213 – Setrock Creek Falls

Accessibility – Easy+

Height: Approx 58′

Distance – 1.1 (out and back)

Beauty – 4

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 4

GPS Info: LAT 35.7495 LONG -82.2280

Last updated – 07-17-2017


Setrock Creek Falls is located in Pisgah Forest near Mt Mitchell. It is accessed off of NC80 and can be paired with Roaring Fork Falls for a nice double-header. It’s not as scenic as Roaring Fork Falls but the base is open and the kids can play in the water before the final drop. The access is through a campground so expect a lot of company at this one. It’s also the kind of place where people will linger. The falls is a series of drops coming out of the forest so it’s hard to get a good perspective in a photograph.

To get to the trailhead, follow NC80 North from the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 344.1 for 2.2 miles to South Toe River Road on the left. South Toe River Road crosses a small bridge almost immediately. The road on the left leads to the Roaring Fork Falls trailhead. Stay on South Toe River Road. You will be on South Toe River Road for 2.2 miles. Along the way it will wind past a golf course and turn to gravel. At 2.2 miles make a hard right. There is an old building on the left where you make the turn. This road leads to the Black Mountain Campground in 0.6 of a mile. There is a parking area across from the campground entrance, which was full when we arrived. I had to park on the side of the road past the gate and the all the no parking signs.

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A little building along the way to Setrock Creek – July 2017

To get to the trailhead, walk across the bridge into the campground and make the first right on Briar Bottom Road. Follow it past several campsites. A trail will branch off of the road on the left. It is signed for the Mt Mitchell Trail and the Briar Bottom Bike Loop. Take this trail. The Mt Mitchell Trail will split off to the right but stay on the Briar Bottom Bike Loop. The trail will cross a creek on a study bridge and just across the bridge the trail will make a right and head uphill. It will cross Briar Bottom Road as it ascends to the falls, leaving you at the base of the falls on river left. The best photo op is from river right or in the middle of the creek. On my visit the lighting was tough but thankfully a few scattered clouds gave me periods of better lighting.

The falls is nice and it has one very cool feature. On the lower drop the water comes down the rock, flows into a small channel almost parallel to the ground and then comes the rest of the way down the rock. The pool at the base is also inviting and our visit Alana made some friends who were catching salamanders.

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The sideways flow on the lower drop – July 2017
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Setrock Creek Falls coming out of the forest – July 2017
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A wider view of the lower drop – July 2017

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