Missing Cavers Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Rainbow Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Alan Cressler via flickr.

Four cavers, said to be inexperienced, were found wet and cold but uninjured Friday in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Among the questions waiting for answers is why did the four head out in the middle of the night to enter Rainbow Falls Cave, which is near Cades Cove? The men had left Maryville, Tennessee, at about 10:00 p.m. Thursday night and intended to explore a cave and planned to be out at about 2:00 to 3:00 a.m. but had not returned. Rainbow Cave is entered through several holes at the bottom of the namesake waterfall.

Park officials were alerted Friday morning by one of the men's wife when the four didn't return home.

The four men were found by rangers around 2 p.m. Eastern at the bottom of three 30- to 50-foot drops. They were expected to exit the cave later Friday.


That is why I could not be a park ranger, to risk my life and the lives of other park rangers and rescue personnel to search for a group of nimrods like this. Yet the national park rangers do it every year, throughout our national park system. My hat's off to the brave park rangers, which is more than I can say for the stupid "hikers" that take unnecessary risks and chances. You idiots better be thankful that our park system has such dedicated personnel that will try to rescue you. Your children do not have much of a future if they inherited your brain cells..........

Incidents like this just amuse me. These fools should be fined and should be liable for the payrolls of all involved searching for them because these rescue workers could be off doing their normal jobs instead of saving morons with last minute whims! It would be different if they were victims of bad weather or event that was not of their own making, which caused their displacement from society, but it was not. Thanks to our great park rangers for their continued support in these type of matters!!!!!

That isn't Rainbow Falls. It's called White Oak Sinks.