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Rainbow Falls Trail

Intermediate
 4.5 (19)

Gorgeous falls and cool summer waters can be found along this easy to navigate trail.


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

Point to Point

2,920' 890 m

High

2,498' 761 m

Low

275' 84 m

Up

422' 129 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly The trail here is not too difficult and provides great access to swimming.

Description

From the trailhead, hike a short ways through mixed forest with some blueberry bushes and sassafras lining the trail until you hit a trail junction. Go right and just keep following the 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.

There are tons of trails accessing the river- both legitimate and not. Try to use the ones with built-in switchbacks, as social trails contribute to erosion.

As you continue on, you'll soon come to Rainbow Falls, which is big and powerful. There is a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls for those adventurous visitors looking for a place to cool off.

Continue up the trail to get to Turtleback Falls. There is another great swimming hole and those seeking a thrill can use Turtleback as a natural slide.

Once you've had your fill of the falls, head back the way that you came to return to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Oodles of berries and mushrooms in this classic Western North Carolina mixed hardwood and coniferous rain forest.

Shared By:

Russell Hobart

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 19 votes

#349

Overall
  4.5 from 19 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
37%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#349

Overall
3 Views Last Month
1,117 Since Aug 9, 2016
Intermediate

6%
0%
72%
17%
6%
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Photos

Rainbow Falls.
Aug 9, 2016 near Brevard, NC
Truly a beautiful waterfall.
Dec 1, 2019 near Brevard, NC
Getting ready to ride Turtleback Falls.
Aug 9, 2016 near Brevard, NC
View of Turtleback falls
Apr 22, 2018 near Brevard, NC

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Check-Ins

Sep 29, 2022
Laura Young
Rainbow Falls & Turtleback Falls 3.2mi
May 9, 2022
Juli Sala
Some muddy patches with stairs near the end but beautiful waterfall view. Not as difficult as made out to be. 1.8mi — 1h 28m
Aug 29, 2021
Private User
Mar 19, 2021
Gabby Price
Oct 13, 2020
patricia Britt
Oct 12, 2020
Brian Creason
Aug 16, 2020
Kevin Beyer
Super busy and tons of people swimming like maniacs