Rainbow Falls Trail

MODERATE 100 reviews
#2 of 58 trails in

Rainbow Falls Trail is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.1 miles 889 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

mountain biking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

no dogs

This short hike along the Horsepasture River features outstanding views of 4 large waterfalls and good camping. Start the trail by descending on a moderate grade downhill. After about 1/2 mile you can hear the rushing water of Turtleback Falls, before proceeding to this waterfall, go right, down a rhododendron enshrouded side trail. This side trail is a 1/4 mile and dead ends at a US Forest Service blockade. This is private property, but the 40 foot Bust-yo-butt Falls (?) can be viewed from this point. Backtrack and continue on to Turtleback Falls and the thundering Rainbow Falls. Turtleback Falls is a great place for a summer swim, Just a few hundred yards down stream is the impressive Rainbow Falls. 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. Continue down the river trail. The trail is not marked, but as long as you keep the river on your right, you're ok. At the 1.25 mile mark is a very nice clearing for tenting. Just downstream is Stair Step Falls. Backtrack back to the parking lot.

17 days ago

amazing

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Really awesome hike! The drive to Gorges State Park is a little tedious but the hike is super fun and pretty short. Make sure to continue on after Rainbow Falls to turtle falls which is .25 beyond Rainbow. Well worth your time!

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Great hike - Beautiful Falls!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very clean and well-marked trail. The falls are gorgeous.

3 months ago

One of the best falls I've seen!

hiking
3 months ago

The trail was clean and marked well. Moderate is probably accurate. The falls at the end are well worth the journey.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Incredible views from the top and bottom of the falls (during summer and fall)! Perfect afternoon hike.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Challenging trail to a very beautiful falls.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago