accessed by trailhead starting in Gorges State Park. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Go right and just keep following the trail. The Rainbow Falls Trail to Mount LeConte is a challenging 13.8 mile hike with a total elevation gain of 3,993 feet. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. Reviewed June 3, 2018. Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! All North Carolina state parks are closed on Christmas Day, December 25. Camping reservations must be done online. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. NOTE: Pets are not allowed on this trail. The visitor center is open, but the exhibit area, classroom, and auditorium remain closed. 3.4 miles SW of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. These falls are spectacular and worth seeing in any season. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. Rainbow Falls NC Rainbow Falls is tall, and absolutely gorgeous. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. Absolutely worth it. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Only 5 years ago the hike to these falls was a strenuous all-day event involving a combination of overgrown trails and bushwhacking. Easy trail perfect for all types of adventurers. There were a lot of places to stop and sit along the way so it was okay for us older folks. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Both falls were nice we were able to sit and enjoy Turtleback by ourselves. Loved it! Parks are not hosting any guided First Day Hikes on January 1. To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. Use the Grassy Ridge Access entrance off of Hwy 281s, in Sapphire. 1 mi. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. 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. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. Rainbow Falls Trail. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). Great hike with our kids! Heavy traffic. Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. 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