Rainbow Falls Trail

HARD 444 reviews

Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1653 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
2 hours ago

Beautiful muddy hike today!! Mud then muddy ice.....now just ice! We didn’t bring ice shoes or spikes which were most definitely needed for this hike today. We are coming back this summer to play so more! Well worth the hike!

4 days ago

beautiful! it was co eres with snow and ice.

hiking
10 days ago

had the trail to myself at the end which was nice. even with the mud and ice patches i dont think it should have been rated hard..

had more fun not using spikes >;^]

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful trail. EXTREMELY muddy after last week’s snow and ice and yesterday’s rain. The falls look amazing when they’re frozen. Would love to come back and see them in spring/summer when the water is flowing. Not that difficult but the mud made it real sketchy in some parts. Took about 4 hours with a break for lunch at the falls and lots of picture stops. Gaiters and trekking poles suggested if you have them.

hiking
11 days ago

The trail got a bit icy once we started getting closer to the falls, but nothing too dangerous. The view of the falls was pretty amazing and worth the hike in the rain.

hiking
14 days ago

Shouldn’t be rated as hard; I thought it was closer to moderate difficulty. Basically a steady uphill climb but not super steep. The waterfall looked gnarly frozen. Nice views of the surrounding mountains along the way.

hiking
14 days ago

Me and my 10 year old daughter just completed this hike. It's not as difficult as it sounds as long as you have a descent pair of boots, even in the snow. Wear layers, it does get really cold the higher you go. We were up and down just at three hours, it takes half the time coming down. Make sure you leave yourself daylight getting back. I'd say 2pm this time of year is the absolute latest you should start. Well worth it. Breath taking views with the snow, it's so peaceful and not very crowded right now.

15 days ago

Beautiful today while snow was falling - definitely wear layers since it gets colder (and on snowy days, snowier) as you increase elevations. Nicely maintained but wear good boots. Took just about 4 hours to complete.

hiking
22 days ago

it is definitely a challenging hike. My wife and I started a little after 12 in the afternoon, and didn't finish until right at 4. the grade is consistent, and the terrain can be challenging. We hiked it at the end of December and it was pretty muddy. we will do this hike again if in the area! The view of the running water, and the multiple Falls were breathtaking.

hiking
22 days ago

We (family ages are 49,45,21,14) hiked this trail for the 1st time 12/27/17. It is a moderately difficult hike. We encountered snow on the top half of the trail & many icy patches. There are 3 wet crossings of the creek, so waterproof shoes are a must! The falls are breathtaking! We will definitely hike this trail again.

26 days ago

Great trail right outside of downtown Gatlinburg.

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome

hiking
1 month ago

Very icy towards the top this time of year. Would recommend waterproof boots with good grip. Well worth it for the views.

hiking
2 months ago

The Rainbow Falls Trail was a great way to kick off our trip in the Smokes -- if you're looking for a short half-day hike, you can go up to the falls (they're beautiful), relax for a bit, and come back. If you're looking to take up the whole day, you can keep going up to Mount LeConte and spend some time at the Lodge with views. This trail is definitely uphill, but if you take your time, I would say it's more on the moderate side than strenuous. Good boots and water definitely required -- you can refill at the Lodge if you choose to go all the way. Overall, had a fantastic time -- definitely recommended!

2 months ago

Outstanding. Not hard. Gradual climb. Easy down. My knees will swear to this. Great views. Love the falls. Both of them.

hiking
2 months ago

Wow what a excellent hike! Come prepared with water, decent shoes and show up early. You wont find parking after 10am on a weekend. I dont want to ruin the surprises but this hike has it all! Favorite hike! Not suited for rookies, injured people and I would avoid bringing kids or the elderly.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was quite challenging! Basically the entire way up to the waterfall is uphill gaining elevation. Wear good shoes and bring lots of water! There are small waterfalls along the way, but once you get to the end it is definitely worth it! Beautiful! The trail itself is rocky and rough, but gorgeous. Definitely worth it if you have the time! Took us about 3.5 hours total after a few stops along the way and hanging out at the waterfall for a bit!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a pretty tough hike. The elevation got us on this one. Go with waterproof hiking shoes because you may have to trudge through some streams/hop rocks to jump over streams. The waterfall is beautiful and the hike is so worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful rocky trail. Never saw any bears but did see a rattle snake to the side of the trail. Stay on the trails. Saw some guys taking short cuts, we told them about the rattle snake and said it would be a good idea to stay on the trails. It’s very rocky so you do a lot of looking down to watch your step. Stop and take in all the beauty around you or you will just pass it by. The fall is beautiful. We hiked up to it and even got behind the falls and took pictures. Will hike it again!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike and falls.

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