Adventure Projects is hiring an Android engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Rainbow Falls [Suggest Edits]

15 votes


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 Hike: 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 hike 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


You & This Gem

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Your Check-Ins


Jul 1, 2018
Barry Cox
Jun 29, 2018
Alicia Chao
6 mile round trip to/from the falls, 445-630 up including stops, 1 hour down
May 28, 2018
Sarah Pachoud
May 5, 2018
buddy beavers
me and kailey hiked up and back to get the 2018 shirt one deer at lodge
Apr 29, 2018
Bianca Rocha Stone
Tough hike up, fast going down. Very rocky and closed Mon-Thurs for clean up, the wildfires really torched the trees on this hike. Great workout tho!
Apr 14, 2018
Jay Fulton
Apr 6, 2018
Jessica Romero
Mar 26, 2018
Picha Moolsintong

Nearby Trails

10.2 mi 16.4 km
Alum Cave Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
10.2 mi 16.4 km Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Some Mud - lots of water after rain!
87 days ago
4.2 mi 6.7 km
Chimney Tops Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
4.2 mi 6.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.9 km Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Some Mud
55 days ago
Gatlinburg, TN
8.0 mi 12.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
Minor Issues
Some Mud - Muddy in spots from rains
3 days ago
Bryson City, NC
3.6 mi 5.8 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
9 days ago
Bryson City, NC
0.8 mi 1.3 km Bryson City, NC
All Clear
Dry - Wide paved trail in good repair.
76 days ago
15.6 mi 25.1 km
Hazel Creek Trail
Robbinsville, NC
15.6 mi 25.1 km Robbinsville, NC
Bryson City, NC
49.4 mi 79.5 km Bryson City, NC
Robbinsville, NC
102.3 mi 164.7 km Robbinsville, NC
6.6 mi 10.7 km
Rainbow Falls Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
6.6 mi 10.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
Shared by Kristen Arendt on Aug 4, 2016. All Page Views: 970. Last Month: 63.