Rock Creek Falls is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Reliance, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.3 miElevation gain393 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeMuddyOver grownRocky
Description
Waypoints (3)
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Getting There

This route follows the Scenic Spur Trail to the Rock Creek Falls. These falls go by several names including: Rock Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls, Rattlesnake Falls, and Falls of the Scenic Spur. Either way, they're beautiful and absolutely worth the hike! Beware this trail can be muddy and overgrown in some sections. There are a couple creek crossings along the way so come prepared! There are many more trails in this area if you wish to extend your trip. This trail is a part of the Chilhowee Trail System.

Parking for 8-10 vehicles; no restroom facilities. Good signage and trail markings.

Depart U.S. 64 upon State Route 30. Take an almost immediate left into the trailhead parking area. Embark upon Clement Trail #302/Scenic Spur Trail #78, with a sign stating it is 1.7 miles to "waterfalls". After 0.1 mile, bear right upon #78. In 0.6 miles more, Clemmer Spur Trail #86 is intersected. Stay straight on #78. After another 0.6 miles, rockhop Rock Creek. Go 0.3 miles more and make a second stream crossing. The descents are at trail's end in 0.1 mile. (http://www.mymaps.com/tnfalls/Cherokee/rainbow.html)

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Reviews (332)
Photos (293)
Activities (243)
Completed (598)
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Jeremiah Jeremiah Jacobs
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Hiking

great trail double water falls. Steep/slick hike to the upper fall. It is the bigger of the two. 2 water crossings each way. With some skill the first can be done by stone hopping. Both are easier accomplished by getting wet.

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Cheryl Grisamore
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Hiking

Just be prepared. We went day after big rains- water shoes were a must. Easy to follow trail. Two river crossings- had to carry our dog. :) Flow was too strong for his short legs. Definitely worth the two hour drive from the Smoky Mountain Park area. I have yet to be disappointed, hiking in the Cherokee National Forest. We had a picnic lunch, on top a flat rock, at the upper falls. Memorable day.

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Ryan Back
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Hope Cross
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Hiking

so beautiful worth the soggy feet crossing the rivers

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Elizabeth D
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heather hitz
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HikingFeeIcyRockySnow

starts out very mild, but don't let that fool you! this trail climbs more than I expected, with plenty of snow and ice. was glad to be wearing waterproof boots and have a hiking pole with me, they were put to good use. bear right once you see the unaka mountain wilderness sign, about 1.5 miles in or so. bearing left over the foot bridge will circle you right back around. all in all, a beautiful area that's well maintained and not that many people out in the cold weather!

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Kaile Javins
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Hiking
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Dannan Sanderson
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Evan Salter
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Esta Eberhardt
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HikingGreat!

Great hike but, be aware, there are 3 river crossings (water is very cold) to get to the falls and rocks at the falls are very slick, take your time if climbing down. Once you get to the first falls, there’s a trail to the left up around the cliff to get to the upper falls as well.

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Casey Kramer
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Hiking
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Kennard Yamada
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HikingFloodedSnow

The water was high and the day was cold so, sadly, no way to cross the river to complete the hike. The light snow was pretty.

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Raquel Brown
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HikingGreat!

It was a good hike, with lots to see. You do have to cross the water in order to finish it (which we did not do), but it was beautiful nonetheless.

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Juan Hernández
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Alisha Ritchey
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jackie davis
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Shelley Allen
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We hiked the lower and upper falls yesterday. The rocks and leaves were very slick due to the rain especially climbing up the hill at the rock wall, but so worth it in the end. The only thing for me, is once we got to the upper falls, I'm too short to climb up the large rocks to get close to the falls. I couldn't see a safe way to wade as the water was a little high due to the rain.

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Alex Martin
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Hiking
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Jay McCollum
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Hiking

Good hike. At the end of the trail are the upper and lower parts of Rock Creek Falls. Above this, but hard to reach (at least for me!), is Chestnut Mountain Falls and another partially obscured Falls where Laurel Branch comes in from the left.

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Stephen Perdue
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John Hostetler
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Todd Hunt
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Hiking

Did this hike today. I also did the same thing took off shoes crossed creek so worth the finish at the end with a waterfall

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Sean Devine
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Hiking

Two wet foot water crossings.

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Duane Rice
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HikingGreat!

Great hike. The main trail was beautiful and a fairly easy hike. The water was a bit high in the creeks but we just took off our shoes and made it across. Bring water shoes!!! The hike to the second falls was quite a bit tougher. More like rock scrambling but lots of fun. Don’t hesitate. Enjoy the hike.

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Kristin Watson
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HikingGreat!

The trail was much better than some of the reviews make it seem. I went about 4 miles from the parking lot, to the main waterfall and back. The hike was moderate with both ways moving between easy and strenuous; I got a great workout and I am active. I also brought my two small dogs who did fine. The waterfall was so fun to play in and if it were warmer I would have gone for a swim. There are 2 water crossings and you can get over both by hopping over the rocks. Great hike!

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Ryker Roberts
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Hiking

Great trail.. easy bring your family and dogs on!!

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