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I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

on Crabtree Falls Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Went today with my 3 little dachshunds. The falls were a beautiful sight to behold. You can only follow the Loop A path right now and then return the way you came after reaching the falls. I initially tried following Loop B but it lead me back to Loop A. After arriving at the falls, another couple had told me that the path leading from the falls and back to the parking lot was closed (to make the actual loop). My dogs and I headed back the way we came.

I would say that at this time of the year, it is more of a moderate hike. You go downhill all the way to the falls, and walk uphill upon your return (since the loop is closed). It is very steep in one section and a little slippery when wet. There are 3 steep stone staircases. Dachshunds’ (hot dogs) backs are not good for going down the staircases so I held two while going downhill. It was a little slippery for me and I consider myself to be really fit with my HIIT workouts and surfing...lol. So be careful and hold the rail. Another person suggested walking sticks, I think that’s a really good idea at this time of year.

Overall it was a breathtaking experience and the people we passed with other dogs, large and small, were SO kind and considerate. We all let each other know when we were rounding corners. My dachshunds get nervous on a leash and we all respected each other’s spaces and were able to flow past each other and share peaceful vibes :)

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

some amazing views. and one amazing waterfall. bucket list this one. you'll thank me

Beautiful absolutely breathtaking

Beautiful hike. Took approximately 3-4 hours for novice hiker.

This is probably the most beautiful waterfall that we’ve seen yet and is definitely worth the hike. Going from the campground parking lot take the trail by the amphitheater and you can choose trail A or trail B to begin your hike. Both lead to the falls. For a shorter hike choose trail A and you can back track up trail A after seeing the falls. We had two kids and they were fine with the climb back up after seeing the falls. Be careful toward the bottom of the trail if it has recently rained. The rocks on the trail are very slippery. Overall, this is a fun hike and the benefits of seeing the falls is worth it!

hiking
9 days ago

The hike is well worth it! It is recommended for the novice hiker to use a walking stick to help with foot support when walking over the smaller wet rocks located on the trial. Well worth the hike.

Beautiful views.

Well worth the drive. But the gravel road is very bumpy and barely wide enough for two cars. Without an SUV, that road takes a lot longer to drive. It took us an hour to drive it. But it was a beautiful hike with great views.

Moderate hike with phenomenal views! Took our time exploring and was done within 4 hours.

This is a really nice 1/2 day hike. The payoff at the end with the view is really beautiful, especially in the fall. Definitely would suggest making that your lunch spot. I would rate this moderate not hard, at least when comparing it to some other hikes in the region such as table rock. That being said however, it is overall an upwards gradient just about the whole time, but the switchbacks in the first half are generally pretty smooth and gradual which is why I rate it more moderate (I saw young children making it to the top...albeit it took them extra time). Lots of dogs in the trail. It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get up with one short water break, stayed at the view for about an hour, and then took 1 hour 10 minutes to come back down. Trail was pretty busy, but did go on a Saturday.

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Hiked this with my 7 year old; took about 3 hours. We both loved it! Got a little nervous go be up so high at the summit with just the kiddo, dog and me; but a good opportunity to teach safety. It was beautiful, especially during leaf season. I would not rate this trail as hard; more moderate than anything. My son and I even trail ran the last mile.

hiking
12 days ago

Short hike with great views.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

hiking
16 days ago

This is such a beautiful waterfall. Amazing to see such a lovely display after a short hike. There's a lot of small rocks in the trail and some steep staircases but if those minor obstacles don't bother you this is a "must do" hike if you're in the area.

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

Amazing view as everyone said. Took me 2hr 50 min out and back. I'll take it considering I'm a bit out of shape. lots of dogs and can be very muddy after rain.

Beautiful. Moderate walk with superb views, especially at the top. Bring a lunch and a camera.

A bit crowded, but otherwise perfect. Challenging and beautiful.

Trail has stairs and rocky sections. The uphill back to parking is not overly strenuous. One mile hike to falls with option to continue another 1.7 on loop. Plenty of rocks and a bridge to hang out on and take in the beautiful falls!

This is my favorite trail. It is a bit treacherous, especially for an old guy like me. I don’t go on it after heavy rain as it is slippery and mistakes could be costly. But it is beautiful and dramatic and fun.

hiking
20 days ago

The hike itself is beautiful. Steep and definitely kinda difficult, but short enough that it's not a problem. HOWEVER, only go if you have a car that can handle a bumpy gravel road! You'll be on a dirt road for about 15-20 minutes before you hit paved road near the very top, and the dirt road was difficult to navigate for our VW Beetle. If we had a sturdier car it would've been totally fine, but instead it was quite nerve-racking!

Amazing hike! Best yet in north Carolina. Lots of ladders and hard uphills. I’m not sure going all the way to callaway peak was worth it if your in it for the views, the first peak was beautiful and stayed beautiful to the callaway peak but didn’t change. About 4-4.5 hours out and back. 40$ to get into the park for 2 people.

Great hike with a little bit of everything!!

Oct 20 18: leaves at the summit view were 10-20% turned to their fall colors.

hiking
24 days ago

Easy downhill going into the falls, narrow path with lots to step over and around. There are a couple of benches along the way and a bridge for taking pictures and admiring the falls. We saw families and small children and lots of dogs. Would go again if we were ever in the area.

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