Cabins USA Gatlinburg Logo
Loading Page
(800) 584-9872
Cabins USA Gatlinburg Availability Search Icon Availability Search Small Icon

Smokies Venue: Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

If you're looking to get out in the great outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountains, a hike to Rainbow Falls delivers! This trail features beautiful scenery of old growth forests along the 5.4 miles hike that rises to a total elevation of 1,685 feet. At the end, you'll find an 80-foot waterfall with the opportunity to see rainbows when the weather is just right.

Get your exercise out in the fresh, mountain air, have a meal with family and friends at one of the picnic areas, and view native wildlife, plants, and wildflowers. You'll find all the info below for what you'll need to bring and what you can expect during your hike to Rainbow Falls in TN.

Things to Remember

It's always best to call the National Park ahead of time to make sure that the trail is open and accessible to the public. And always make sure to set out with enough time to make it to the waterfall and back before dark. There are plenty of maps available online through the National Park Service, as well as at locations throughout the park, so grab one up even if you're confident in where you're headed. It’s always better to be safe!

This trail can be a bit steep, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear like hiking boots that provide some ankle support. Before you set out, make sure you apply and bring along some bugspray to avoid any mosquitos and ticks. The only thing you want to bring home from your hike is amazing memories, not itchy bites!

Some of the areas near the waterfall can be slippery, so make sure to follow the park's safety advisory and stay back a safe distance and avoid climbing on the rocks near the waterfall. During the coldest parts of winter, the waterfall often forms beautiful ice formations which make great photo opportunities. But make sure to take extra care during winter as it can make conditions dangerous.


What To Expect at Rainbow Falls

The hike begins at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead just outside Gatlinburg off the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. You'll find the first parking lot off the road to the right and an overflow parking area about a tenth of a mile further on. Your hiking boots and supplies will come to good use along the trail. The first about two quarters of a mile are a steady climb through a field with boulders and other natural scenery. If you packed a picnic, you'll find plenty of picnic sites where you and your family can enjoy a meal with the LeConte Creek bubbling nearby.

The Rainbow Falls Trail is a challenging trek, but after the wildfires in 2016, work crews added plenty of additions to make it easier. These include stabilizing areas where the ground began to erode and improving the surfaces of the trails. As you continue moving along the trail, you'll cross a footbridge at 1.7 miles and at about 2.7 miles you'll cross a second bridge and that's when you'll know made it to the waterfall.

If you're looking to get some great photos during your adventure to Rainbow Falls, try setting out first thing in the morning. That way you'll be able snap pictures before midday when the sun is directly overhead and you'll get great photos of the sunlight streaming through the trees and hitting the waterfall just right! You can also start your hike later in the afternoon for ideal lighting, but make sure to keep any eye on the time so you don't end up stuck out on the trail after dark. If you get the time and weather conditions just right, you'll be able to see the rainbows that appear around the waterfall.


Wildlife and Much More!

You'll be able to view some of the beautiful, native wildflowers and fascinating plants and mushrooms. You might see some native wildlife while hiking to Rainbow Waterfall. Keep an eye out for black bears, deer, squirrels, raccoons, wild turkeys, woodchucks, and more. Pack your binoculars so you can view animals from far away as it is never a good idea to approach wildlife. Make sure everyone in your group understands the proper safety protocol for what to do if you run across a black bear or other wildlife during your walk.

Your Trip to Rainbow Falls

This moderate hike up in the Smoky Mountains gives you and your family a fun experience and an opportunity for memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure to bring along some snacks, plenty of water, and proper footwear and you're sure to have a great time!C

Check out some of our other area info pages if you're looking for even more fun things to do and places to visit in the great outdoors while vacationing in the Smoky Mountains.

Written by

Please Note: Cabins USA Gatlinburg's area information, area events, and blog pages are provided as a public service. Cabins USA Gatlinburg does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or businesses referenced in these web pages. Any mention of vendors, products, businesses, or services on the Cabins USA Gatlinburg web site is for informational purposes only. Users of this web site are responsible for checking the accuracy, completeness, currency and/or suitability of all information. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by Cabins USA Gatlinburg. Furthermore, specific questions regarding any content should be directed to the appropriate organization and not necessarily to Cabins USA Gatlinburg.

Cabins USA Gatlinburg Official Logo
star star star star star
849 Glades Rd., Unit 1A1
Gatlinburg, TN  37738
(865) 436-5031

VLS #157
Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals
Guest Reservations
(800) 584-9872
2 Night Minimum

Cabins USA Gatlinburg Help Icon
Copyright 2013-2023, Cabins USA Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg, TN

Want to receive up to date information on cabin specials and events in the Smokies? Sign up for our newsletter! Simply provide a contact name and email so that we can reach you. Cabins USA Gatlinburg respects our guest's privacy and never shares this information with third-party sites. We treat any information that you share as confidential.

For each of the fields, please provide the following information:

There are several boxes that can be checked to broaden or narrow your search. Once you select your desired amenities or locations, simply click "search" to filter out available properties for your desired date. Once search results are provided, you can sort your results by bedrooms, name, rate, and rating.

After your first search, it isn't necessary to click the "search" button again as this feature will automatically filter your results for any new search features you provide, unless you change the date, the number of nights, or go to a new webpage.

It isn't necessary that you wait for a search to be completed before you select or deselect different search features.

When browsing results, you can add them to your "favorites" by clicking the red plus mark on the bottom left of your desired property. You can view your selected properties by click the "favorites" tab at the top of the search bar.

Add/Remove Favorites
When using our "search" feature, you can make a list of favorites. After doing an availability search for your desired vacation date, our site will produce a list of available cabins. Simply click the "+" sign on the lower left side of the property you are interested in.

Doing this will add the rental to your favorites list. You will notice that the "+" has now changed to a "-". You can click this minus sign to "unselect" this property from your favorites list.

You can also remove a property from your favorites list by clicking the minus sign to the right of the property name under the favorites tab. Additionally, you clear your favorites list by clicking "remove all" on the favorites bar. After doing this, you will have to perform a new availability search.
The number next to the favorites tab is the number of properties you have selected.

View List
To see all of your favorite rentals on one page, simply click "view list"

Compare Favorites
Under the favorites tab on the search bar, you can view your selected favorites. By checking the box next to your selected rentals, you can compare up to three properties.
Simply select the 2 – 3 properties you wish to compare, then click "compare" to see these rentals side-by-side.
Once you find your perfect rental for the right date, simply click "book now" to begin the booking process.