On a hot day lingering near the base will give you a very cooling mist. It's a fabulous sight, just save some strength for that long walk back. Some narrower paths thread through the woods on the left just before the creek - that is the trail to Stairway Falls, which is not officially part of this hike. Trail Description The beginning of the Rainbow Falls trail is newly built, graveled, and easy. Rainbow Falls drops 100 feet over steep walls streaked with black and tan from the alternating layers of amphibolite gneiss, granitic gneiss, and mica schist. Rainbow Falls is tall, and absolutely gorgeous. I guess that's why I and my aging legs tho't it was farther. Go 0.9 miles South on NC 281 from US 64 to the park entrance road on the left. so if you're not sure which one to download, KML is a good bet. Gorges State Park. Then the trail is easy to follow with a creek crossing that can be a wet one when the water is high. Thankfully, there is plenty of room to view the falls from National Forest property. Review of Gorges State Park. Angela said: I am looking to hike the Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Gorges State Park -- Rainbow Falls Trail, Transylvania County (2-26-15) - dwhike As you hike up the Rainbow Falls Trail, at about 1.5 miles, you’ll see and hear this amazing waterfall to your left. Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. This is a moderate one way trail to Rainbow Falls in Pisgah National Forest. - See 23 traveler reviews, 27 candid photos, and great deals for Sapphire, NC, at Tripadvisor. The opening is thought to be kept open naturally by the constant spray mist and wind from the falls. In past years the only access to this waterfall was by way of a steep trail from Camp Greenville at the NC/SC border south of Brevard, NC. Rainbow Falls is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Brevard. The 140-foot waterfall plunges over a granite cliff surrounded by steep granite walls in the secluded gorge. sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. Veer to the right to continue to Rainbow Falls … It's eroded in places, with steep side slopes eating into the trail surface. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. July 2003 It resembles more of an ATV track than a trail at this point. As you continue on, you'll soon come to Rainbow Falls, which is big and powerful. There is a heavy fence along the trail, where you can get very clear views of the falls, and the large rock cliffs the water falls down. From intersection of US 64 and NC 107 take NC 107 south for approximately 10 mi. This article used to be a step-by-step guide to finding this hidden gem. Look for the cluster of information boards at the end of the parking lot. Take at least a quart of water. Tip: Printing this map? After dri… Using GPS, the walk in was 1.6 miles. As you can see, the cliff over which the falls roll is made of a variety of materials, some of which cast mineral dust into the air causing the colorful hues in the mist. Without rolling a measuring wheel down the trail or doing an actual survey, I'm not sure how much more accurate it can get! Trails leaves the state park and enter national forest and gets somewhat rough. During extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the falls. Photo journals of hikes in Michigan, the Great Lakes region, North Carolina and the Rockies. From Highlands, it's just over 20 miles on US 64 East, thru Cashiers, to NC 281 South - turn right. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Rainbow Falls earns its label honestly, though the namesake phenomenon only happens under certain conditions: On sunny afternoons, particularly in summer, the sunshine on the wafting mist of the waterfall produces a rainbow effect that’s spectacular to witness. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. Several more smaller falls and some more scenery are located above Rainbow Falls, in case you're up for a longer hike of 4 miles round-trip. Much of the hike to Rainbow Falls, which begins at Jones Gap State Park (seen here at the start of the trail on the right side of the map), follows along the Middle Saluda River. Explore western North Carolina's most beautiful waterfalls on these top hikes near Asheville. However, the trail - and optionally, the hike - continues about a half mile further upstream to a couple of smaller cascades and waterfalls. There are several cascades along this stretch of river, interspersed by deep pools - but nothing like what lies just upstream. Park there. Then it continues upstream, going back into the woods. This is a easy out and back trail to Drift Falls in Gorges State Park. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. It is on Pisgah National Forest land just outside Gorges State Park. Whitewater Falls. These falls are spectacular and worth seeing in any season. Rainbow Falls is located one hour away from Asheville and near Lake Toxaway. Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. It's a little over a mile straight on the main road to the parking area for the Rainbow Falls trail. