How you can See the Spectacular Moonbow at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky in 2023

Practically 100 individuals crowded the Higher Overlook, eagerly gazing into the darkish abyss above the thundering waterfall in search of a touch of a lunar rainbow. It was a wonderfully clear night time with twinkling stars above and the moonlight was beaming brightly. Someplace within the mist above Cumberland Falls, I might see the faint moonbow.

After which my digicam’s shutter clicked. The intense LCD got here to life. There was the photograph of a superb lunar rainbow reflecting within the water droplets within the air.

It was the primary time I’d seen the Cumberland Falls moonbow in Kentucky. And years later, it’s nonetheless one thing I take into consideration each month. If you wish to witness this phenomenal pure occasion, right here is every thing you should know to plan the most effective journey.

What’s a Moonbow?

The primary time I visited Cumberland Falls State Resort Park it was overcast and dreary. But it surely was my first time, so I parked the automotive and walked the quick distance to the highest of the roaring waterfall. I didn’t keep for lengthy, however I mentally bookmarked the park for a future journey.

Then, simply as I used to be leaving, a park ranger requested me a query that may change every thing. “Are you coming again tomorrow for the moonbow?”

It was the primary time I’d heard the time period, so I needed to look it up. A “moonbow” is a naturally occurring occasion when moonlight is mirrored off water droplets within the air round a waterfall and creates a colourful lunar rainbow.

Moonbows are considerably uncommon as a result of it requires three parts working in live performance: a full moon, a cloudless night time, and many water droplets within the air. Right here’s the way it all works collectively:

A full moon will replicate about 13% of the solar’s gentle again to Earth. That’s in regards to the minimal quantity of sunshine required for a moonbow to look.

As a result of the total depth of the total moon is required to see a moonbow, it must be a cloudless night time. Even faint whisps of clouds are sufficient to dam a moonbow from showing.

Lastly, the moonlight requires quite a lot of water droplets within the air to replicate and create the colourful rainbow. Small waterfalls won’t ever have a moonbow as a result of there will not be sufficient water droplets within the air. Huge, churning waterfalls that kick up a visual mist in the course of the day are finest.

Taking all these into consideration, Cumberland Falls in Kentucky is likely one of the finest locations within the Western Hemisphere to see a moonbow.

Cumberland Falls Moonbow Dates in 2023

Use this chart to plan your journey to see the Cumberland Falls moonbow. The very best time is the night time of the total moon, however anytime inside two days earlier than or after will also be nice occasions to see it. Plan the most effective time every night time to reach to make sure you have most moonlight for the moonbow.

Listed here are the Cumberland Falls Moonbow dates in 2023:

Dates in daring are the total moon


Wednesday, January 4 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 5 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, January 6 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 7 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 8 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.


Friday, February 3 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 4 7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 5 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Monday, February 6 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 7 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Sunday, March 5 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Monday, March 6 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Wednesday, March 8 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 9 12:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.


Tuesday, April 4 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 6 11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Friday, April 7 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Saturday, April 8 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.


Wednesday, Could 3 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Thursday, Could 4 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Friday, Could 5 11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Saturday, Could 6 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Sunday, Could 7 2:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.


Thursday, June 1 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Friday, June 2 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 3 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday, June 4 12:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.
Monday, June 5 1:30 a.m. – 3:30 a.m.


Saturday, July 1 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 2 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Monday, July 3 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Tuesday, July 4 12:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Wednesday, July 5 12:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.


Sunday, July 30 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Monday, July 31 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Tuesday, August 1 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Wednesday, August 2 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Thursday, August 3 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Monday, August 28 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 29 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Wednesday, August 30 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Thursday, August 31 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Friday, September 1 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.


Wednesday, September 27 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 28 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Friday, September 29 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, September 30 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 1 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.


Thursday, October 26 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 27 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 28 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 29 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Monday, October 30 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.


Saturday, November 25 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 26 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Monday, November 27 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 28 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 29 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Sunday, December 24 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Monday, December 25 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 26 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 27 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 28 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Attending to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

I returned to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park a 12 months after studying in regards to the moonbow. I used to be staying at a cabin within the Huge South Fork Nationwide River & Recreation about 45 minutes away. For months I had deliberate to see the moonbow – the time was lastly approaching.

The park is hidden, however simple to seek out alongside KY Freeway 90 – it’s solely a couple of 20-minute drive from I-75. However it can really feel like for much longer on the winding, two-lane freeway. It’s a scenic drive throughout daytime, however at night time it looks like a tunnel on a carnival trip.

There’s loads of parking on the customer middle beside the river. However on the night time of a moonbow, significantly if the situations are favorable, the parking zone continuously fills up. If the parking zone is full, attempt parking on the picnic space throughout the street – however watch out strolling throughout the street at night time!

7351 KY Freeway 90, Corbin, KY | 606-528-8412 |

Insider Tip: Plan to reach on the park about 3 hours earlier than the Meridian Passing Time – see the chart above – to ensure a parking house. On the lookout for one thing to do whereas ready for the moonbow? Deliver a folding chair and stroll about ten minutes on the Moonbow Path to a seashore space beside the river.

Finest Place to See the Cumberland Falls Moonbow

After discovering parking, head towards the customer middle. There is no such thing as a admission payment for seeing the moonbow, however you’ll must move by means of the customer middle complicated to achieve the waterfall.

The very best place to see the Cumberland Falls moonbow is the Higher Overlook. It’s lower than a five-minute stroll alongside a paved path from the customer middle. The overlook is located on the high of the waterfall simply toes from the churning water. Metallic rails cemented into the uncovered rocks retains individuals a protected distance away from the turbulent water.

From this overlook, you’ll see the total spectacle of the moonbow.

