Drift Falls via Rainbow Falls Trail
From the Visitor Center the trail leads upstream to spectacular Rainbow Falls. Continuing upriver, Turtleback Falls (Umbrella Falls) are reached in 0.3miles. The trail ends at a property boundary where there is a view of Drift Falls (also known as Bust-Your-Butt Falls from when swimming was permitted). Do not trespass on private property.
From the intersection of US 64 and NC 281 is Sapphire, NC follow NC 281 south for 0.9 miles and turn left on Grassy Ridge Road. Follow Grassy Ridge Road 1.1 miles to the Gorges State Park Visitors Center.
This hike is suitable for well-supervised children. Note that Rainbow Falls claims lives annually due to failure to take proper precautions. DO NOT allow children (or adults) to enter the water above the falls. The river at this location is deceptively shallow with a slippery bottom and strong current, making it easy for people to get swept over the falls. While swimming is popular at Turtleback Falls the same precaution applies.