• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Hike along sparkling Le Conte Creek up to 80' high Rainbow Falls. As you hike along this trail you will see rocks ranging from the size of marbles to great boulders. In the spring and summer months, as you climb up towards the falls you will hike by blooms of crimson bee-balm and big yellow coneflowers.


Details about taking this hike:

Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail

Driving to the Trailhead: Take Historic Nature Trail Drive (traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg) into the park. At mile 3.4, just after the road becomes one-way, turn right into the Rainbow Falls Parking Area.

Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles one way to Rainbow Falls

Trail Conditions: Elevation change of 1,700 feet; trail contains switchbacks and is rocky in sections.

Notes: Rainbow Falls Trail continues past Rainbow Falls for a total of 6.7 miles up to the summit of Mt. Le Conte.

Rainbow Falls Location Map
Rainbow Falls Trail Location Map

Did You Know?

Scientists estimate that 100,000 different species live in the park.

What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.