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Rainbow Falls Trail

MODERATE 1297 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 moderate. 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
4 hours ago

hiking
muddy
7 days 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
8 days 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
9 days ago

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

15 days 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
17 days ago

Very strenuous trail! But amazing views

hiking
23 days ago

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

hiking
26 days 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.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Nice hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! Very scenic. Some cool little bridges to cross over. Slightly challenging. Definitely get there early!! We packed a lunch to enjoy by the falls. Highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail for anyone

hiking
1 month ago

As always a great hike! Lots of folks out today! A few trees down on the trail! The falls had a good amount of water on them compared to September! Perfect hiking weather!

recorded Rainbow Falls Trail

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with The Megehee’s

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail. Challenging for us (we aren’t hikers, we’re lifters and runners) but well worth it for the gorgeous scenery. Would recommend.

Pleasant. Nice way to spend a Saturday.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is beautiful all the way up. It offers such a variety of scenery along route, ig, the swiftly flowing creek, massive boulders, grand hardwoods, cliffs of rhododendrons, peeks of mountain views and numerous waterfalls. Parts of the trail closer to the top even look tropical. This trail is also one of the first we have seen wildlife... we saw turkeys, a buck, a doe, and three bears! The buck walked right up towards us ( I posted a pic ) and one of the bears stood up to get a better view of us. This trail has easily become our favorite, and we have hiked more than a dozen. It gives you quite a workout with its constant incline, is easily identifiable, well kept, and has a restroom at the start. You have to hike this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely got a good workout with the steady ascent to the falls. It earns the moderate rating in that regard. Trail was pretty heavily trafficked, but worth it for the view at the top and the other scenery along the way. Well maintained path except for a few fallen trees which weren't too difficult to navigate. Saw two bucks locking horns near the trailhead. Would definitely make this trek again.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful and easy hike

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Very well kept trail. Nice and wide. Beautiful scenery beginning to end. Stated length is inaccurate. To the falls is actually 3.0 miles. Parking was crowed as others have stated. Great trail to feel good about you hiking ability. We don’t hike often so it was a good accomplishment to make it to the falls. Would absolutely recommend this and would do it again in the future.

1 month ago

Hiking in the rain....check. A couple of downed trees on the trail but passable. We were drenched but it was worth it.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Great hike; Very busy trail. Foggy in the am — but the falls were worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

nice hike pretty much uphill all the way to the falls. several really nice spots for photos and to just stand in awe. some nice smaller falls and old growth forest. main falls is amazing well worth the time. must be rated moderate due to the uphill which I don't think is that bad. 2 bear sightings near the road within 1/4 mile of the trail. Enjoy this one!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Very fun and challenging trail. All up hill to the falls had me pretty out of breath and my legs were burning! We hiked it with a 3 year old and a 7 year old. My husband had to pack our 3 year old on his back for most of it, but can be done with kids. A couple of steep drop offs in spots but the small falls on the way up were great and the big one at the end was beautiful! Plenty of spots to stop and take breaks also!

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