Rainbow Falls and Institute Creek

Wrangell, Alaska

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A trail with a variety of options, a short hike to waterfalls, or longer overnight adventures into the high country above Wrangell. The Rainbow Falls Trail is a short, steep hike to see Rainbow Creek in freefall in a lush hemlock forest. If you’re interested in a longer hike, the trail continues beyond the falls as the Institute Creek Trail, which leads to a trail shelter at an overlook of Shoemaker Bay. A branch of the trail climbs into higher country as the North Wrangell Trail, leading to the High Country and Pond Shelters.

Rainbow Falls and Institute Creek Professional Review and Guide

"A trail with a variety of options, a short hike to waterfalls, or longer overnight adventures into the high country above Wrangell. The Rainbow Falls Trail is a short, steep hike to see Rainbow Creek in freefall in a lush hemlock forest.

If you’re interested in a longer hike, the trail continues beyond the falls as the Institute Creek Trail, which leads to a trail shelter at an overlook of Shoemaker Bay. A branch of the trail climbs into higher country as the North Wrangell Trail, leading to the High Country and Pond Shelters."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Wrangell
Distance: 0.6-6 miles
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Falls: Mar through Oct. Institute Creek and North Wrangell Trails: mid-May through Sept
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Tongass National Forest, Wrangell Ranger District, 525 Bennett Street, PO Box 51, Wrangell, AK 99929; (907) 874- 2323; www.fs.usda.gov/tongass/
Local Maps: USGS Petersburg B-2 (NE), B-1 (NW); Forest Service Wrangell Island Road Guide
Driving Directions: Directions to Rainbow Falls and Institute Creek

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May 2018