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Upper Rainbow Falls

An ultra-popular hike to a stunning waterfall.

Hiking Easy

3.8 km
119 m
119 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
2.3 km
Upper Rainbow Falls Map

The hike to Rainbow Falls follows a wide, extremely popular sandy trail. Despite being located in the John Muir Wilderness Area, this short hike is an ultra-popular tourist jaunt. When you reach the overlook for Upper Rainbow Falls, you’ll see why: Rainbow Falls is a stunning 101-foot-tall cascade in a rugged rock canyon.


Bring your cameras: this waterfall is extremely photogenic! To best capture the colorful rainbow mist, try to reach the falls at midday when the sun is highest in the sky (Source).

During peak tourist season, you’ll have to board a mandatory shuttle at the Mammoth Adventure Center in order to reach the trailhead. Personal vehicles are allowed up the road to the trailhead outside of the shuttle season.

Sources: https://www.mammothtrails.org/trail/78/rainbow-falls-trail/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevilsPostpileNationalMonument https://www.visitmammoth.com/adventure/rainbow-falls



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between July and October


  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area