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Rainbow Falls Trail

Twin Falls at Gorges State Park
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Current status of park facilities   

Trails and restrooms are open. The picnic shelters are open and available for reservations; please observe the maximum outdoor gathering limit of 50 people.

The visitor center is open, but the exhibit area, classroom, and auditorium remain closed. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the visitor center.

All campsites are open. 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.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. As of October 3, we are following modified Phase 3.

 Last updated on: Monday, October 5, 2020

High visitation on weekends   

Due to increased visitation, several parks are reaching parking space capacity and are having to close temporarily on weekends to incoming traffic. Gorges State Park is seeing high visitation on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the park filling up by noon until around 3 p.m. Please visit the park during the week when possible; plan to arrive early morning or late afternoon on weekends; and/or have a backup plan in case the park is full when you arrive.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rainbow Falls Trail

RomanticAsheville.com 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: 
Hiking
Trail Surface: 
natural surface
gravel
Trail Blaze: 
orange circle

Map of North Carolina – Gorges State Park


Contact the park
 

828-966-9099

gorges@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

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
 

Hours
 

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  • 7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

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  • 8:00am to 6:30pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

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  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day