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. We have done this hike several times. Many At this point a spur trail heads left and stars to descend toward the Horsepasture River. The strong sun and constant mist mean all the mud, grass, and rocks are completely covered by an impossibly slippery slime. You start inside Gorges State Park, and then cross into Forest Service land. Do not bring young children, but it highly recommended for those who are capable of hiking a moderately difficult 5+ mile trail. That meant we had to descend from the trailhead then ascend towards the Rainbow Falls before having to repeat this V-shaped elevation profile on the way back to the trailhead. Mark Mikrut said: I sit corrected five years later. It's the same old road bed you were on before anyhow. August 2003 Hiking Clemmer Trail to Rainbow Falls is easily the one hike I've completed the most in the last 10 years, and it's ranked amongst my top three hikes to take family and friends on when someone's itching for a quick and easy getaway into the Cherokee National Forest. it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary). Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. government agencies, and field observations. You mentioned Pisgah National Forest another that needs to further hike for another mile and half. Several more smaller falls and some more scenery are located above Rainbow Falls, in case you're up for a longer hike of 4 miles round-trip. You can return to your vehicle from here to make this a 3-mile round trip hike as officially advertised by the State Park. Hover over a trail to see it highlighted. Just past this crossing, the trail passes off of Gorges State Park property and onto National Forest property. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! The trail then follows the river to the waterfall. They're also notoriously difficult to photograph, since when the sun is shining, the light is not always the best - and the mist will be constantly trying to soak your lens and ruin your camera. On a hot day lingering near the base will give you a very cooling mist. Although the Rainbow Falls Trail is difficult and will take 3-5 hours to hike, this is one of the most enjoyable and scenic hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. The Horsepasture River thunders down a 125-foot drop spraying up a mist that creates rainbows that sparkle in the sunlight. Open Database License - you are free to copy and use This frontal view of the falls is the best place to see the rainbows in the mist that give the falls its name. available at all times due to system maintenance or outages. The first section of trail you will hike has a gravel surface. Once it it crosses onto the National Forest - and into the Horsepasture Wild and Scenic River corridor - the trail is no longer gravel-surfaced and blazed; however, it is easy to follow. In past years the only access to this waterfall was by way of a steep trail from Camp Greenville at the NC/SC border south of Brevard, NC. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. No matter where we are, we always stop to take a million pictures of the beautiful rainbow that forms after an afternoon storm, as if we've never seen one before. Driving to the Trailhead: Take Historic Nature Trail Drive (traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg) into the park. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. The trail continues around Turtleback Falls, crossing a small trickling tributary, and then comes out on the rocks above the main drop. 135. The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. Follow trail upriver passing access points and several rapids and minor falls. A hidden-gem waterfall hike in a lush forest. See more ideas about Waterfall hikes, Beautiful waterfalls, Waterfall. There is even a large sloping rock next to the swimming hole that is great for relaxing. No matter where we are, we always stop to take a million pictures of the beautiful rainbow that forms after an afternoon storm, as if we've never seen one before. This section is gradual downhill, so the trek back will mostly uphill. The falls is located on the Horsepasture River. GeoJSON is a newer, lightweight data exchange format which can be used to quickly share map data and may have a smaller size than KML or GPX. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. Rainbow Falls gets its name from the late afternoon hues of rainbow colors that are magically cast into the air as the sun sprays through the mist cast off by the waterfall. This trail goes by Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Rainbow Falls, SC. But be sure to stay back from the private property line. Follow gravel trail downhill for 1 mi (easy), then meets Horsepasture River. There is a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls for those adventurous visitors looking for a place to cool off. If you promise not to take unnecessary risks, it's well worth the effort required to see them. The trail winds downhill through a ridge-top forest and intersects an old roadbed just after a hairpin turn. Scroll down to see more content This 5 waterfall hike is a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, NC that features 4 waterfalls and is rated moderate. Base layers may not be You can pan and zoom the map as desired before printing KML is the main file type used by Google Earth. Remember, this section of the river is extremely risky to explore up-close, so just enjoy it from the trail. