11. Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Gatlinburg, and for good reason. It is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and its beauty is simply breathtaking.
The hike to Rainbow Falls is a moderate 5.4-mile round trip, with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, but it is important to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.
The first mile of the trail follows LeConte Creek, and the scenery is simply beautiful. The trail passes through lush forests and over several bridges. As you get closer to the falls, the trail becomes steeper and more rocky.
When you finally reach Rainbow Falls, you will be greeted by a truly awe-inspiring sight. The 80-foot waterfall cascades over a towering cliff face, and the mist from the falls creates rainbows on sunny days.
There is a large viewing platform at the base of the falls, where you can take in all of their beauty. You can also climb down to the bottom of the falls for a closer look.
Tips for hiking to Rainbow Falls:
- Arrive early, especially on weekends and during peak season. The parking lot can fill up quickly.
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.
- Be aware of the elevation gain. The trail is moderate in difficulty, but it can be strenuous for some people.
- Take your time and enjoy the scenery. The hike to Rainbow Falls is just as beautiful as the falls themselves.
- Rainbow Falls is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, about 5 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
- The trail to Rainbow Falls is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild.
- Dogs are not allowed on the trail to Rainbow Falls.
- There is a fee to enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Why Rainbow Falls is a must-see in Gatlinburg:
Rainbow Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Gatlinburg, and it is a must-see for any visitor to the area. The hike to the falls is beautiful and rewarding, and the views from the top are simply stunning.
If you are looking for a challenging hike with a big payoff, then Rainbow Falls is the perfect destination for you.