Rainbow Falls Trail

MODERATE 129 reviews
#2 of 63 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.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
889 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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.

11 days ago

12 days ago

very cool trail. ends with turtle back falls waterfall.

hiking
12 days ago

12 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing hike with superb waterfall views from above and below the falls.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

Directions provided don't get you there. Head to Gorges State Park entrance and take a right at the stop sign at Visitors Center. Then the trailhead is a up ahead a bit by the small parking lot. Heavy traffic on Memorial Day but a beautiful fall!!

25 days ago

25 days ago

Short hike. Bit crowded but great views of falls.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Couldn't even get to the trail from the directions on here, did end up at the amazing waterfall, but no help from the app

1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Not to bad of a hike, the waterfall makes the trip worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic

2 months ago

Waterfall is amazing

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice waterfall!