Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Rainbow Falls, Smokies in Tennessee
In May of 2007, George and I went to Gatlinburg to hike to Rainbow Falls. We had been in that area (Roaring Fork area above Gatlinburg) twice before to hike to Grotto Falls and to Baskins Creek Falls. This time we took a MUCH LONGER hike up the mountain. I finished the day with 7.1 miles on my pedometer. That may not be much for you--but it is for ME.
The trail, even though long, was one of the prettiest hikes we have ever taken. We followed the creek up the mountain--and there were so many beautiful small waterfalls and cascades near our trail, along with Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel. It was truly breath-taking.
The hike to Rainbow Falls was truly UP... Even though the temperature was only in the 70's, the hike up that mountain made me sweat--bigtime. Thank goodness I had my sweatband and my 'special' towel with me!!!! We also had plenty of water. All the way up that mountain, I kept telling myself that it was going to be so much easier going back down!!!!
Once we got to Rainbow Falls, we were blown-away at the beauty of that waterfall. That made the long hike worthwhile for sure!!!! I sat and rested (of course) while George climbed around to get some more pictures.
Finally, we decided that it was time to head back down the mountain. Little did I realize that it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought it would be. My legs were really aching now---and for some reason, these old legs didn't want to walk anymore---even DOWN... Needless to say, we did make it down --but even George admitted that he had some aches and pains also. It was a LONG hike for us OLD FOLKS (even though we don't like to admit this)!!!!
Here are some pictures along the trail and also the falls. The picture above is George standing at Rainbow Falls. Below are more.
We followed LeConte Creek up the mountain. There were many cascades and small waterfall along our way.
These beautiful views were along our trail UP the mountain. Don't you love the moss?
Here's another picture of the creek and its cascades.
Even though we were hiking UP, the scenery was beautiful.
There were three foot-bridges we crossed along our way.
Here it is---gorgeous Rainbow Falls.
A closer picture of Rainbow Falls; This waterfall is 75 feet tall. Beautiful, isn't it?
Pew-eeeeeee....That woman is SWEATY...Notice though that I'm still smiling!!!! BUT--I was sitting awhile before we headed down the mountain.
We are on our way back downhill. I thought it would be easier--but by now, my knees and hips were screaming at me. Even George (who is in better shape than I am) said it was HARD.
With all of the hiking we do, I finally learned how to 'do' water crossing in order to get across streams/creeks. I now use TWO hiking sticks (which are much better than one). Note the beautiful Rhododendrons. They and the Laurels were all along the creek. So pretty!
Here's one more picture of Rainbow Falls. This one is George's favorite one. Even though the hike was long, it was one of our BEST. We recommend it to you!!!!