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Las Vegas, Nevada 8 contributions. The trail continues upstream, passing some nice slides, cascades, and agitated pools, and reaches Turtleback Falls in about 0.2 mile. Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike … If you are a fan of these beautiful sky images, there is one spot about 55 miles from Asheville that you need to visit. Go left, down a small scramble path onto the river rocks, to get a view of Drift Falls across its plunge pool. History. As you hike up the Rainbow Falls Trail, at about 1.5 miles, you’ll see and hear this amazing waterfall to your left. Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead From the Grassy Ridge Trailhead (see directions below), it was a 1.5-mile V-shaped hike (3 miles round trip). Rainbow Falls is one of the biggest and most scenic falls in the region. Rainbow Falls Trail is most likely the rockiest of all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From the very beginning, you can hear the roar of the Horsepasture River in the valley far below, which you'll reach in about 1 mile. Rainbow Falls NC. That's where you get your first view of the falls, from behind a fence along the trail. (Source 2) Although the Rainbow Falls Trail is difficult and will take 3-5 hours to hike, this is one of the most enjoyable and scenic hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. 1 mi. Apr 6, 2018 - Hike the Rainbow Falls Trail to a towering 150-foot waterfall through a wildflower-filled forest in North Carolina's Gorges State Park. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. Rainbow Falls NC: hiking Gorges State Park. Difficulty Rating: 4.92 Tread Condition: Moderately Rough Climb: Hilly Lowest Elevation: 2480 ft Highest Elevation: 2920 ft Climb Total: 800 ft Configuration: Out-and-back Starting Point: Grassy Ridge/Rainbow Falls Trail Parking Area. Large clearing gives great view of Rainbow Falls (appr 100ft drop). I do not recommend getting in the Horsepasture River at all. There is a heavy fence along the trail, where you can get very clear views of the falls, and the large rock cliffs the water falls down. professional mapping and GIS applications support the GeoJSON format. Several signs and maps with trail description to Rainbow Falls (3mi round trip). Continuing upriver, Turtleback Falls (Umbrella Falls) are reached in 0.3miles. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/rainbow-falls-trail Rainbow Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the park and definitely one of the most photographed. All the research I did, didn't really prepare me for just how big Rainbow Falls actually are. It leads gently uphill at first, but very soon begins descending. Hike the Rainbow Falls Trail to a towering 150-foot waterfall through a wildflower-filled forest in North Carolina's Gorges State Park. Michele C wrote a review Nov 2020. Scroll down to see more content This 5 waterfall hike is a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, NC that features 4 waterfalls and is rated moderate. Turtleback Falls is a popular sliding, swimming, and jumping spot. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Hike Details Difficulty: Moderate Length: 1.5 miles each way to Rainbow Falls, an additional 1 mile round-trip to Turtleback Falls Region: Duration of hike: 30 minutes each way (add an extra 10 each way for Turtleback) Elevation gain: 800 Feet Type: Out & Back Blazes: Orange Circles Facilities & Parking: Parking lot, portable toilet Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. To reach Rainbow Falls, you'll need to hike 1.5 miles from Gorges State Park at the Grassy Ridge Parking area (drive about 2 miles after entering the park). Rainbow Falls in upstate South Carolina is a gorgeous 80-100' free falling waterfall on Cox Camp Creek. You will cross into South Carolina approx. Click a trail for more details and to download it individually. Rainbow Falls gets its name from the mist that’s generated & often creates a rainbow effect when the sun is bright. Rainbow Falls Trail located in Gorges State Park, NC is a rally nice deep woods hike, that begins in Gorges State Park and ends in Pisgah National Forest at either Rainbow Falls or Turtleback Falls.. Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles one way to Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls NC. Just next to Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest, is the impressive 150ft tall Rainbow Falls of North Carolina. