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crowded right now! April.

It was an amazing hike.I will do this trail again.Next time all the way 2 My Leconte

Second time doing this hike, always a good one to stretch the legs. Nice time chatting with the thru-hikers this time of year and spreading a little trail magic!

Love this trail will do it more a very nice walk in the smokies

Great hike. Stopped at Jump Off as well. Beautiful views!

Good trail, amazing waterfalls

My wife and I hiked this today in about 6 hours (which includes about 30 minutes of stopping). We are relatively new to hiking and both in fair shape. Got there around 8 and the parking lot was half full. Didn’t see too many hikers on the way up but tons on the way back down and the parking lot and adjacent roadsides were packed. To be fair, it was a gorgeous day weather-wise which will bring a lot of people to the park. The trail itself wasn’t too bad. The incline was pretty gradual throughout and wasn’t too strenuous. All in all it was a fairly difficult hike due to its overall length, but the views at the top were well worth the work.

hiking
3 days ago

Wonderful hike. Snowed yesterday and there was still a dusting on the way up. Wild flowers were out in full on the way back down. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail along with two very large old growth trees that had fallen across the trail and had to be climbed over, manageable but they are BIG trees. Overall just a beautiful hike.

Hiked yesterday. It poured with light rain throughout the entire trek. Beautiful misty waterfall at the end, at the second log bridge (you can't miss it). Saw very few other hikers thanks to the weather.
This is a great hike if you want something slightly more challenging. However, anyone can do it if you just go at your own pace.

Nice trail, not too long and you’re rewarded by a beautiful waterfall at the end.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur photographer.

I only did the first half mile of this trail because I was looking for wildflowers in mid-April in the Smoky Mountains National Park. In that first half mile I encountered at least a dozen species of flowers and have posted them.

In my opinion this is one of the top 10 wildflower hikes in the NP in terms of variety and ease of hiking.

Start with this hike. If it’s too hard then you probably don’t want to do the other wildflower hikes. But if you do it, you won’t be disappointed in the variety of flowers you find

Amazing hike with a decent incline. The stone steps through the mountain was a crowd pleaser and there are so many amazing views along the trek. Rested under the bluffs towards the end of the trail and it was well work the hike. 10/10 would do it again.

This IS a bucket list hike for anyone who loves the mountains

One of our favorites. 4/12/18, many flower species emerging ....wild ginger around Fern Branch falls, etc, etc...now’s a good time for this trail. Suggest taking your Smokies wildflower book to reduce identification frustration.

hiking
12 days ago

I loved the trail. My wife and I along with our 4 year old son completed the trail on today 4/8/18. It was cold and snow everywhere. We are from Florida so the snow was absolutely amazing to see. The trail starts out very easy and becomes more difficult further in. Wonderful memories made.

it was a beautiful hike first couple of miles are straight up great for the heart rate!!! really a wonderful all around hike!!!

hiking
12 days ago

My wife and I walk the Rainbow Falls Trail and found it to be very difficult. I am 65 years old and am way over weight. The trail started out easy enough. It was wide with only a slight incline. As we continued our walk the trail became narrower, rockier and steeper. It took all I had to make it to the top and back down again. I found coming down much more difficult than going up. I was happy I did it.. The trail lost one star because the falls itself was not very spectacular. It is the journey not the destination.

Great day hike, but you really should consider adding the Jump Off at the end.
Very nice views along the route. As many have noted, the Bunion is crowded with day hikers and thru hikers. There's room to at the viewpoint depending on your confidence and adventure level.

I would recommend combining this with the Jump Off trail -- this is an unofficial trail about 2.7 miles in from the Newfound Gap parking lot on the AT which is marked at the junction that says to Mt Leconte and Jump Off. About .10 miles down the trail there will be another sign for Jump Off. The payoff is a gorgeous panoramic with very little people there.
I did the Jump Off on the way back.
In all, makes for a nice 10 miler and not a bad way to spend the day on the mountain.

New to hiking or out for a walk- this will be work. Used to hiking and/or younger, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Nice easy trail with great waterfall views.

hiking
15 days ago

We accessed the trail head by the rainbow falls parking area. Road was closed so we had to hike to the trail head. There are two options to get to the trail head. First option is to take the paved road all the way to the Grotto falls trail head, Good incline the whole way with a couple of stop points to look at the view of the mountains. Second option is about half mile in you will see a sign for Trillium gap trail. Go right in the woods then left up the hill. This is a much better hike but harder. It follows the paved path but much closer to nature in my opinion.

