Rainbow Falls Trail

HARD
#6 of 161 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
Hide Map

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.

Heather Thompson
7 days ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

standing that close to the power of the rushing water, and feeling the mist off the waterfall was an experience I'll never forget

Ariel Bernstein
13 days ago

4 Completed5 Reviews

Beautiful

Ariel Bernstein
13 days ago

4 Completed5 Reviews

Eric Bolin
16 days ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Lindsay Fergerson
23 days ago

1 Completed1 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
29 days ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Difficult but beautiful

Darrin E.
1 month 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
1 month ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Tuff with two kids.

Austin Washington
1 month ago

8 Completed8 Reviews

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

ReneeandDevon Rice
1 month ago

1 Completed1 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
1 month ago

1 Completed1 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 Completed1 Reviews

ginger lange
1 month ago

14 Completed14 Reviews

Rick Bowen
1 month ago

7 Completed3 Reviews

Jatin Rawat
1 month ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

Robert Robert Walters
2 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Joan W
2 months ago

2 Completed2 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
2 months ago

1 Completed1 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
2 months ago

36 Completed36 Reviews

Marie LePage
2 months ago

9 Completed9 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!