Rainbow Falls Trail

HARD 1332 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: 1,653 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

This trail is quite a bit more difficult that it appears. It's easy to follow, but nearly constant incline with pretty rugged terrain. Lots of wildlife. Parking lot gets full early. The trail continues after the waterfall and is much less trafficked at that point, so feel free to continue your hike if you like.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
washed out
12 days ago

Today we completed this amazing trail, as normal for the Smokies. Very well maintained including steps on difficult spots, not at all hard, we saw kids of 3 and 4 years old reaching the fall. The river almost guide you during all the trail, several cascade passes. No regret if you complete it. Convenience due to the trail head is so close to Gatlinburg. 100% recommended.

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
13 days ago

15 days ago

Absolutely worth it!

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

This hike is beautiful & one of my favorite in the park. There are about 6 down trees across the trail. The first half of the trail is all incline. There are two small waterfalls first, then the much larger Rainbow falls. After the falls, you can continue on the trail and head to Mt. LeConte or turn around!

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Superb hike. Not too hard. Not too easy. Beautiful sights all along the way. The sound of the running water provides a tranquil soundtrack during the first stretch. At spots, the switchbacks provide stunning views of the surrounding area. If you’re new to hiking, don’t quit. Keep going. First the foot bridge. Then the small falls. Then the beautiful Rainbow Falls. This hike is fun and worth the effort.

hiking
17 days ago

This trail is excellent for the fam. If the whole fam is willing. 5+ miles to big fall. Recommend hiking boots for sure. You’ll feel the terrain under your feet in running shoes. Keep your quads engaged, stay on the balls of your feet, hike on purpose. Get to the top. Don’t weenie out. Take breaks if needed, but don’t weenie out. Definitely worth every step. Highly recommend. Will do it again...soon.

hiking
muddy
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
blowdown
muddy
18 days ago

Fairly easy trail when accounting for the length, with beautiful views.

18 days ago

Amazing waterfall.. Worth the hije

We just got into hiking a couple of months ago and it was my first hike of distance and decent elevation. We have since done a couple of more so maybe my body has become used to it but no lie...at the time, this trail kicked my behind. I mean kicked it hard. I thought we would never get to the falls. My mind was telling me yes but my body was telling me no. But I wasn’t a quitter. I kept going and made it. I was wondering the whole time if this is marked as moderate by AllTrails, what was difficult?? I couldn’t imagine... (insert wide eye emoji) I mean the next day I could barely move and I hurt for DAYS afterwards. My poor muscles were like “what have you done to us, crazy woman!?!” Luckily it was worth it and I would do it again. It is very heavily trafficked though so keep that in mind. The day we went, we added an extra mile to the hike just trying to find parking.

hiking
muddy
rocky
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful but strenuous

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

The view going up the trail is beautiful. Toward the end of the trail going up (last 15-20 minutes) the snow was melted making the trail very squishy. Just be very careful going up or down in that area.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

This is our third trip to rainbows Falls. Definitely different since the fire, but still a great hike. Excellent hike to fill a half day. Falls are always beautiful.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Falls were beautiful! trail is muddy for 2/3rds from snow melt but easily passable.

1 month ago

I did this during peak weekend for leaves changing. As we pulled up to the parking area a smaller bear had traffic backed up. While in the parking lot it began to sleet and some snow on the ground at higher elevation. Bathrooms are located at main parking lot. Beautiful but well worn trail. Several small waterfalls and log bridges with Rainbow Falls being the icing on the cake. Constant elevation gain going up gives some challenge. Be sure to hydrate.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Very strenuous trail! But amazing views

hiking
1 month ago

Great views, wildlife, great photo ops! Slippery when when wet

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. I do a lot of hiking and let me tell you, this trail is not moderate. It is leaning more towards hard. Very rugged terrain but very beautiful with tons of great bridges and views. Completely doable and attainable but it is a challenge.

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