Rainbow Falls - Hike and Swim near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Rainbow Falls Trail, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747, USA,Lake Toxaway,North Carolina
35.0878152, -82.957568
Address: Rainbow Falls Trail, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747, USA
GPS: 35°5'16.1"N 82°57'27.2"W
Maps | Directions
State: North Carolina

Rivers Waterfalls Glaciers

Hike and Swim

Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbow Falls is just one of a series of cascades and waterfalls on a two-mile stretch of the river. The park is in the Sapphire community, near Lake Toxaway, and about 55 miles from downtown Asheville. Courtesy of romanticasheville.com

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

  1. Head southeast on NC-281 S toward Toxaway Point (0.5 mi)
  2. Keep right to stay on NC-281 S (131 ft)
  3. Continue straight onto US-64 W (2.7 mi)
  4. Turn left onto NC-281 S (0.9 mi)
  5. Turn left onto Grassy Ridge Rd (1.7 mi)
  6. Turn right (351 ft)
or

RAINBOW FALLS [RAIN]: Continue downstream a short way to Rainbow Falls. USE GOOD JUDGMENT HERE - FLOW MAY BE TOO HIGH TO SWIM SAFELY. Pool is at the bottom of the falls, rocks to sun on, etc. It's a fairly big pool, at least 8 feet deep. It's a little less crowded than Turtleback, though both can be crowded on the weekends. To get to Rainbow, you just follow the river downstream--the trail is not right next to the river, but is maybe 50 feet from the edge of the river running parallel to the river. Very easy to see. Very confident. Verified by another, 6/02. LAT, LON : lat=35.09056, lon= -82.96611(source: Topozone ) (accuracy: exact) , LINK TO GOOGLE MAP. Courtesy of swimmingholes.org

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Mount Le Contes Rainbow Falls courtesy of Scott Basford Mount Le Contes Rainbow Falls courtesy of Scott Basford↗
Boulders Along Rainbow Falls Trail courtesy of Scott Basford Boulders Along Rainbow Falls Trail courtesy of Scott Basford↗ Rainbow Falls, North Carolina by RomanticAsheville
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Added by camilledupar

Trails

Distance ?

1.3 miles

Elevation Gain ?

-198 feet

Real Ascent ?

465 feet

Real Descent ?

663 feet

Avg Grade (-2°)

-3%

Grade (-33° to 56°)

-64% to 148%

Elevation differences are scaled for emphasis. While the numbers are accurate, the cut-away shown here is not to scale.

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