The directions at the top of this page say turn left on Hwy 107, but you actually turn right and then Rock Creek Road is on the left. This is a good hike, but very rocky and uphill most of the time. It seemed longer than 1.5 miles, probably because of the steepness, but my Fitbit measured it at 3.1 round trip. I would like to do this hike in the fall when it would be cooler and not as humid. Good, moderate hike.
It was fairly strenuous, solid up hill climb. Great for a nice workout for my 40's age body. However, if you are older and/or have any medical issues just be careful because it's a long uphill hike. Nothing exceedingly treacherous or dangerous though. We did the hike in the heat of the day in July. Decent amount of canopy helped a lot, But still hot and tiresome at points. For some reason there are 2 Rattlesnake ridge trails listed? We went expecting to see a waterfall. We were disappointed to discover there was NO waterfall after all our efforts. We located an overlook at the end of the trail with a nice view, however, no waterfall? The waterfall hike is apparently on a different trail. Rock Creek Fall Trial has the waterfall.
I got more than 3.6 miles out of my gps as well as another hiker I met at the top. I registered 4.6 and they were around the same.
This trail is demanding and keeps an elevation gain all the way to the top. For a second you loop into Dark Hallow trail and then continue on up. It isn't until the end that you see that you come to a parking lot but the demanding hike is worth it. I would suggest a nice cool day for this trail. I did it on July 2nd in the morning and it got a little too hot for me and my pup Banjo.
Beauty spot has become my favorite place for views. The first time I went we hiked because the service road is closed during the winter months. I'm probably not in the best shape but the hike was difficult for me, I had to make many rests, but in the end it was more than worth it! The views were breath taking and we made a new friend on the balds as well. Coming back down was a breeze.
Great challenging hike. It was foggy the entire way. I hoped there was a survey marker at the top since there were no views but I didn't find one. There was a very green pine area at the top. Views at Beauty Spot are normally spectacular but it was foggy today. Once I reached the top a cold front came in that left frost and a lot of weeds and twigs which made for some awesome pics on the way back to the car.
Pay $2 at the front but drive back to the building at the front of the campgrounds and park there. Trailhead is on the left just past the building. There are three trails, Rock Creek Falls, Rattlesnake Ridge, and a bike trail. Hike is mostly uphill but makes for a quick return trip. We were a little confused after the lower falls. We came to an opening and there were a few trees down and the trail wasn't as visible with the leaves down. Keep hiking up. The trail ends at the bottom of the upper falls. Really enjoyed this one!
Beauty Spot along this hike is one of my favorite places in the area, with scenery and views comparable to the balds at Carver's gap along the AT. From there, continue along to the crest of Unaka Mountain. The hike from Indian Grave Gap to Beauty Spot was fairly easy, with only a few areas of moderately steep ascent. Beauty Spot was quite crowded with hikers as well as those who had driven up. After that, the hike gets steeper and more challenging up to the Emerald Forest, an area of almost nothing but dark green, almost black spruce trees that I'm told is unique to this area. The Emerald Forest was incredibly still and quiet, and we didn't encounter anyone on the trail after Beauty Spot. The Emerald Forest is also accessible from a couple of side trials that come in from Unaka Mountain Road. One thing, the map appears to show the hike from Indian Grave Gap back down to Erwin, you would need to head the opposite direction to get to Beauty Spot, Unaka Mountain, and Iron Mountain if you keep going.
Short but difficult and potentially dangerous hike. Not well marked but easy enough to follow. The previous reviews about it being a bit of a scramble are accurate. There are several places where losing your footing/balance could result in serious injury, but as long as you take your time you should be find. The trail is much easier to find if you come in from the 107 side of Unaka Mountain Road. I don't recommend you go alone because there is no cell service, so if you get hurt, you can't call for help.
Indian Grave Gap to iron mountain is a great section hike of the AT. You go over unaka mountain and experience some great views along the way. There is a shelter about 1 mile from iron mountain that makes for a good spot to camp out to make this a nice overnight trip if you so desire.
The trail was exceeding. What a wonderful day! The temperature under the canopy was comfortable. Very mature forest. Few creek crossings yet easy to pass. Uphill 3/4 of the hike in but passes quickly on the out hike. First trip and would do it again. I will wait for higher amount of rainfall to trek this again for a bigger waterfall.