Accessibility – Moderate+ (bushwhack)
Height – 18′
Distance – 5.1 miles (out and back)
Beauty – 5
Photo rating – 8
Solitude – 6
GPS Info: LAT 35.14872 LONG -83.02371
Last Updated – 01-21-2023
Last Visited – 07-21-2019
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Panthertown Creek Falls is one of the hidden gems in Panthertown Valley. This one ranks right up there with Lichen Falls as one of my two favorites in Panthertown. The hike to this one is mostly trail, but the last section is off-trail. It’s not terreible as far as bushwhacks go provided you pick a good line.
The trailhead parking is at the Salt Rock Gap end of the park. This parking area fills up on weekends so you want to get there early. The parking lot is at 35.16824, -893.03957.
The hike: Pass the gate and begin following the Panthertown Valley Trail. The trail heads downhill and at 0.4 of a mile it comes to the Salt Rock Overlook. Continue following the Panthertown Valley Trail another 0.3 of a mile to an intersection with the Deep Gap Trail. Make a right onto the Deep Gap Trail and follow it for 0.3 of a mile to the junction with the Granny Burrell Falls Trail. Make a left onto the Granny Burrell Falls Trail, which comes to a junction with the Great Wall Trail. This is just after the Granny Burrell Trail crosses Panthertown Creek. Follow the Great Wall Trail for 0.9 of a mile to where it makes a hard left turn and starts to climb. Walk through the campsite and angle toward the great wall while continuiing upstream. It’s relatively open closer to the cliff, and on my most recent visit, we picked up an obvious path. The path will angle back toward the creek downstream of the falls. The hardest part is finding a good place to drop down to the creek to get a picture. I found the view from river left to be the best. You can add in Granny Burrell Falls or Frolicktown Falls to make a day of it.