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Rainbow Falls Trail is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cleveland, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 4.3 mi Elevation gain 1,207 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities

Starts off easy when you enter the trailhead, but will quickly get steep as you walk up a lot of stairs. We recommend bringing A LOT of water, especially during the summer. The view of the falls are BEAUTIFUL!

Parking is limited and is known to be full sometimes during weekends

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (840)
Photos (1033)
Recordings (479)
Completed (1669)
Deborah Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

First mile was nearly flat. Lots of rocks and tree roots but an easy hike. Second mile was uphill, steps and elevation gain. Would rate as moderate. The entire trail was beautiful. Water and greenery everywhere. A beautiful waterfall at the end. Well worth it. My 11 year old did just fine. I took sunglasses and never wore them. 99% shaded.

View Deborah's Recording
Ryan Cragun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

The falls are beautiful! It is a rugged trail, meaning you will be stepping on, around, and over boulders and roots. The trail is well-marked with red blazes. We had a mixture of experienced and novic hikers (all fit) and everyone did well. Very scenic. Encountered about 30 people along the trail on a Monday morning.

View Ryan's Recording
Chris Eckman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great trail! Lots of variety. Flat next to the river for the first half of the trail then pretty strenuous uphill hike the rest of the way up. Gorgeous scenery the entire way, waterfall is amazing. They are still requiring reservations at the park for morning hikes.

View Chris's Recording
Mandys Mandy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Best trail ever! Moderate to Hard, but worth every minute! Beware the trail closes at 5pm!

View Mandys's Recording
Scott Stuart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Scott's Recording
Amy Snipes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

OK so for the avid hiker this trail may not be hard but this hike kicked our butt 2 years ago. I may be the only person who wasn't impressed by this skinny fall... Maybe it was because I had a 4 and 6yo at the time with me who did complete it but were miserable or maybe there wasn't a lot of rain at the time we went. May attempt in a couple more years when they are older. I would not suggest this one for a mom with small kids due to ever steeper inclines to the fall.

Lisa Leszcynski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Very good trail! Easy for the most part. Waterfall was HUGE!!

Nick Mylander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

A GREAT HIKE! Definitely strenuous, but worth the view. Bring plenty of water and an extra shirt during the summer time.

Mary Virginia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingClosed

Drove 2 hours to hike this trail and when we arrived the park is only open to RESERVATIONS!! You must have a reservation to enter due to COVID!!! Make sure you plan accordingly because we were turned around and told to go to Flat Rock (20 mins drive).

Emily Good
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Like other reviews, the trail starts off easy, but quickly climbs with a lot of stairs (tall steps that aren't friendly for my old stubby legs). The park lists this trail as very strenuous - not moderate. That said, the trail is very well maintained. It is absolutely beautiful with several glimpses across the valley. The falls are amazing, and compared to Jones Gap Falls, this trail isn't near as crowded.

Alex Koszeghy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Really beautiful view. Starts out easy, but the second half definitely has an ascent to it. The waterfall itself is gorgeous, and the path follows the water. Great hike.

Anna L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
HikingRocky

Earlier the better, parking lot was already getting full around 1030am on a weekday. Lots of stairs, narrow, muddy sections, scramble at the end. Plus side was a lot of shade so the tree canopy helped when it started to rain.

Leslie Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
HikingRocky

Tough but gorgeous! Not only is Rainbow Falls spectacular, but the whole trail is fairly scenic compared to others in the area. I definitely will go again although not in July and with more gym days ahead of time to get my legs ready for all of the stairs.

View Leslie's Recording
Brad Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingRocky

Great trail with an incredible view of the falls. Favorite trail in SC!

Q Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Amazing waterfall. The hike is strenuous, but so worth it! The pictures does it absolutely no justice!

Elizabeth Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingFee

The falls were amazing! The trail was pretty good but it was over grown in a couple of places and there were lots of stairs.

View Elizabeth's Recording
Heather Ward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! One of my favorites. Pretty busy considering it was a weekday.

Lisa Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingRocky

Great hike! Totally worth it!!! It was the right amount of challenge for us! Truly breathtaking at the top!!

Libby Fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingBridge outFeeRocky

Parked at Jones Gap State Park at 10 am on a Monday and still several spots. Nice facilities before you start out on Jones Gap trail (blue) beside the Middle Saluda River which is beautiful. Take the Rainbow Falls trail (red) to the right and start a pretty steep climb with some narrow spots, drop offs and rocks and roots. It’s tough but a big payroll as falls are lovely with lots of spots to rest and gear up for the trip back down.

Haley Roddy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 8, 2020
Hiking

Nice out and back trail. Many large rocks along the trail that make it more difficult.

Stephanie Pierce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2020
Hiking

Our favorite SC trail!!!

View Stephanie's Recording
Eric Aufderhaar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
Hiking

Great hike, and very popular. The ascent is tough in places. Small dogs may need some assistance. Parking at Jones Gap SP is minimal, so arrive by 11 am on weekdays. They are requiring reservations now on weekends during Covid period. When normality returns, plan on arriving by 10 am on weekends.

Gwendolyn Woodward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

Do it! I planned to go on a non weekend and non holiday to avoid some crowds. Such a rewarding experience. The elevation will hurt your legs, especially because it gets to be about 100ft elevation gain per 0.1 miles near the top. I wish someone could have taken a picture of my face when I laid eyes on the falls. I kid you not, took my breath away. Such a beautiful and rewarding hike. I would gladly go again- my favorite waterfall yet!

C. Carl Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
MuddyRocky

Fairly strenuous going up but easy coming down. Excellent hike. Will do it again.

Maggie Rhodes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
Hiking

One of my favorites. Great waterfall with a moderately easy hike.

Angela Waylett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
FeeRocky

How beautiful. This trail is rated moderate, but this trail has rocks, tree stumps, pretty steep in places, can be muddy. But it's worth it. You get to the top of this beautiful waterfall, large boulders to relax on, the spray from the falls to cool you down. Pack a lunch & take a break before heading back down. It can get crowded. If you're searching for a long, rewarding waterfall hike, you've found it in this one. This is an in & out hike. Easy to follow, narrow in places, steep, lots of climbing. You need to reserve a parking spot to hike this fall.

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