We saw three bear, a bob cat and a deer almost ran into us on the trail. The Grotto falls trail was busy and it was busy at the falls. Total trip was around 5 miles with the road being closed. Worth it to walk behind the falls.

We took the pavement path back.

Hiked on3/31/18.Weather was cool and sunny. There was some ice on the trail towards the top and icicles on some of the overhangs. Good crowd but not to crowded.

Fair, moderate hike. The views at the end are nice if you can get to the highest viewpoint, but unfortunately there's only room for about 2 people. Trail is mostly shaded and wet in several spots. The parking lot was full, but only a few folks ventured onto the trail. There is a restroom at the trailhead.

This was a fun one. It starts off easy enough but, has a very sneaky, gradual incline. I purposely did not work out on legs the week of this hike and, that was the right call; granted, we did a moderately strenuous hike the day prior to this trail. The sights are great and we really liked all of the running water going in between the rocks. Hike is not overbearing until after the cave; many hikers call it a day at that point, which is approximately half way, I believe. The rest of the trail from there has a lot of icy rock to shimmy across, depending on season and time of day. The camp ground up top is pretty neat; it's like a trip back in time. Go a little further to reach the cliffs and take in the well-earned view. Also, have a lunch or two in my case. The hike back down is easy compared to the climb up. Bring a lot of food and water; the two of us went through about 5-liters of water on a day that was 60 degrees F. Well worth the trip and was a rewarding experience. We can't wait to come back to this park.

Did this hike with my mom. Wasn’t too hard I think it’s just a little lengthy. But the view was beautiful. Only complaint is that there is one bug that you kind of have to fight for in order to get a good panoramic view. Otherwise really gorgeous.

Very disappointing! Barricade prevented even getting close to the sink/waterfall. If you struggle you can almost hear the water falling down past the barricade. Hiked back to the fork and went to the cave. Guess what ? Another barricade. You can see the bars over the cave, the big metal boxes and the solar panels. You can't even get close enough to see that a cave exists. Hiked back towards the meadow and guess what ? A sign saying to not enter the trail with downed trees deliberately placed to block the trail. You can see the wildflowers blooming about 100 yards away. About the ONLY thing you can see on this hike is the dozens of cheesy Stay on the path signs. It was a shame that this wonderful park location has been smothered.

hiking
17 days ago

great hike. I do this one almost every time I visit the Smokey Mountains. 5.5 miles isn't exactly correct, I measured 2.80 miles one direction to make it 5.6 miles. I also wouldn't call it hard. My 4 year old just finished it with no problems. I would say that it is a moderate difficulty. The work that they did over the winter really shows. the new steps were beautiful. this is one of my favorite day hikes on this side of the country.

This was our first visit to the Smoky Mountains and this hike did not disappoint! I hiked To Mt. Leconte with my husband and 9 y/o son on March 30th. It. Is. Strenuous. It took us 5 hours round trip. We hike frequently, We are all in pretty good shape and I have not experienced a hike this hard. My 9 y/o cried. Steep inclines - lots of steps! That being said, it was amazing and once you’re at the top you have a great sense of accomplishment!
The views were amazing on the way up. It’s a different, more rocky terrain than we are used to seeing. There are lots of wet areas and stream crossings so waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended! There was ice on the trail at the top with lots of cables to assist in traversing safely. Beautiful icicles hung from the trees and cliffs! There are so many interesting landscapes to see on this hike!
Overall this hike was a great experience and we can’t wait to go back in the fall!

I'm not an experienced hiker but I'm in good shape and workout 5 days a week so I thought what the heck let's see what I can do. This trail has such good reviews for the scenery and we are from Illinois so we don't travel to the Smokies often so we thought "when in Rome". I can't imagine another day hike in this part of the country would top this one. It was breath taking. Every. Single. Part. It was difficult but definately doable for my fitness level. Even saw numerous kids under the age of 15 make it to the top. Lots of inclines and stairs and when you reach the summit it is humbling. I can't wait to do it again in the fall!

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