Mount LeConte via Rainbow Falls Trail

MODERATE 2 reviews

Mount LeConte via Rainbow Falls Trail is a 14.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding.

DISTANCE
14.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4212 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

We started up to LeConte via Rainbow Falls at about 8:45AM, was somewhat overcast but knew that wouldn't be a problem for views as this is a waterfall trail. It was hot and muggy and had rained hard the day before, so was a bit muddy too. The trail is a steady climb along a well-defined trail due to a lot of traffic up to the main falls. Luckily on a Sunday morning, sharing God's country on God's Day also provided light traffic. There were a few stream crossings and nice waterfalls plus a cool footbridge on our way to the main falls. We were pretty much the first to Rainbow and climbed up to walk under the falls at the top, and were coming back down as a small crowd was coming up. Of course, only a very few of those climbed the rest of the way to the top of LeConte and the trail went down to single track in spots. Also don't waste your time taking the Rocky Spur Overlook trail - it's completely overgrown with no views unless we missed it. If you have time to kill take it down from the upper side of the loop. From there you come to the junction with the Bullhead trail [which was closed due to repairs], take a left and you are on your way to the top! Don't forget to go past the lodge and take a short way along the Boulevard Trail to get to the true top of Mt. LeConte, which is a pile of rocks someone thought they could build to grow higher than that massive concrete structure on top of Clingman's Dome. Regardless, we added a couple of rocks. Great hike full of adventures, enjoy!