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Rainbow Falls Trail

Twin Falls at Gorges State Park
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Status of park facilities as of May 22   

All campsites are open at Gorges State Park. Raymond Fisher campsites can be reserved online or campers can bring exact change ($15 per night per site) and register in-person at the trailhead. Other backcountry campsites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trails and restrooms are open. The visitor center remains closed.

When visiting, please follow social distancing guidelines, regardless of the behavior of others. Please try to stay 6 feet away from other visitors and park staff, or wear a face covering. Try to touch as few surfaces as possible, and do not enter areas that have been closed off. Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, and stay home if you are sick.

 Last updated on: Friday, May 22, 2020

Rainbow Falls Trail Travel Guide

This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. Once the trail leaves Gorges State Park and enters the National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere along the trail. There are signs to indicate when you are entering and leaving State Park property. Hikers should be aware of all State and Federal rules in these areas. Be aware that waterfalls can be extremely dangerous. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred along this trail. It is not recommended that anyone swim in the Horse Pasture River. Water levels can rise unexpectedly and even the best swimmers may be swept downstream by strong currents.


Trail Location: 
Use the Grassy Ridge Access entrance off of Hwy 281s, in Sapphire. This trail access is at the Grassy Ridge Trailhead.
Trail Length: 
1.50 miles
Trail Type: 
one way
Trail Difficulty: 
strenuous hike
Trail Use: 
Trail Surface: 
natural surface
Trail Blaze: 
orange circle

Map of North Carolina – Gorges State Park

Contact the park



Visitor center

976 Grassy Ridge Road
Sapphire, NC 28774

GPS: 35.0960, -82.9510


Frozen Creek access

Frozen Creek Road
Brevard, NC 28712

GPS: 35.1086, -82.8837



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