It is not recommended that anyone swim in the Horse Pasture River. Raymond Fisher campsites can be reserved online or campers can bring exact change ($15 per night per site) and register in-person at the trailhead. The trail is a little muddy in places from the waterfall’s mist. Fantastic hike and experience. Turtle Back is a very safe place for riding the waterfalls. For questions or updates, call the park office at (828) 966-9099. Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles one way to Rainbow Falls. Reviewed June 3, 2018. 100 yards past the falls and hike a steep path to the right. Parks are open every other day of the holiday season, including New Year's Day. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. It is one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Great trail, tremendous views. The falls themselves are gorgeous, the trail itself is kind of average. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls at Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls Trail. Hike, Swim. Rainbow Falls is the first one you’ll encounter. 1615 Mail Service Center It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. You will … Within the next.3 mi you will come upon Turtleback falls (10ft), and a 3rd ' … ADD A REVIEW. The trail leaves the visitor center headed upstream. The Rainbow Falls Trail begins in Gorges State Park at their Grassy Ridge parking area. 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. However, it is possible to view the falls during spring and winter from at least one point on the Hickory Nut Falls trail, at Chimney Rock Park. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. Hikers report that the beautiful Rainbow Falls, lush vegatation, and amazing scenery make the difficult hike well worth it. The trail continues past the falls for a total of 6.7 miles up to the summit of Mt. The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. NOTE: Pets are not allowed on this trail. Drive to parking lot at the end of road (2 mi in). View the contact sheet for the email address and phone number of each park », (General information – please do not call this number for camping or park-specific questions), Office Hours The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail … Come prepared for a moderately difficult 5.4 mile out and back hike to the falls as the Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500 feet in elevation. Hikers should be aware of all State and Federal rules in these areas. 9:00am to 5:00pm Trail continues upriver (downhill splits to falls access). Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Rainbow Falls, SC. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. ). Whitewater Falls. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. My sister came with us - … to the 60 ft. falls. Amazing 200 ft falls. Visiting the Falls. If you stay straight on the trail, you'll end up at another waterfall: Jones Gap Falls. Sorry for any inconvienance. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. All North Carolina state parks are closed on Christmas Day, December 25. As you hike up the Rainbow Falls Trail, at about 1.5 miles, you’ll see and hear this amazing waterfall to your left. Continue up the trail to get to Turtleback Falls. Gorges State Park. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. You can hike a 1.5-mile riverside trail from Stairway past Turtleback Falls, passing Rainbow Falls and Hidden Falls along with many scenic rapids. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! The trail is mostly downhill - so you will have an uphill walk much of the way back to the car (important to remember if you have small children! Only 5 years ago the hike to these falls was a strenuous all-day event involving a combination of overgrown trails and bushwhacking. Directions: Entrance from Hwy 281 (Whitewater Hwy) approx 1 mi south of Sapphire NC (junc US HWY 64). It then heads up the Horsepasture river to Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls, and ends at the private property boundary just below Drift Falls. Rainbow Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that boasts impressive 360-degree views. From the trailhead, hike a short ways through mixed forest with some blueberry bushes and sassafras lining the trail until you hit a trail junction. View the cascading waters as they plunge over the rock ledges of Rainbow Falls on their way to Lake Superior. We enjoyed the beautiful views and clearly marked trails the entire way. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. 1 mi. Be aware that waterfalls can be extremely dangerous. Rainbow Falls, SC. Large clearing gives great view of Rainbow Falls (appr 100ft drop). Turn right into Gorges State Park. 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. Half-Day Hike: From the Rainbow Falls parking area, head out on the Rainbow Falls Trail. 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.. Rated appropriate moderate as 1-2 way to falls is mostly downhill and the. Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. This short hike along the Horsepasture River features outstanding views of 4 large waterfalls and good camping. Absolutely worth it. There is a nice swimming hole at the base of the falls for those adventurous visitors looking for a place to cool off. