Rainbow Falls Trail

#6 of 162 trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round.

5.5 miles 1653 feet Out & Back
hiking trail running walking forest river views waterfall wild flowers wildlife rocky
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A rainbow produced by mist from this 80-foot high waterfall is visible on sunny afternoons. During extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the falls. Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500' in elevation. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate to in difficulty. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte.

Lindsay Fergerson
3 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful trail. Ridiculously hard and steep terrain. Absolutely NOT for a beginner or someone who doesn't exercise regularly. Don't wear sandals.

Lindsay Mullinix
9 days ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Difficult but beautiful

Darrin E.
13 days ago

Difficult with breaks going up. The falls were okay. Not worth the 2.6 mile hike up. Walk the trail because you want to, not for the falls.

Ryan Richey
14 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Tuff with two kids.

Austin Washington
17 days ago

8 Completed0 Reviews

I would definitely say to start this one early morning, generally too many people for my taste

ReneeandDevon Rice
17 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

awesome hike and workout.. about 2 and a half miles straight up... and 2 and a half miles out... it kicked my butt taking breaks on the way to the water fall.. great workout hike which is why I hike...

Jess Lytle
18 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Bring more than enough water!! You will need more than expected. Beautiful trail. Harder than I thought it would be but very do-able. Only thing I would change next time is bring more water. 2-3 hours up & 1 hour down. Loved the falls.

Morgan Rosenberg
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

ginger lange
1 month ago

14 Completed0 Reviews

Rick Bowen
1 month ago

5 Completed0 Reviews

Jatin Rawat
1 month ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

Robert Robert Walters
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Joan W
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful hike. Nice climb and beautiful views. Whole family enjoyed it. My 6 year old daughter did the whole thing in sparkly flats though I'd recommend better shoes as the trail was rocky in many places and wet rocks where slippery at times. Parking at the trailhead was an issue. If arriving later in the day pick an available spot up to one mile before trailhead. 50 or more cars were parked partly on the road after the trailhead because trailhead parking was full

Tony Mancuso
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Fun trail all around. Beautiful scenery throughout. Arrived at the trailhead around 7:30 A.M. to beat the crowd. Would definitely recommend getting there early as the parking spots go quick. Only a handful of people on the trail in the morning, but much more crowded by the time I got back to my vehicle just under 3 hours later. Overall, the trail was more strenuous than I expected but easy enough to make the trek without a walking stick. Passed many families on the way back down with many folks struggling as the elevation change can be a little taxing if you don't hike a lot. Give yourself approx two hours for the hike to the falls and an hour back down. Rocks get real slick so use caution on the decent. Can't wait to do this hike again with my wife and daughter.

John Whitehill
1 month ago

36 Completed0 Reviews

Marie LePage
2 months ago

9 Completed0 Reviews

This is a really nice moderately difficult trail. I went with a group of people of varying ages and fitness levels. Some of the group was unprepared in respect to water which was a mistake. Make sure you have lots of water. We also had a number of small children with us. 2/3 of the kids made it up just fine but the youngest almost didn't make it. Beautiful view of the falls at the top. Well worth it!

Wesley Bush
2 months ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

David Mathis
2 months ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

19 degrees when started out...not many people on the trail until mid day then got crowed.Falls was frozen over mostly but still worth the hike

Forrest Davis
3 months ago

10 Completed1 Reviews

The views were great! the waterfall was mostly frozen over, and the trail was icy at higher points which added some extra challenge but overall 4/5 would do again.

Daniel Wallis
4 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews