Accessibility – Hard
Height – 25′
Distance – 3.0 (Lollipop Loop)
Beauty – 3
Photo rating – 4
Solitude – 7
GPS Info: LAT 35.05569 LONG -83.50002
Last Updated – 01-15-2023
Last Visited – 08-04-2019
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Nothing says fun like a long sidehill through a thick sea of rohdo and downfall. That’s what you got coming if you decide to add Hurricane Creek Falls to your waterfall tally. It seemed like the day after I did this one, it fell off the list. I’m pretty sure only two of us have this one as part of our 500 List submssion.
The trailhead to this one is on Upper Nantahala Road, which is the road that leads from US64 to Standing Indian Campground. The pullout by the gated road where the hike starts is between Standing Indian Campgorund and the Hurricane Creek Horse and Primitive Campground. The cooridantes of where we parked are: 35.06054, -83.51316.
The hike starts by passing the gate on and walking the Blackwell Gap Loop Trail. In half mile you will come to a junction of trails. The Blackwell Gap Loop trail goes into a hard lefthand switchback. This is where the hike shifts to the Hurricane Creek Loop Trail. It’s not long after getting onto the loop trail that you come to a view of Horse Cove Trail Falls. You can see it off the right side of the trail. The point where you can see the falls best is about here: 35.06033, -83.50629. That takes care of the easy one. A tenth of a mile later, which is about .75 inot the hike, an old road forks off of the Huiircane Creek Trail. You want to take this. It’s overgrown, but it takes you right to the unnamed trib close to Sassafras Ridge Falls. Very close to the falls you’ll have to find the overgrown path that leads to the base of the falls. This is 0.4 from starting on the overgrown road.
Continue on from the falls side-hilling toward Hurricane Creek. This part of the hike sucks, and while the temptation is to give ground and angle down the mountain, this will only mean a tougher climb to get to the falls. We turned upstream short of the falls and clawed our way to the base of the falls.
There was no way I was going back the way I came, and this turned out to be a good decision. We fillowed the creek downstream on river right to an eventual crossing of the unnamed trib far below Sassafras Ridge Falls. After the crossing, we side-hilled and ended up on the Camp Shortcut Trail, which we followed to the intersection of the Blackwell Gap Loop Trail and Hurricane Creek Loop Trail. Make a left and it will take you back to your car.
Another vantage on Hurricane Creek Falls. If I had ten hours and a chainsaw I could have made this one much more presentable. Since I still wanted to do Factory Branch Falls, Burningtown Falls, Berties Falls and Indian Camp Creek Falls, not cleanup was done.