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Boulderfield Falls Attempt

posted Aug 8, 2018, 3:42 PM by Justin P   [ updated Aug 12, 2018, 1:39 PM ]

Sunday, we left Waynesville and headed to Shining Rock Wilderness.  Parking at the national forest area in Camp Daniel Boone, we got on Little East Fork Trail (#107) and headed into the wilderness.  The trail is all uphill following its namesake upstream but it was a gentle slope and very pleasant hike.  In about a mile, we followed a path down to the creek and took a break, enjoying views of the cascades.

At 1.3 miles, there was a gnarled old tree and another path down to the creek.  This one was very steep and difficult but there was a nice little waterfall on Little East Fork Pigeon River here.

I was glad we got this one today as it probably wouldn't be worth the difficult descent in low water.  Continuing on the trail another mile, the unnamed tributary for Boulderfield Falls was across the river.  Getting down to river level, however, wad not so easy.  The bank between the trail and river was almost a sheer drop and totally overgrown with rhododendron.  After a few attempts, we found a way down just above the confluence.  We went downstream to just below the confluence and found a safe place to cross and then tried to bushwhack upstream along the tributary.  It was really steep and totally overgrown with rhododendron.  We tried several different routes, but kept getting stuck and eventually decided to give up.  The hike back was pleasant and we spotted a bunch of pipevine swallowtail butterflies on the way.

Soon we were back to the camp and parking area.  Heading back, we took NC215 to the parkway and went northbound to start the drive home.  We stopped at Pounding Mill Overlook for beautiful sweeping views of the Blue Ridge escarpment.

Looking Glass Rock was visible in the distance.  Further down, we made another stop at Walnut Cove Overlook.

After this stop, we got on the interstate to head home, stopping for Las Salsas on the way.