486 – Zigzag Falls

Accessibility – Hard or Very Hard (it’s up to you)

Height – 90-100′

Distance – 0.25 to overlook (out and back) or 0.40 to base (out and back)

Beauty – 5

Photo rating – 3

Solitude – 8

GPS Info: LAT 35.94004 LONG -81.858102

Last Visited – 04-21-2021

Last Updated – 01-07-2023


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No matter how you elect to see this one, the hike ain’t easy. Don’t let the distance fool you, that 0.25 is straight down and the perch for the view is precarious. Getting to the base isn’t a walk in the park either. To get to the perch view about midway up the falls, we began the hike at 35.9398, -81.85898 on FR496 and made our way down with numerous course corrections. Lots of cliffiness to deal with.

Getting to the base I started here 35.93961, -81.85901 and followed what I thought was the easiest route to the creek, which took me downstream of the falls. I ended up following the creek back upstream through some huge boulders before reaching the base. The view from the base isn’t too great, and when I was down there, I did notice this protruding rock that I thought would make a better vantage. It was the one I ended up on when i revisited with my friend Amanda about a year later. Jen sat this one out, and my getting to the base and back to the car was the only time she was worried when I told her how long it should take me and I wasnt back within my estimaed time.

First pic is from the base in crappy lighting conditions. I haven’t had any interest in going down there again to get a better shot. Maybe in 2023. The second is from the perch in somewhat better conditions. The second one shows the zigzag that gives this falls it’s name.

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