502 – Wolf Mountain Falls

Accessibility – Hard+

Height – 100′ (two drops)

Distance – 2.6 (loop)

Beauty – 8

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.29411 LONG -82.96317

First Visit: 04-06-2019

Most recent visit: 09-11-2020


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Wolf Mountain Falls is a two-tiered waterfall on Wolf Creek . The two drops total about 100 feet but there is no way to see both at once. The upper section is steep chute with a smaller drop above while the main drop is about 75 feet with the water zigzagging down the dark rock. The area is remote and many old roads veer off all over the place. Getting to the base of Wolf Mountain Falls following the loop hike I use wasn’t too bad but it does get thick in places.

Trailhead directions: As my route to Wolf Mountain Falls first passes Yellow Patch Falls, refer to the Yellow Patch Falls hike for traihead directions and the start of the hike. The trek to Wolf Mountain Falls picks up where the hike to Yellow Patch ends.

The hike:  From the base of Yellow Patch Falls, make your way up the bank to the old logging grade and follow it downstream. At times the road is open and at others, it is completely gone so you will have to make due. There are sections that are mossy rocks with gaps between them so use caution. Either on the road or in the open sections of woods, the goal is to reach the confluence of Yellow Patch and Woft Creek which is about 0.4 of a mile from the base of Yellow Patch Falls.

Once you get to the confluence, work your way up the river left side of Wolf Creek until the terrain forces you to cross. There are several sections of trail in here that make this easier. Try not to get too far above the creek since it will make for an awful scramble back down when it is time to cross to river right. After 0.25 of a mile on river left, an old logging grade breaks from the creek on river right, this is the place to cross. The road is in decent shape and it will take you all the way to the falls. When you get close to the falls you will have to descend the slope to reach the creek and attain the best view of the main drop.

To get to the upper drop, return to the road and climb beside the falls past the brink. A short distance past the brink an obvious path drops to the base of the upper section. I prefer this part of the falls to the lower drop. If you make your way out to view this drop, keep in mind a 75 foot drop is right behind you.

There are several schools of thought on how best to get back to the car from here. On my trips, I have returned to the old road and followed it upstream past Upper Wolf Mountain Falls to FR4663 and hiked it back to my car. I have also followed the old grade past Upper Wolf Mountain Falls, crossed at the base of Mr T’s Cascade and bushwhacked up the mountain and picked up the FR4655. I will recount the latter.

From the logging grade you took to the upper section of Wolf Mountain Falls, resume following it upstream. Not long after leaving Wolf Mountain Falls the woods will open up enough that you can see Upper Wolf Mountain Falls. This waterfall is comprised of 3 drops but there is a lot of clutter in the way so it is hard to capture. An obvious route to the base will be on the right less than 0.25 from Wolf Mountain Falls.

Return to the grade if you visited the base of Upper Wolf Mountain Falls and continue following it upstream. When the road got really overgrown, we got down to the creek and crossed below a nice drop, which I named Mr T’s Cascade.

Once across Wolf Creek, start up the hillside following the route of least resistance. The lower part is pretty steep and there are some cluttered sections but once you get above the rhodo line it does open up quite a bit making for a much easier climb. The trail you want to intersect runs parallel to Wolf Creek so if you can maintain a straight line up the hill you will intersect it close to 35.29669, -82.96090. When you reach the trail make a right and follow it back toward the point there you left it to start down Yellow Patch Falls. From there follow FR4655 back to the gate, make a right onto FR4663 and you will be at your car in 0.1 of a mile.

The main drop 75 foot drop of Wolf Mountain Falls
The smaller 25 foot upper section

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