Rainbow Falls Trail

Rainbow Falls Trail

Hiking Trail
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Rainbow Falls Trail

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The Rainbow Falls Trail is an American hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Sevier County, Tennessee. The trail ascends Mount Le Conte, the tallest (and sixth highest) mountain east of the Mississippi River and passes Rainbow Falls before absorbing the Alum Cave Trail and terminating near the LeConte Lodge.

Vital information

  • The Rainbow Falls Trail is approximately the same as the route taken by Paul Adams as he led the first Park Commission trip to LeConte, which helped lead to the formation of the national park.
  • The trailhead is located inside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, off Cherokee Orchard Road, from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


  • LeConte Creek
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Rocky Spur

Trail synopsis

Trailhead to Rainbow Falls

The trail asserts itself from the beginning, immediately ascending Le Conte's flank, alongside the mountain's primary drainage avenue, LeConte Creek, which, due to the abnormally large number of mills that sprouted up along this stream at one time (twelve, at its peak), was once known as "Mill Creek." The roaring sounds of the creek accompany the footpath for most of the first , only dying down at about the mark, where the trail temporarily jaunts away from the stream. The path soon swings back, crossing over LeConte Creek twice via narrow footbridges over the final mile to Rainbow Falls. When the hiker reaches Rainbow Falls, s/he has hiked and is in the presence...
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