427 – Eastern Stream Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height – 80′ (but you can’t see it all in one place)

Distance – 2.0 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 2

Photo rating – 1

Solitude – 6

GPS Info: LAT 35.10402 LONG -82.59064

Last Updated – 02-05-2019

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Eastern Stream Falls is a large waterfall upstream from Oil Camp Falls but it is positioned in such a way that you can only see parts of it from any one location. It is right next to the Pinnacle Pass Trail and to continue on the trail you have to walk through the creek. I don’t recommend this as a destination hike but if you want to combine it with Oil Camp Falls or simply as something you see on a longer hike of the Pinnacle Pass Trail why not take a pic in passing. I actually didn’t intend to come to Eastern Stream Falls when I began my hike but after stopping at Oil Camp Creek I detoured up the Pinnacle Pass Trail to check out something else.

To get to the trailhead from NC and points North pick your best approach to reach the intersection of US276 and Highway 11 on the SC side of Caesars Head. From the intersection drive 4.5 miles, passing Wildcat Wayside along the way and make a left onto River Falls Road at the F-Mart. Take River Falls Road for 2.9 miles and make a left onto Oil Camp Road. In 1.7 miles this road the pavement ends and the last tenth of a mile is on a rough dirt road. I managed it in my Xterra but with two other vehicles parked at the trailhead I had to back out along the road since there was no room to turn around. If you have a low clearance vehicle you might not want to drive along this road. The right side of the road is really tore up.

The hike follows the continuation of the road beyond the gate the same as if you were going to Oil Camp Falls. Other than a few fallen trees there isn’t anything to contend with. Half a mile into the hike the road will cross Oil Camp Creek on a bridge. Maybe a tenth of a mile later is will cross back over the creek again on a bridge. Just before the bridge there is a red gate. Not far past the crossing a white blazed trail comes in on the right. It is marked to indicate that trail TR20 (Pinnacle Pass Trail) is up the hill to the right. Leave Oil Camp Road and head up the hill. This next 0.3 of a mile is going to be a workout as the trail will gain 400 feet of elevation before finally topping out on the ridge.  From here it will descend slightly to a creek crossing before following the contour on a level track to a crossing of the stream with the falls on it. There really is no good view of the waterfall from the trail.

I didn’t even bother to take out my Nikon for a shot since it was pretty lousy and with my time running short I wasn’t able to explore above or below this one small section of falls on this visit. Maybe in the future, I’ll return and try and get a worthwhile shot. However I did have time to hike further up the Pinnacle Pass Trail to where a waterfall was marked in All-Trails. To say the waterfall was ephemeral would be a stretch. Maybe after a thunderstorm it might look good but on my visit it didn’t even get “Big Wet Rock” status.

The much more impressive “Big Wet Rock” – February 2019




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