Hike to Rainbow Falls

I’m so excited for the warm months, because that means lots and lots of hiking!!  Over Mother’s Day weekend we trekked to Rainbow Falls, and this time we had along a couple of extras – Matt’s mom and dad!

Rainbow Falls:

Roundtrip distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation gain: 1,685ft
Directions to Trailhead: From Light #8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Airport Road. In less than a mile, stay to the right onto Cherokee Orchard Road.  In another ~2.2 miles, you’ll enter the one way Cherokee Orchard Loop.  After another half mile or so , the trailhead will be on your right, with several parking options, as this is a popular trail and can be quite crowded.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
This was a really great hike.  Easy, short-ish, and a fantastic pay-off.  You can even use this trail to reach LeConte, but as you can see, it’s nearly a 14 mile round trip!

Hike to Rainbow Falls
We started hiking in the middle of the day, but thankfully it wasn’t too hot.  The trail is heavily shaded, as are most of the trails in the Smokies.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Good light was just not happening on the spotty path with the sun directly overhead.. but we made do.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
The mountain laurel is in bloom.  Before you know it, the park will be exploding with rhododendrons.  I can’t wait!  The mountains are such a peaceful place to me.

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Perfect weather – perfect day.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Matt and his pops.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
There are a couple of bridged water crossings along the trail.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Can anyone help me identify the flower on the right?  It’s pretty!

Hike to Rainbow Falls
There are a couple of small waterfalls before you reach the Big Boy at the end.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Ahh.. we must be there.  It’s the typical YOU WILL DIE sign!

Hike to Rainbow Falls
The water hits the rocks below in such a fine mist that you can almost see a rainbow rise.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Such a beautiful place.

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Curious lil’ fella hanging out with us near our rest spot.

Hike to Rainbow Falls
So cute!

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Hike to Rainbow Falls
Gotta take the requisite pictures.

Hike to Rainbow Falls

Hike to Rainbow Falls

And that’s all she wrote!  Can’t wait to get to the mountains as often as we can this summer.  For all of my attempts at managing the stress and anxiety in my life, nothing brings me serenity more than stomping down some dirt in the middle of nowhere.  It calms the soul.

About Erin

Erin Browne and her husband Matt are the people behind the curtain here at Brownie Bites. Together, they blog about recipes they love, places they go, and things that they do. There are also cute dog pictures. Lots and lots of them. You can follow Erin on twitter @erinbrowne.
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Comments

  1. Yes. Must hike soon. Like…real soon. 

  2. So when I said this wasn’t the easiest hike, I was thinking of the trail up to LeConte. Yeah…

  3. Outstanding pictures and mind blowing hiking place, any hiking lover will fall in love with such hiking conditions. Hiking is one of the best adventure it keeps you alive.

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