178 – Scadin Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height: Approx 30′

Distance – 0.2 (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 6

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 35.0848 LONG -83.2674

Last updated – 04-11-2017

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No matter if you’re working your way upstream or down, Scadin Falls is going to be your third stop. The falls is made up of two sections. There is a small upper drop that can be viewed from one fork in the trail and the main 30 foot drop that can be viewed from the other fork. On my visit I didn’t see a way to capture both in one shot. Of the 5 falls on this stretch of US64, the hike to Scadin Falls is the most difficult, except for the scramble to the base of Cullasaja Falls. While Scadin Falls doesn’t leave you staring death directly in the face, there are several spots where failure to exercise caution will end badly.

To reach Scadin Falls, follow US64 West from the intersection with NC106 for 5.8 miles to a small one-car pull out on the westbound side of the road. This pullout is on a blind turn so you Do NOT want to access it from the Eastbound lanes. If you’re coming form Quarry Falls the pullout is 0.60 of a mile East of Quarry Falls but if you’re working upstream you will need to turn around to park. Once parked, exercise extreme caution crossing US64. The safest way to do this is by walking West until you can see around the rocky outcrop. Hop over the guardrail on the far side of US64. There is a trail that descends directly across from the pullout. It is a little steep at first. It’s going to level out near a fallen tree. This is there the trail splits. If you take the left fork it will take you to the upper falls. There is a narrow section on this part of the trail and to get into place you will have to walk across an open rock area. If this is wet, use extreme caution. If you go into the water here you will be swept over the lower drop.

The rocks are very cool on this section and when I was there the water was up. In front of you the upper drop will be churning away and just behind you the water will be plunging down the lower drop. There is a lot going on so be careful. Once you’re done on this section, return to the split and take the right fork. This will descend toward the river and emerge onto a raised peninsula that is about 15-20 feet above the river. There are trees on the peninsula to hold onto but use caution, If you slip, you are going into the water. Whether you hit any rocks below the precipice is a matter of luck. Probably best to leave the kids out on this one. You can get a decent shot off the peninsula but you have to get far enough out to shoot around the rhodos.

Use extreme caution when leaving. If your intent is to head upstream, drive down to Quarry Falls and turn around. Trying to turn around from the pullout is going to cause an accident.

The upper drop and exposed rock area – April 2017
A tighter view of the drop – April 2017
The lower drop – April 2017
The lower drop and downstream cascades – April 2017