204 – Sliding Rock on Upper Creek

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 12′

Distance – 1.2 (out and back) 1.7 (loop)

Beauty – 5

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 3

GPS Info: LAT 35.9608 LONG -81.8634

Last updated – 07-17-2017


Sliding Rock on Upper Creek is located in the Linville Gorge area and can be combined with a visit to The Gorge to make a full day. The hike when done as an out and back is just over a mile over relatively easy terrain. It can also be turned into a loop hike that tops out at 1.7 miles. Due to approaching heavy thunderstorms and how much time we spent at Sliding Rock on Upper Creek, I didn’t get to complete the loop. We needed the shortest route back to the Xterra! Sliding Rock on Upper Creek will offer a chance to relax after Linville Falls and it’s a great location to bring the kids. Most will probably consider the Sliding Rock on Upper Creek and Upper Creek Falls as one waterfall but due to the fact they are so different, I’m listing them as two falls. If you have kids and want to enjoy the water, the Sliding Rock on Upper Creek is the place to go while Upper Creek Falls might not be the best place for the little ones.

To get to the parking area, turn right out of the gravel parking area for Linville Falls and follow NC183. If you’re coming from NC221, make a right onto NC183 and pass the parking area for Linville Falls. NC183 will wind along for a while, passing under the Blue Ridge Parkway and eventually come to a T at NC181. Make a right on NC181 and follow it for 4.2 miles to the parking area on the left. The gravel road leading to the parking area is on the outside of a long sweeping right hand turn. There are other ways to get here but this is the only one I have mileage for. The parking area is at the end of the gravel road.

The hike starts at the kiosk and enters the woods from the middle of the parking area. If you’re doing this as a loop, you will return to the parking area (or start) at the far end of the lot. The trail is heavily traveled and if you come here on a nice day, expect a lot of company. The trail intersects Upper Creek after 0.6 of a mile. To get to Sliding Rock on Upper Creek, don’t cross the creek but make your way upstream either by rock-hopping or wading. This will get you to the base of a sloped rock that was dry on our visit. At the top of this area is a swimming hole and a rope swing. Across the pool is the Sliding Rock. There is a rope to get to the top and several channels to slide down. It was bust with activity when we arrived and I was only able to get pictures without any of the 2 dozen people after the thunder chased most of them away. Expect company at this one in the summer.

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Sliding Rock on Upper Creek – July 2017
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A narrower view of the water flow – July 2017
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Alana coming down one of the slide channels – July 2017

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