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. In all, Casey said, there are 11 warning signs from the park to Rainbow Falls, and then a short hike upstream to Turtleback Falls, where there have been fatalities in past years. The 2.5-mile loop hike can be strenuous at parts but continuously rewards you with beauty, including the stunning Crabtree Falls that cascades a total of 70 feet. The hike to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just outside of Gatlinburg. Departing Jones Gap, travel approximately .75 miles along the blue blazed Jones Gap Trail, then veer to the right onto the red blazed Rainbow Falls Trail. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. It's about 1.3 miles to Hidden Falls (about 2/10 of a mile before Rainbow Falls). awesome hike....the water was flowing heavy. Chestnut Mountain Road will be Closed from January 16th - March 9th 2021 for Road Repairs. for 10.7 mi. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. Just downstream is Stair Step Falls. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC ( view maps and driving directions ). The trailhead for the Summey Cove Trail is on L next to bridge; hike 0.2 mi. Parks are not hosting any guided First Day Hikes on January 1. hike Hiking Trail. Access to Rainbow Falls is prohibited. east from Franklin, 9 mi. 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. You will cross into South Carolina approx. Rainbow Falls Trail. To hike to Rainbow Falls, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead. The Hike to Rainbow Falls Julie starting the hike to Rainbow Falls from the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Heavy traffic. Cullasaja Falls – Visible from U.S. 64, in Cullasaja Gorge, 11 mi. The 7,500-acre park incorporates a portion the long-distance Foothills Trail and touches Lake Jocassee at the South Carolina border. The area surrounding Panthertown is incredibly scenic and offers some of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in Western NC. DIRECTIONS. This includes the roadside overlook. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park, N.C., a beautiful hike in stunning GoPro 4K quality (4k 60fps). The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 10/10 recommend. The area surrounding Panthertown is incredibly scenic and offers some of our all-time favorite waterfall hikes in Western NC. Other backcountry campsites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Whitewater Falls. Rainbow Falls. 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 difficult. The Horsepasture River thunders down a 125-foot drop spraying up a mist that creates rainbows that sparkle in the sunlight. Please note that parks may be busy on New Year's Day, so please be prepared for parking delays and make backup plans. It’s mostly downhill on the way to the falls and uphill on the way out. After dri… The are 2 sections of narrow, very shallow streams you cross on stepping stones. The parking area is part of the Gorges State Park and is clearly designated. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Rainbow Falls is a beauty. The 140-foot waterfall plunges over a granite cliff surrounded by steep granite walls in the secluded gorge. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Due to construction from the developed campground project, the one-way section of the park road is temporarily closed. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species, and exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive visitor center with its museum-quality exhibits, augmented by picnic grounds and shelters. After about 1/2 mile you can hear the rushing water of Turtleback Falls. Backtrack back to the parking lot. There is even a large sloping rock next to the swimming hole that is great for relaxing. Backcountry-style recreation is a hallmark of Gorges with distance hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding welcome in various parts of the rugged interior. Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. The picnic shelters are not currently available for reservations. Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Reaching Rainbow Falls is a very strenuous five-mile round-trip hike. This magical sight can be seen at Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park, one of the best Western North Carolina waterfall hikes… From intersection of US 64 and NC 107 take NC 107 south for approximately 10 mi. Hiking Trail. Follow the Rainbow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park to a series of enormous falls on the Horsepasture River. IMAGE VIA @GOLDNEOPHOBIA | INSTAGRAM. Rainbow Falls NC: the hike. The 140-foot waterfall plunges over a granite cliff surrounded by steep granite walls in the secluded gorge. Several signs … Le Conte. 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. Rainbow Falls Trail. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. Rainbow Falls NC Rainbow Falls is tall, and absolutely gorgeous. In the spring, azalea, meadow rue, and Solomon's plume envelope many of the boulders. Started out around 9:30 this morning, a few folks at both falls. It takes about 2.2 miles to get to the base of the waterfall from the park's registration area. The trail within the Gorges State Park is better tended than the lengthier section in the Nantahala National Forest. Hiking trails take you to the top & bottom of this fall, but hiking is not necessary to view this waterfall. Rainbow Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Campgrounds remain open under the order. Hi/Low, RealFeel®, precip, radar, & everything you need to be ready for the day, commute, and weekend! Intermittent climbs. Dry Falls. Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping us keep you, your fellow visitors and our staff safe as we open facilities at our parks. Loved it! Fun and easy trail with a beautiful waterfall as a reward. Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. We came here to hike the Rainbow Falls Trail. In all, Casey said, there are 11 warning signs from the park to Rainbow Falls, and then a short hike upstream to Turtleback Falls, where there have been fatalities in past years. 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. Gorges State Park: Rainbow Falls Trail - See 312 traveler reviews, 266 candid photos, and great deals for Sapphire, NC, at Tripadvisor. Nice trail and beautiful forest with background sound of the falls. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a steep climb that crosses over several foot bridges along the river. The rainbow was spectacular and so fun to go under. Turtleback Falls and Rainbow Falls (Not for young children or the less than physically fit) Directions from Whitewater Falls – Exit parking lot to right (north) and continue on NC 281 for 7.5 miles. Rainbow falls is absolutely "Gorges" with Turtle Back falls not far after. An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 1.3 mi. Continue down the river trail. https://www.exploreasheville.com/stories/post/rainbow-falls-and-turtleback-hike Beautiful autumn hike to see the 3 falls along this trail. Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park is one of my favorite waterfalls and trails in our area. Travels from the Grassy Ridge parking area in Gorges State park, onto National Forest property, then down to the Horsepasture River above Stairway Falls. The sign at the entrance rated this as strenuous, I would say it was the harder side of moderate only because of the stairs to the falls. Waterfall is one of a kind and hard to beat. Rainbow Falls is one of the biggest and most scenic falls in the region. Rainbow Falls is located one hour away from Asheville and near Lake Toxaway. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. To start your hike, go to the Grassy Ridge parking area in Gorges State Park. These falls are spectacular and worth seeing in any season. Rainbow Falls Trail is a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in Gorges State Park in Western North Carolina. The 80-foot waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the national park, cascading dramatically over a jutting cliff face and … Hike the trails which lead to the panoramic views of Lake Superior and Whitesand Lake.The Rainbow Falls Trail located within the park is part of the 52 km Casque Isles Trail section of the Voyageur Trail that runs between the communities of Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Rossport. The trail is primarily used for hiking, and camping and is accessible year-round. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte. Directions: This 411 ft. waterfall is higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. Make sure to wear boots, not sneakers, to pass the streams you have to walk through! Added by Ivan Snyder Waterfalls are always amazing, and Rainbow Falls has three! There were a lot of places to stop and sit along the way so it was okay for us older folks. and turn R (W) on US 64 to return to Cashiers. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. waterfall in Pigsah National Forest accessed by trailhead starting in Gorges State Park. Decent beginners hike, I always see always see a few kids on the trail. A hidden-gem waterfall hike in a lush forest. The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail … Just next to Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest, is the impressive 150ft tall Rainbow Falls of North Carolina. This waterfall is named Rainbow Falls because on sunny days after the mist rolls out, you will be able to see a rainbow. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you'll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. My husband and I are experienced hikers and would rate the hike more of a "moderate" hike. From here, climb approximately 1,000 feet … At about the halfway point, the trail turns to the right to head up to Rainbow Falls. The Rainbow Falls trail begins by the bulletin boards at the end of the parking area. We encourage park visitors to conduct their own First Day Hikes with members of their household. This one is known for its rainbows, which can be seen in the ample mist they produce. Lace up your sturdy hiking boots and head out to discover the famed Rainbow Falls waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Water levels can rise unexpectedly and even the best swimmers may be swept downstream by strong currents. Swim beaches and areas are closed. This trail goes by Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Fairly easy walk, steep in places for some but well worth it for the falls. 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