068 – Upper Cascade Falls

Accessibility – Easy

Height – 25′

Distance – 0.45 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 6

Solitude – 2

GPS Info: LAT 36.3965 LONG -80.2694

Last updated – 04/01/2017

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Upper Cascade Falls at Hanging Rock is a short hike from the visitor’s center along a gravel path. The trail elevation change isn’t too bad and the condition was very good when I was here in May of 2016. The gravel road ends at an observation deck positioned in just such a way that it doesn’t offer a very good view of the falls at all. It is an impressive multilevel deck with a lower viewing platform that provides a completely obstructed view of the falls. A staircase leads off the upper section of the platform onto the rock where you can make your way down to creek level. On my visit in May of 2015, the only thing down there were the crowds. I did what I could from the unobservation deck and surrounding rocks. On the return trip in May of 2016, we had the place to ourselves and as a result we were here for about an hour playing in the water.

To get to Upper Cascade Falls, follow the driving directions to get to the visitor’s center. Park at the end of the lot closest to road and follow the sidewalk toward Hanging Rock Park Road. Descend the steps and cross the road, picking up the gravel path on the other side. The trail splits once across the road. Stay to the right. The trail will ascend then head down and to the left. Right about now you will see the observation deck. As you near it, you will see four log steps on the right side of the trail and below then a steep scramble path. I had seen it before and I saw it on this visit. I ignored it the first time but this time curiosity got the better of me. I went to have a look and I’m glad I did. I couldn’t find a name for what I found so I’m calling in Middle Cascade Falls. You can check it out on the way back.

Upper Cascade Falls – May 2016
From the collection pool – May 2016
The side view – May 2016
I wonder where the water is going? – May 2016