156 – Upper Sols Creek Falls

Accessibility – Difficult

Height – 70′ (50′ main drop and 20′ of terraces)

Distance – 0.7 (out and back)

Beauty – 10

Photo rating – 10

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.2635 LONG -83.0192

Last updated – 09-19-2016

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Upper Sols Creek Falls is about as pretty a waterfall as you’re going to find and getting to it doesn’t involve an overly difficult hike. The out and back is around 0.7 of a mile and you’re likely going to be the only one here. It does require some creek-walking but this is only to avoid a ridiculously steep section of trail. I hiked the trail on the way in but took the creek on the way out, further confirming that sometimes the creek is the best trail. The falls is about 70 feet high with most of this as one main drop of about 50 feet. There are several terraces below the main drop and the entire area below the falls and the creek leading to it is covered in these jagged rocks sticking out of the creek bed. If this sounds like a slice of heaven it is. The bad part, this one is about hell and gone from everything else. You can couple it with Wolf Creek Falls, Nellies Falls and Flat Creek Falls but you don’t want to drive all the way out here just to see this one. For what it’s worth, in a purely subjective thing, this one landed on my Top 10 list. You can see the rest of the list here.

To get to the trailhead, follow US64 west out of Brevard until it intersects with NC281 North. As of 9-18-2016 there is road construction and blasting work going on around the junction so delays are possible. If you get to Toxaway Falls turn around and go back 0.6 miles. Bear right onto NC281. Follow NC281N for 16.3 miles until it reaches Sols Creek. There is an area down the road a bit where you can park but don’t block the gravel road. The trailhead is further North on NC281. There is a red gate with No Trespassing signs on it just past the end of the guardrail on the east side of the road. As you walk along the guardrail, look for a steep path down to the creek. Follow the left side of the creek upstream for a short distance until it reaches a creek crossing. This section is kind of overgrown so don’t be alarmed. I walked up the creek for the first part. When you emerge onto the river right bank, look for a trail leading into the pines. From this point continue to follow the trail upstream. There are several creek crossings, all of which required getting my feet wet. The trail is obvious.

When you get to a piece of wooden bridge that used to be positioned across a small feeder creek, it’s decision time. The trail veers away from the creek and ascends the bank on the river left, following a course only a Billy Goat would like. It is steep and slippery and any step could be your last. At this point you can take your chances on the trail or walk up the creek. The latter is the easier method. Before long you’ll reach the jagged rock formations that lead to the base of the falls. This is about a pretty a setting as your going to find, especially for a hike of less than 15 minutes. I think this one is kid friendly enough, as a matter of fact, when I told the little one, age 7, about a creek walk, she was insistent I take her. She is a veteran hiker, having been to 135 waterfalls in the last four years. She can handle herself on the trail and off. You need to decide what your kids can handle. The photo opportunities are endless. I was fortunate to visit on an overcast day so the lighting was perfect. PERFECT!

Upper Sols Creek Falls – September 2016
The lower terraces at Upper Sols Creek Falls – September 2016
Upper Sols Creek Falls in portrait – September 2016
My Favorite pic of this beauty!