When you arrive at the falls, you’ll feel it: a cool mist will soak you. Joanne O’Sullivan lived and traveled on three continents before settling in Asheville. Join Gorges State Park Superintendent Steve Pagano for a roundtrip hike to the 150-foot Rainbow Falls and 20-foot Turtleback Falls. Don't forget to take your Swimming suits! 2 Thank nswieder . However, the trail to Rainbow Falls isnât long distance and makes forâ¦ You will likely be standing in the spray as you view the falls, even though the trail is nearly 200 yards away. Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment? Eastatoe Falls is a beautiful 60-foot cascade on private property, practically in someone's back yard. Call or text Reed McKenzie Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. Staying at Raymond Fisher Campsites in the state park is another great overnight option. After Turtleback Falls, the trail continues close to the Horsepasture River, but there is not much more ascent. So we headed back to the car and drove to the Rainbow Falls trailhead parking area. At 0.99 mile from the trailhead, a brown carsonite steak marks the side trail on the left for Stairway Falls. This hike is beautiful at all times of year, but it is especially rewarding in the fall for colored foliage. We will be hiking through Rainbow Falls and going swimming at Turtleback Falls in Gorges State Park. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC (view maps and driving directions).Gorges State Park is one of the newest in North Carolinaâs state park system, and with an annual rainfall of over 80 inches, the park classifies as a temperate rain forest. To reach the Grassy Ridge Access Area (the west side of the park), turn south on NC 281 in Sapphire. This primitive campground is about a mile down its own trail that begins from the same trailhead as Rainbow Falls. It’s about nourishment and learning. The Grassy Ridge Access is .7 mile on the left. In all, Casey said, there are 11 warning signs from the park to Rainbow Falls, and then a short hike upstream to Turtleback Falls, where there have been fatalities in past years. This was our turnaround point, but like I said earlier, there were more waterfalls further upstream (including Drift Falls). Take it for 16 miles to Highway 64. The going is mostly easy, but a few sections can be rugged or wet. When viewing rainbow falls from the top, extreme caution should be used, this is not a safe place to be on top of! The 7,500-acre park in Lake Toxaway is known for long-distance trail hiking, biking, and horseback riding along the Horsepasture River. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Hike Details Difficulty: Moderate Length: 1.5 miles each way to Rainbow Falls, an additional 1 mile round-trip to Turtleback Falls Region: Duration of hike: 30 minutes each way (add an extra 10 each way for Turtleback) Elevation gain: 800 Feet Type: Out & Back Blazes: Orange Circles Facilities & Parking: Parking lot, portable toilet After the rockhouse, you will ascend a series of steps next to Turtleback Falls. Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. © 2020 Outdoor Project. Camp only in spots that have clearly been used before, and try to leave it better than you found it. It is worth a pause, however, especially if you are intent on swimming because the pool here is nice if flows aren't too high. To access the Turtleback, visitors access Gorges State Park off of NC Hwy 281 and park near the trailhead for Rainbow Falls. Here, there is a good side view of Turtleback Falls, as well as the 90-degree turn in the river. 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. Rainbow Falls NC: the hike. A swimmer jumping off Turtleback Falls this morning. Ask nswieder about Gorges State Park. Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. Also, you can see the start of the dropoff at Rainbow Falls. Continue on the trail for 0.16 mile to Turtleback Falls on the left. This is a moderate one way trail to Rainbow Falls in Pisgah National Forest. Pretty cool little swimming hole. #hiking #waterfalls. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbow Falls is just one of â¦ After â¦ The trail to Rainbow Falls is a good example of this. Turn west on US 64 and travel toward Sapphire. Hydraulics below can be strong, though, so swimming is only safe if the waterfall is a thin curtain of water. Rainbow Hike & Turtleback Waterfall Swim Pavilion Alumni Fellowship Event Saturday, August 26, 2017 1 - 5pm Join us for fun and fellowship. By continuing to use our site you agree to our, Fall Forecast and Weekly Fall Color Report, Request a Website Listing & Partner Account. These are two beautiful waterfalls on the Horsepasture River in Pisgah National Forest. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. The hike is open in the winter, when the mist has been known to turn to ice. Gorges State Park is located on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, where the mountains end and the Piedmont begins. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. Follow the marked path upstream to Rainbow Falls, which is approx 1.5 miles in length (uphill in many areas). 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