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). Helps to see start and end points for an individual trail. Scroll and zoom the map before printing, and that view will persist into the printed image. The trail goes through the mist zone and goes back into the forest on the other side of the opening. The trail begins following the river uphill on the right side, where it gets a bit rougher and steeper. Click on a route, trail, or point on the map and select the GPS Data tab to download its data. September 2008 The trail seemed pretty easy at first, but got more difficult as we went. This trail goes by a spur trail leading to Stairway Falls. To hike to Rainbow Falls from the Gorges State Park parking lot, follow the trail for 5 minutes, bearing right at the intersection. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC (view maps and driving directions).Gorges State Park is one of the newest in North Carolina’s state park system, and with an annual rainfall of over 80 inches, the park classifies as a temperate rain forest. Trail Description The beginning of the Rainbow Falls trail is newly built, graveled, and easy. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! That trail is now closed. June 2010 The trail comes out at a point on the ridge near the top of the falls. alltrails.com At about the halfway point, the trail turns to the right to head up to Rainbow Falls. But you've seen what's just downstream, and people have been swept from here all the way over the brink of Rainbow Falls. This adventure follows the most direct route to the falls, departing from the Cold Mountain Gap trailhead east of Cashiers (view maps and driving directions).From the trailhead, the hike follows the Panthertown Valley Trail to the northwest, marked with pink trail blazes. It's a little over a mile straight on the main road to the parking area for the Rainbow Falls trail. Gorges State Park. This waterfall is named Rainbow Falls because on sunny days after the mist rolls out, you will be able to see a rainbow. Follow the trail through the campsite and out the other side, which will take you to within a few feet of the river. About 1/2 mile past the campsite, the trail curves right, into an open area created by mist from the raging cascade. Rainbow Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the park and definitely one of the most photographed. You'll get your feet wet on this one if the water is up. Your email address will not be displayed, is kept completely private, and is only used to fight comment spam. This trail goes by a spur trail leading to Stairway Falls. Rainbow Falls, SC. If you choose to hike the additional 4 miles to the Mt. Michele C wrote a review Nov 2020. Rainbow Falls Trail located in Gorges State Park, NC is a rally nice deep woods hike, that begins in Gorges State Park and ends in Pisgah National Forest at either Rainbow Falls or Turtleback Falls.. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. A few years back, a new trail was constructed from Jones Gap State Park. [Site Admin] Jordan M. said: Mark - according to the best GPS data I have, it's 1.379km or 0.85mi from the trailhead parking to the park boundary, and 2.492km or 1.55mi all the way from the trailhead parking area to the overlook for the falls. They're primarily visible in the morning, when the sun is low. My research kept taking me back to Rainbow Falls. When yo… Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. It's still called the Rainbow Falls trail (#499). Rainbow Falls drops 100 feet over steep walls streaked with black and tan from the alternating layers of amphibolite gneiss, granitic gneiss, and mica schist. A Cold-weather Hike Can Turn Up Another Visual Treat When you've seen enough, return to your vehicle on the same path. From the split to the base of Stairway Falls is 0.3 of a mile. The elevation change and the rocky nature of the trail make this a “strenuous” hike. You'll notice the trail getting a bit steeper before it crosses a small stream. The hike starts at the overcrowded Rainbow Falls trailhead in Gorges State Park and follows the same route as Rainbow Falls for 1.1 miles. 20 minutes further, the trail enters the Nantahala National Forest, with a side trail to the left that heads to Stairway Falls. If you have Google Earth installed, clicking the KML link should open the trail or point directly Start the hike on the trail leading away from the sign boards. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. Bear right to continue on the trail. It's best to enjoy the awesome view way back from the edge of the river or any slick rocks. The trail then follows the river to the waterfall. It's 1½ miles to the BORDER of the state park and at least another 1½ miles in the Pisgah National Forest till you get to the falls, making it closer to a SIX MILE round trip. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. It is one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. At times, the trail is very close to the river; at other times, it climbs uphill a bit further away. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. 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