Located along the Horsepasture River on Pisgah National Forest land, Rainbow Falls is one of two waterfalls (along with Turtleback Falls) that is accessible via a moderate hiking trail in Gorges State Park. The falls get their name from the large volume of water that normally flows over it. Because the rock face isn't completely vertical, the water leaps many feet out from the rock and falls into a huge pool of water at its base. Wind and mist travel up the hillside that sits opposite the falls and, if the sun is in the right position, you can frequently see a rainbow.
Inside of Gorges State Park. From Cashiers drive East on 64 for about 10.5 miles, turn right (South) on 281 for about 1 mile. Forest Service Horse pasture River/Rainbow Falls sign on left. Parking on Right. Go down trail for approximately 1 mile until intersects a trail that parallels the river of Turtleback Falls, go left along trail to view from the bottom. Continue 1/4 mile to Rainbow Falls. If coming from Whitewater Falls, exit parking area to R. Continue on NC 281 for 7.5 miles to park entrance.