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Remote Nantahala Waterfalls

posted Oct 29, 2018, 2:20 PM by Justin P   [ updated Oct 31, 2018, 3:01 PM ]
This past weekend, I headed to the mountains with Casey and Team Waterfall to hit some remote waterfalls in the Highlands area.  I left Friday evening after work and drove to Lazy J's Campground in Rosman.  Christie was already here so we had a fire, but it started raining so went to back to our tents shortly.  Casey, Mike and Joy arrived later in the night.  In the morning, Badger and Kitty met us at the campground and we followed them to Nantahala National Forest and the trailhead for Cane Creek Falls off Whiteside Cove Road.  We started off hiking down gated Forest Road 2052.  A huge snail was along the road near the start.

In about a half-mile or so, we got off the trail and bushwhacked down towards Cane Creek.  It was easy at first but got real steep towards the end.  Coming out at Cane Creek downstream from the falls, we scrambled up the creek to the base.

Cane Creek Falls is a really beautiful waterfall.  But after some pictures, we headed back as there were several more on the agenda.  Driving further into the forest, our next stop was Little Creek Falls off Rich Gap Road.  A short hike up another gated road - FR-4622 - led to a sharp right where we got off the trail and bushwhacked down towards the falls.  As we got to the waterfall, we ran into Professor Scott as Team Waterfall was really coming together.  Bushwhacking towards the creek, we came to a spot in between an upper and lower section of the waterfall.  I first went to the upper section but it was difficult to get a good photo as there was a lot of branches and downfall in the way.

It was then a very steep climb down to the lower section.  I thought this was the most scenic part of the waterfall, with scenic little cascades just down from the falls.

Overall, I wasn't expecting to be impressed, but Little Creek Falls was a lot better than expected.  After a bit. we bushwhacked back to the road and cars.  Our next planned waterfall was Chasm Falls, but Badger and Kitty wanted to show us a discovery they had made first.  Driving into the Blue Valley area, we parked along Forest Road 79C, down below Glen Falls.  An unmarked tributary flowing down from Chinquapin Mountain had a waterfall and we could see it from the road.  But there was no trail so it would be all bushwhacking.  It was a real steep and overgrown bushwhack up the unnamed tributary.  As we got close to the falls, dense rhododendron prevented easy access.  Climbing up and around, we found a break in the bushes and got through to come out near the top of Chinquapin Falls.

Unfortunately, a huge tree had fallen down right across the waterfall.  That won't be going anywhere for a while.  Climbing down near the base of the upper drop, it was too cluttered for much of a picture.

We climbed down a bit on the other side and came out at another nice drop.  This thing kept going and going but it was too overgrown for a picture.  Crossing the tributary here, we were able to bushwhack back and find our way back down the mountain.  We had one more waterfall for the day - Chasm Falls on East Fork Overflow Creek and the trailhead was just a short drive past the Picklesimer Rock House Falls trailhead.  Spencer, Carlos, and Emily were here, quite the Team Waterfall meetup.  After greetings, we followed an old road led to the creek near the top of Chasm Falls.

The waterfall was quite impressive, as was the narrow chasm through which it flowed.  I decided not to cross the creek to the base as I didn't want to get my feet wet since it was getting late.  Probably a good idea as Emily fell in and had to be rescued by Casey.  After everyone was finished, we headed into Cashiers for dinner and then back to camp.