033 – Skinny Dip Falls

Accessibility – Easy+

Height: Approx 30′

Distance – 1.0 Miles (out and back)

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 4

GPS Info: LAT 35.3223 LONG -82.8345

Last updated – 04/01/2017

Home     Alphabetical Listing     Numerical Listing     Location Listing   Graveyard Fields

Access to Graveyard Fields is at mile 418.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway but to get to Skinny Dip Falls we will be parking in the Looking Glass Rock Overlook at mile post 417. Skinny Dip Falls is further down Yellowstone Prong from the falls at Graveyard Fields and it is nothing like the upstream falls. The falls is comprised of three sections totaling about 30 feet. There is a collection pool at the base of the falls. I have been to Skinny Dip Falls three times. On my two summer visits there were so many people. Only on a recent October trip where I was the first one on the trail, was I able to get some decent shots. If your intent is to get pictures without people, get there early. I was on the BRP this past July and the parking area for the Looking Glass Rock overlook was overflowing up and down the parkway.

The trail is just over 0.5 miles one way and mostly easy. In some spots the trail is eroded and there are rocky sections. The trailhead is across the parkway and as you began you will see the white blazes. The first part of the hike is on the Mountains to Sea Trail. A set of log steps lead up an incline and once at the top stay left. The trail descends most of the way with some rocky sections along the way. The trail ends at a stairway down to a bridge crossing Yellowstone Prong. You can move off the right side of the bridge onto the exposed rock to get a shot of the lower section of the falls. The upper section can be shot from the bridge or the observation area at the top of the steps. The collection pool fairly deep but perfectly clear, which is a good indication of the temperature.

The hike is kid friendly. The only treacherous parts are the steps leading to the bridge and the rocks downstream of the bridge, which are slippery. You can get a great shot from the observation platform of from the bridge. The trick is getting a shot without people. The area is under a thick canopy so the lighting is great and there is enough surrounding vegetation to make for a pretty picture. On my October visit I spent twenty minutes cleaning up all the trash left along the side of the falls before I could take a picture. Sadly too many people think since there is no trashcan that the ground will do.

Skinny Dip Falls from the observation platform – October 2015
Skinny Dip Falls from the bridge – October 2015
Skinny Dip Falls lower section from downstream – October 2015