927 – Joe Pack Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – 30′

Distance – 1.8 (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 35.07811 LONG -82.00639

Last Updated – 01-07-2023

Last Visited – 01-06-2023

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Joe Pack Falls is a 35 foot high waterfall on the Thompson River, upstream of where NC281 crosses the river. The base of the falls and the route we took to it are will wihin the forest boundary. If you attempt to continue upsteam of Joe Pack Falls, you will be on private property.

The parking is in the same location as White Owl Falls on NC281 0.1 miles south of Brewer Rd. The GSP for parking is 35.07762, -82.99455.

From the parking area walk NC281 south toward the curve in the road where the Thompson River crosses under the highway. As the road starts to curve left, climb over the guardrail on the right hand side, and look for a worn path heading away from the road. The road will pass near the river before crossing a tributary. The overgrown road is going to be easy to follow, at least for a little while since we did some rhodo removal as we went. You will be following the past of least resistance at this point. The road will swing away from the river for a bit and then head back toward it. There is another creek crossing, this one more substantial. At 0.6 give or take, you will hear Bestos Falls on the left.

If you pick the right spot to descent to Bestos Falls, you will come to the river between Bestos and Upper Bestos Falls. The water was up a bit as you can see in the pictures, but we were able to cross to river right. To get to Upper Bestos follow the exposed rock through the rhodo to the base of the falls on river right. To get to Bestos Falls, look for a faint path on river right beyond the open rock area. The path leads downstream to the collection pool. It was easy to get to the rocks in the middle for a shot of the falls. Upper Bestos was really nice. Bestos had some large downfall on it.

The road will continue upstream. When it curves away to the right, it’s time to start down to the river. The embankment is overgrown with lots of stuff to climb over. The last ten feet are over a sloped section of mossy rocks.

Joe Pack Falls kinda got a Johns Jump look about it. Super nice collection pool, but a bit murky after all the rain.