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Tanasee Creek Waterfalls

posted May 1, 2018, 4:44 PM by Justin P   [ updated May 28, 2018, 3:25 PM ]
Saturday morning, we woke up and headed into Brevard for a fast food breakfast.  Continuing west on US-64, we turned north on NC-215 and went almost to the Blue Ridge Parkway, turning left on FR-4663.  It was about 6 miles on this rough gravel road to the end at a turnaround to park.  I don't think very many people ever drive this far down the road, though we passed an area that had recently been logged.  We got our stuff together and started hiking down the road past the gate and turned left on FR-4655.  In about a quarter mile, the road crossed Yellow Patch Branch just below a scenic cascade.

Continuing a short ways, the trail curved right to swing around a ridge and into the Wolf Creek drainage.  At this point, we got off the road and started bushwhacking steeply down towards Wolf Creek.  And steep it was, descending about 250 vertical feet to the creek.  Fortunately, the forest was relatively open so at least we could see where we were going and we could hear the waterfall most of the way down.  After going down a ways, we came out at the base of Wolf Mountain Falls.

It's a really beautiful water and we were lucky to see it in high water.

So close to the top of Wolf Mountain, I imagine it could dry up at times.  The water was extremely cold, but I waded out to a rock with Alex, since he's pretty much a wolf.

After a break down here, we followed Wolf Creek downstream a ways.  There was an old logging grade on river right and wasn't too bad.  When we got to the end of the ridge that separates Wolf Creek and Yellow Patch Branch, we crossed the creek and bushwhacked around the ridge to follow Yellow Patch Branch upstream.  Along the way, we spotted a couple of short-winged blister beetles.

Fortunately, Alex wasn't interested as they can secrete a blistering agent.  The going was pretty tough as the slopes of the creek were quite steep and there were a lot of rhododendron and other obstacles.  Soon we made it to the base of the lowest section, which was impressive itself despite the poor lighting.

Then we climbed up to the middle section, which was a 15-foot drop.

Then finally the upper section, which is the most distinct on this waterfall with beautiful mossy rocks.

After a couple pictures, we had to get up.  Going back the way we came would be difficult and long, while FR-4655 was just a short ways up.  Cliffs surrounded most of the waterfall, so we had to climb up at the very top and since it was high water, there was no dry spot.  Alex was not very happy about this at all.  Sandy went up first and then I lifted him up to her and then followed.  It was pretty sketchy, but it was then only a short bushwhack up to FR-4655 and a short hike back to the car.  Once finished, we started heading back on FR-4663, making a stop where the road crosses Tanasee Creek.  We followed the creek upstream along the river left side to a crossing and after crossing, bushwhacked up river right side.  There were some nice cascades along Tanasee Creek here.

After the last waterfalls, this bushwhack was pretty easy and soon we reached the waterfall.

Herrin Knob Falls is a real scenic waterfall near the headwaters of Tanasee Creek at Herrin Knob.  Again, we lucked out seeing it in high water.

Just below the main drop was another narrow chute the dropped into a narrow chasm.  There didn't seem to be any way to get down to the base of this section.

After a few pictures, we started heading back.  Continuing back on FR-4663, we made a sharp turn onto FR-4663B and drove to the end.  There were actually other cars here as this is a more well-known waterfall.  A short hike past the jeep mounds led back to Tanassee Creek at the base of Dill Falls.

I hadn't been here in a while and forgot how big and impressive this one is.  We got a couple pictures and then headed back, following the other road steeply up.  Where it levels off, we turned left and headed down to the base of Upper Dill Falls.

The two are really close to each other despite a 5 to 10 minute walk between.  After a little break here, we headed back to the car.  It was early enough that we wanted to get in one more waterfall.  Heading back into Pisgah National Forest on FR-475, we made a quick stop for a roadside waterfall just past Gloucester Gap on a small tributary.

Driving to the end of the road, we turned north on US-276 to the trailhead for Moore Cove Falls.  The Moore Cove area is a great place for wildflowers and today they did not disappoint.  There were lots of irises, foamflower and violets blooming along the trail.

Moore Cove Falls was crowded, so we crossed the creek and headed to Little Moore Cove Falls first.  The two waterfalls are very similar, though Little Moore Cove is about half the size.

But few people seem to know about it and I've never seen anyone there, even when Moore Cove Falls is very crowded.  We got a couple pictures and headed back.

The crowds had cleared from Moore Cove Falls, so got a couple pictures here before heading back.  The return trip was slow going with many stops for wildflowers along the trail.

There were a lot of heartleaf foamflower in bloom.

Many different violets were popping up, including sweet white violets.

Sandy spotted an enormous Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

When we finished up, it was starting to get late.  We made a quick stop at Looking Glass Falls since we were passing right by it.  Like all the others, the water level was up and it was very powerful..

Then it was dinner at the brewery again tonight, this time getting take out from Hawg Wild.  After dinner we made another campfire before retiring for the evening.