Explore TO DO - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


Nice hike, not too difficult for its elevation gain and length. Manageable slope most of the time. The waterfall was cool. 4 stars bc there are pretty much no views in the summer when on the mountain. However, we ended our hike with a dip in the lake which was amazing.

nature trips
13 days ago

Beautiful falls & very easy to get to. The “parking lot” is located on the left side of the dirt road and is approx .25 miles past the fork in the road. I’ve posted a picture of the parking lot because we didn’t realize it was a parking lot until we drove up the entire mountain & back down - beautiful scenery though!!

Also, I wouldn’t call this a hike. It’s more like you walk to the falls.

this is a fantastic trail with views to compete with some of the best. difficult but well worth it

I read a review somewhere of Blue Hole where the person was complaining about a guy walking around with a big knife strapped to his leg. We were vacationing in the area, and visited today. I met that very man. He was a local, and goes there to walk the FS road, and carries the knife due to bears. Really nice guy, and exemplifies the typical misunderstanding of country people by 'visitors' sent there by internet posts.

As for the falls, it was incredible. My wife and I stayed for a few hours swimming. The water is breathtakingly cold. I could see where it would get crowded. The parking area is super small. Other than that, this is a hidden gem that I hope can be preserved.

Breath taking!! the waterfalls are beautiful. the hike isn't too long to the falls, but it is STEEP. wear good shoes, don't jump off any rocks and enjoy the view. I wouldn't say this one is kid friendly but definitely dog friendly.

Beautiful waterfall wear water shoes if you get in water there is some broken glass

Beautiful views and very worth it. There were too many babies when I went. Do not take babies passed the first bald. It becomes much more strenuous and easier to slip. Also the change in elevation will make them cry

Great hike and amazing views. We actually went farther then the Grassy Ridge spot. Trail goes about a mile farther then dead ends.

This trail has great potential for views and camping... but it is crowded which made this trail less enjoyable. As mentioned there are 3 Balds on this trail. Most of the load and obnoxious people stop after the first one, but a few continue on. It’s enough to ruin a hike.

The views are amazing though. It was pretty foggy on my hike but dissipated enough for me to catch a glimpse of the beautiful views .

This trail is not difficult, and that is why it stays very crowded .

1 month ago

Very short hike but super nice swimming hole. People were jumping off rocks pretty high up, there’s also more trails if you follow the creek on back with more swimming holes. Overall it was beautiful!! But also pretty crowded :)

To get to the hole stay to the left, there are a couple different trails there

My wife and I hiked this today and absolutely loved it. Our hike was actually a little over 6 miles, but the views were sooooo worth it. GREAT HIKE!!! Will repeat in fall.

Absolutely beautiful hike but it POURED on us!! And it rained for a good 45 minutes. If you are lucky enough to not hit rain, definitely go for it!

We did it twice. First day was gorgeous. Today was cool and rainy! Take rain coats or wind breakers because the weather is not always predictable! Great hike.

Very nice out and back trail.

Absolutely stunning! So glad we finally got to do this hike! We’ll definitely be back. Maybe for a longer overnight hike! We got lucky and had great weather. Chatted with a few kind strangers. Ooh’d and ahh’d ....our blue heeler mix went with us. She wasn’t a fan of the rocky path but did enjoy her mountain top hike. We started at about 1030-11a. It was definitely more crowded on our way back out around 1:30-2p.

2 months ago

Very short hike to multiple waterfalls! Beautiful place. Go off the trail and follow the creek to find hidden falls! Great swimming hole!

Hiked May 30-May 31 after and during intense rain. Trails here have the tendency to become gushing streams, and the Ivestor Gap trail and Art Loeb section between Flower gap and Cold mountain were both flooded for significant parts of the trail. We turned back after Flower Gap after conditions worsened. That being said, it was quite deserted and extremely scenic! Hope to be back in drier weather

Went a few weeks ago. What an amazing and lovely hike through some of the AT. Could easily do this as a day hike if wanted, but if you’re given the chance to camp overnight, I highly suggest it! We left around 2pm from Carvers Gap and made it to the top around 6pm with a few breaks. The sunset and sunrise were absolutely phenomenal. It got a little windy during the night so be prepared for that. We were extremely lucky because it was in the 80’s with no rain clouds in sight, but the AT through NC is notorious for its rainy days. Especially through the Roan Mountains. There may also be several other campers at the bald as well. There were approximately 14 other people up there with us, many of whom had taken the best camping spots ( i.e - flat areas of land). Just plan ahead. Overall a fun hike and definitely something beginner backpackers should do!

2 months ago

this is a sorry excuse for a hike. you can hear the falls from the parking lot and you just walk down some stairs. I read the other reviews stating the same thing, but I didn't expect it to be that close. the falls are really pretty and I love that there were teirs. it's a good place to go if you want to swim and only have a short walk.

2 months ago

loved it a great site reminded me of my home state Colorado.

2 months ago

Beautiful. Already can’t wait to go back and swim!

Hiked Black Balsam Road to Shining Rock, then to Cold Mountain along the narrow ridge, after two weeks of rain. Many flowing water sources with streams down the trail and several ponds in the trail. I did my best to keep my feet dry. I gave up on the Ivestor Trail on the way back. Saw a clump of 12 Pink Ladies Slippers, a few trilliums, bristly locust and Chicken of the Woods mushroom past Shining Rock. As said in other reviews, beautiful views, especially at sunset. When I was at Cold Mountain, I wished I had a car at the Boy Scout Camp, for a 4 mile hike to the car, instead of almost 10 miles back to Black Balsom Road.

Great hike with a unique payoff at Rand's View. Was lucky to have the meadow all to myself, as I arrived early. Unfortunately it was a bit misty and foggy in the distance so the view was not all it might have been. Still super cool. I didn't hike as far as the AllTrails route indicates, but I did check out Giant's Thumb and went a little beyond that, until I saw the trail heading steeply downhill. Mount Prospect view is nice, though not spectacular. But it's a good place to rest for a while before chugging along to Rand's View. Lots of nice ups and downs on this trail, but nothing too taxing.

Really enjoyed this trail. The section of the AT along the way has been improved greatly and is at times in excellent condition. There are several ascents and descents along the way reaching the destination. Multiple summits are achieved hiking along the trail and periodic entry and exit through dense Rhododendron and other brush and trees pay off with beautiful panoramic views. At times the terrain reminded me of hiking in Ireland.

literally my favorite ever. there's absolutely nothing negative thoughts say about this one.

on Blue Hole Falls

3 months ago

Beautiful falls. Not well marked. Easy hike and well worth the stairs!!

great hike with amazing views. did it for sunset and was not disappointed. it was a little chilly (around 26 degrees) and very windy but if you're prepared it shouldn't bother you. lots of camp sites along the trail, hoping to do it again as an overnight

I'm planning a hike here this year. is there a place to park?

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