The appropriately named Moonbow Path descends a flight of concrete stairs, resulting in a hidden Decrease Overlook. Though this was my favourite place to view the waterfall by daylight, it was not an excellent place to see the moonbow.

Finest Time to See the Moonbow

Is a full moon approaching? Will or not it’s a cloudless night time? Is that waterfall churning? Even when all these situations are met, you continue to must know when to go to the park to see the moonbow.

And that may be a tough reply.

For the most effective and brightest moonbow, you’ll wish to wait a minimum of an hour after sundown. That’s simple within the winter months, however in the summertime the sundown might be as late as 9 p.m. You additionally don’t to attend too late. When the moon is greater than 45 levels above the horizon, the depth of the lunar rainbow will fade.

The very best time to see the moonbow is about two hours after moonrise. However plan to remain a minimum of two hours. Through the summer time months, the moon doesn’t rise as excessive within the sky, so it takes longer for the moonlight to get above the encircling bushes. In the summertime months, it is likely to be vital to remain 5 – 6 hours to see the most effective moonbow

Ideas for a Incredible Expertise

Listed here are just a few suggestions that will help you take advantage of out of your journey to witness the Cumberland Falls Moonbow.

  • Arrive early. You received’t be capable to see the most effective impact of the moonbow till about an hour or two after sundown, however I’d nonetheless suggest arriving early to snag a parking spot.
  • Don’t wait till the final day. There’s a five-day window every month to see the moonbow. Strive going a day or two earlier than the total moon, reasonably than ready till a day or two after.
  • Deliver a flashlight or headlamp. For apparent causes there aren’t any road lamps or lighting across the Higher Overlook. However watch out to not shine the road in anybody’s face or towards any cameras.
  • Deliver a chair, snacks, possibly a blanket, and get comfy.
  • For the most effective expertise e-book a few nights at DuPont Lodge within the park. It’s only a 0.5-mile hike from the lodge to the customer middle parking zone alongside the Cumberland Falls Path.

Pictures Ideas for Capturing the Moonbow

A mirrorless or bridge digicam or a smartphone with the flexibility to manually management the settings is the most effective type of digicam for capturing photographs of the moonbow. However though smartphone cameras have come a great distance over simply the previous few years, most smartphone nonetheless can’t seize an ideal photograph of the nighttime occasion.

Listed here are some tips about establishing a digicam or smartphone to seize photographs of the moonbow:

Digital Digicam

  • Set the digicam on a sturdy tripod
  • Use a distant shutter launch or smartphone app to set off the digicam
  • Set the ISO to 800-1600
  • Set the aperture to f/5.6, f/4, or f/2.8
  • Begin with an publicity of 30 seconds. If the photograph is just too darkish or vivid, alter the publicity time – however don’t change the opposite settings

Smartphone Digicam

  • Flip off the digicam flash
  • Connect the smartphone to a sturdy tripod
  • Use an app like Digicam+
  • If doable, set the app to Shutter Precedence mode
  • Lock the main focus within the digicam app
  • Begin with the longest publicity doable for the smartphone
  • Set a selfie timer to seize the photographs

Have You Seen the Cumberland Falls Moonbow?

When you’ve seen this positively extraordinary pure occasion go away me a remark under and inform me all about it! Seeing the Cumberland Falls Moonbow was some of the rewarding experiences all 12 months and that photograph has been one among my favorites ever since.

The place to Keep

The plain selection can be to remain on the state park whereas viewing the Moonbow, however in order for you a extra comfy lodge you’ll need to journey again to Corbin, Kentucky. It is going to be a simple drive, however it can even be late.

Price range

High quality Suites is a reasonably comfy budget-friendly lodge situated alongside I-75. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and complimentary breakfast. Select from rooms with two queen beds or a single king mattress.

Purple Roof Inn & Suites is a wonderful selection for place to remain. Situated alongside I-75, the lodge options inside entry rooms and an out of doors swimming pool. Rooms function renovated fake hardwood flooring and comfy furnishings.


Fairfield Inn can be an ideal place to remain in Corbin. An indoor swimming pool and sizzling buffet breakfast will make the keep nice. Select from rooms with one or two beds, or a room with a sleeper couch.

The Cumberland Falls State Resort Park Lodge includes a dozen sorts of rooms starting from a single mattress to a two-bedroom suite in a cottage. The rooms function comfy furnishings, free on-site parking, and a spread of facilities.


Cumberland Falls State Resort Park consists of two campgrounds with a complete of fifty campsites. 21 campsites have electrical hookups whereas water is on the market for all of the websites. The 2 campgrounds are situated alongside the river with spectacular views.

Corbin/Laurel Lake KOA can be an ideal place to spend just a few nights. The property options massive RV websites, tent websites, and tiny residence leases. You’ll benefit from the nights with a mountaineering path to the lake and out of doors swimming pool.

Incessantly Requested Questions

What causes moonbows?

Moonbows are created when moonlight from a full moon is mirrored in water droplets above a waterfall.

Are moonbows uncommon?

Sure and no. Moonbows can occur each month when there’s a full moon. Nonetheless, to see a moonbow you want a cloudless night time and many water droplets within the air.

The place are you able to discover a moonbow?

Moonbows can seem anyplace a strong waterfall has clear sky overhead. A number of the hottest locations for a moonbow in america is Niagara Falls, Yosemite Falls, and Cumberland Falls. Victoria Falls in Africa is likely one of the finest locations to see a moonbow on the earth.

What does a moonbow appear to be?

A moonbow seems like a faint rainbow with the total spectrum of shade mirrored in water droplets.

What time are you able to see a moonbow?

You may see moonbows two days earlier than and after a full moon every month. Nonetheless, the spring months are the most effective time of 12 months to see the moonbow.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles