371 – Not Lower Big Bald Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – 20′

Distance – 1.6 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 3

Photo rating – 3

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.38867 LONG -82.73607

Last Updated – 11-18-2018


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I’m including this waterfall and the upper one above it only because I hiked to them. It wasn’t my intent to hike to them but sometimes things do go as planned. I can say with all honesty there is no reason for you to follow in my footsteps. However if you relish a nice walk in the woods that doesn’t follow a trail, then this might be for you. As far as off-trail hikes go, this one wasn’t so bad. The woods were open and surprisingly I kept finding trails to help the cause. There are several creek crossings and with the water up on my visit, there were streams running everywhere. Neither of these falls were my intended targets but that happens sometimes. I’ll say again, neither of these waterfalls are worth your time.

You ready?

To get to the trailhead  start from the convergence of US64/NC280/US276 in Brevard and head North on US276 for 11.7 miles to FR 1206, Yellow Gap Rd. The turn is on the right. If you’re coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway the left hand turn onto FR1206 is 3.3 miles from the stop sign at the base of the ramp. FR1206 is a single lane gravel road that sees a lot of traffic in the summer months so watch your speed and don’t be surprised if you have to make use of the turn outs to allow approaching vehicles to pass. It is also popular among mountain bikers so stay alert. Remain on FR1206 for 2.65 miles to a parking area on the right.

From the parking area walk down FR1206 toward US276 for 0.15 miles to where a dirt road heads into the woods. You will see a no camping sign. Walk into the campsite and out the back following an obvious trail. At about 0.3 of a mile from FR1206 a small side stream flows into the main creek. I was there after four days of rain so there is a chance this stream will be a dried up gulch. Cross the main creek here and continue up the hill through the briers. Keep the creek on your right as long as possible.

I can’t give you a specific spot but the contour of the land will force you into a crossing of the creek to avoid an awful sidehill adventure that will lead to a steep cliff. You want to finish this hike on river left. Several more creeks will enter the main creek. Be sure to stay with the larger creek. The lower falls is at about the 3800 foot elevation. Here are two unimpressive pictures of one unimpressive waterfall.

Enjoy the hike! After this one, if you’re ready for more bushwhacking and another unimpressive waterfall, follow this link to Not Upper Big Bald Falls.

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