375 – Upper Big Bald Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – Lots of dispersed drops of 10-12 feet

Distance – 2.7 miles (out and back)

Beauty – varies

Photo rating – varies

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.39328 LONG -82.75722

Last Updated – 11-23-2018

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The provided GPS coordinates are for a point about midway through the various drops and should be used as a reference not an X marks the spot for some amazing waterfall. If you hike all the way to the MST it’s about 1.3 miles one way.

From the base of Lower Big Bald Falls, head up the slope on river right. It is steep and when I was there covered in leaves so be careful. High up on the ridge you will come to a trail that heads upstream past the top of the falls. There is a slippery wet weather area up here and an area where the roots of a tree are being undermined so there is the danger of your foot plunging into a deep hole. The grade will vary once you get past the top of the falls but in order to see the various drops, you need to stay close to the creek. Not far at all from the Lower Falls there is a nice 10-12 slide over colored rocks that if you get too high above the creek you will miss.


If you don’t like this waterfall of you didn’t care for the bushwhack through the briers you should turn around now because the falls after this aren’t as nice and are harder to access. If you’re going to continue, climb up the left side of the falls (river right) and head upstream The hillside are going to get steeper as the valley closes in. To see the falls up here you need to be on river left, which will involve a lot of side-hilling.

What I can’t do at this point is give you a step by step account. This was a make-it-up-as-you-go hike after that lowest part of the upper falls. What I can say is I went upstream most of the way on river left. While you don’t have to do this part, I did hike all the way up to the MST to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Once the creek reaches the MST it vanishes under a pile of boulders. I’m pretty confident there is nothing else to see up there but I don’t know that for sure. On the return hike we kept to river right all the way to the lower falls, adjusting our course along the bank to the path of least resistance.


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