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

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backpacking
2 days ago

We did this hike in April. If you go counter clockwise then campsite #2 is pretty much the halfway point. That’s where we stayed. It’s a pretty nice area, and there is a well there, but we still filtered the water just to be safe. The only really difficult part of the entire loop was hiking up out of Cane Creek gorge. It wasn’t all that bad, but it was fairly steep in some spots. Altogether you cross 3 suspension bridges on this loop, so that’s cool.

Great day hike if you are looking for something more challenging than a leisurely stroll. Allow enough time to complete your hike as necessary, the spur trail to Ranger Falls is a MUST. STRONGLY RECOMMEND starting with Gulf trail from Stone Door and finishing with Rim trail to allow time for recovery. Otherwise you will be making a steep ascent over rocks and some boulders to end your hike.

Took the North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin to overnight there. Left Savage Gulf Ranger Station at 14:30 and chose this route as it was shorter than North Plateau and needed to arrive at camp before sunset. Was able to complete trip with approximately one hour of daylight left, but found this a strenuous hike with the fast pace and mostly being out of shape. Next day we completed the loop via the North Plateau Trail back to the Ranger Station. It was slightly longer than North Rim with no scenery but only one big climb and found this to be a good “recovery hike” after fast pace on North Rim the prior day.

2 girlfriends and I hiked to Virgin Falls today. Perfect weather. Took us about 4 hours and we stopped at Laurel and Virgin falls to take pics and have snacks. I would rate it as hard but totally doable. The falls were beautiful. Lots of water flowing. It would also be a great place to camp.

Great trail! Brought my Chacos and they were perfect for crossing the river right before the waterfall. Keep climbing for a bonus waterfall. Love this hike.

Went yesterday. As everyone says, the hike in is easy- back, not so much! But worth it because it’s beautiful right now. Saw wild roses, geraniums, irises, trillium, phlox, violets, larkspur, and catch-fly (bright red). We caught a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker. The water is flowing well. We brought water shoes to cross the creek and were glad because we had dry shoes to hike out. Bring plenty of water!

First time on this trail. Went because it said it was hard. It says overnight, but is easily done as a day hike by anyone with enough time or experience. My total time on trail was 5h20m. Honestly, the trail is pretty boring, and just mileage, with the exception of the gorge (which in spring was gloriously flowery) and the falls (which, ya know, are falls) A word of advice I either missed or wasn't there. To hike the upper and lower loop, they want you to have a permit from the camper check in. No cost involved, just some paperwork for your dash and to keep on your person. It's basically like the sign in sheet at your usual trail head, only requires more effort. They say it's for safety, it was just a 15 minute delay to me. To get to the check in, overshoot the last left and drive straight until you see a building with camper check in on it. Just past the last left, on the left, is a friends of the park depot. They have maps and other souvenir type things. Got a magnet for my efforts there.

hiking
5 days ago

my favorite by far, it's a 3 in 1 trip with such unique waterfalls. take plenty of water....

Absolutely beautiful!!! The hike out was definitely difficult but well worth it!! Took my 9 year old son, and we hike at least 2x/month, and he said this was his favorite hike so far. I would not recommend this hike for beginners.

camping
9 days ago

This was my first hiking/camping trip about a month ago and Ive been wanting to go back ever since. We hiked down to Laurel Falls,Sheep Cave and eventually Virgin Falls. All were a sight to see. Virgin Falls was literally breathtaking if you're able to safely get closer to the bottom. I plan on returning this summer.

We went after a good bit of rain, so the creek crossing (you step on rocks to cross, right before the waterfalls) was close to impossible without getting water in your boots. It was absolutely worth it to have wet shoes, because the water features were awesome. So carry extra socks. Also, due the the uphill climb on the return trip, allow much more time to return.

Loved the trail, it is difficult towards the end. Well worth it!

My wife and I hiked the North Rim Trail to Hobbs Cabin campsite #3. There is a nice water source just down the hill behind the cabin. The next day we completed our loop via the North Plateau Trail back to the ranger station. It was a beautiful hike and one we plan on doing again.

We did this trail for an overnight trip March 2018. Easy hiking with min to moderate hills. The roots were not bad so I’m not sure why that was said in previous ratings. We stayed at a shelter house which ended up being quite a sweet deal considering low was 26. Has couple of benches and fire pit. All the shelters are close to water sources. We did the whole trail . GPS clocked it at 12.6 miles. Could be done easily in a day. Would be good for groups.

So this place is infested with wild boars. Wild hogs? Whatever you call them, they’re everywhere and convinced that the trail is theirs. Not to mention there were numerous water/creek crossings with no bridges, which I imagine would be fine on a warm day. The first family of boars I stumbled upon (around 8 or 9 of them) were just after honey pond. I backed away slowly and waited until they cleared with no problem. All the rest that I saw, I had only a few miles left and there were dozens of them. It was too late to turn back and there was nowhere else to go. I was charged by one from over 100 yards away. It was awful. I slid down a hill trying to get away. Bring a gun, bring a friend, go on a sunny dry day. There is absolutely no service the last 5 miles of the trail. This would’ve been a halfway decent hike if it wasn’t for all these stupid hogs.

Moderate to difficult trail. I hiked this in a race day, so Big Creek Gulf was very well-marked, but I’m not sure it always is. Nice variation of terrain. I did it clockwise, so went down Stone Door first, then Big Creek Gulf (which was fun and loud from all the rain), then took the Big Creek Rim back, which was easy and flat after all the work in the first few miles. Highly recommend.

Backpacked down Stone Door, along Big Creek Gulf trail and back up to Alum Gap campsite. Lots of rock hopping so the proper footwear is essential. Ranger Falls was gushing due to all the recent rain. You have to walk a bit to find firewood as it is picked clean around the Alum Gap campsite. Nice overlooks on the hike out along Big Creek Rim trail. Strenuous hike but worth it.

Fun trail but as the reviews before me said, it is a valley so the hard part is in the second half of the hike. I think it's a pretty good trail for a range of hikers - if you're an avid hiker it's not a challenge but it's still nice and if you're newish it'll be difficult but manageable. There are definitely prettier waterfalls in this part of the country that take less effort to get to but if you want to get some exercise in it's worth checking out.

The trail is pretty easy to follow and completely empty when I went. I started from the Alabama side though so I'm not sure how it is from the Tennessee side. You hike down through some woods, across a creek, past a small cemetery, and end up in a natural amphitheater. The trail just sorta ends and you can explore the area. I sorta wish I had brought some sandals when I got to the end b/c most of the rocks were submerged so I ended up getting my feet and shoes wet trying to get closer to the waterfall (and hiking in wet shoes is never fun). Do be careful while exploring the area though. I slipped and fell on the wet rocks and got bruised pretty bad.

Beautiful. Completely worth the time and effort!

My garmin tracked this at 4.8 in and 4.8 out. Not sure where AllTrails get 6.6 in/out. Not accurate. It’s well over 8+ Miles. Also, If you are a avid hiker, I would disagree with the rating of Hard. Out is up, but if you are in pretty good shape this is not a hard day hike. Beautiful!

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome trail, the elevation change gets you on the way out.

backpacking
1 month ago

Went through Stone Door into the gorge. Very rocky, but once down there, wildflowers were everywhere! Beautiful The bolder filled creek was dry, but hiked to a Ranger falls anyway. It was running great, with a small rainbow at bottom. It goes underground, that’s why you see no water in creek bed. Going on along BCG Trail, I came upon another smaller waterfall. It also runs back underground, as does Big Creek, which you will see for the remainder of the hike out of gorge. Very rocky climb out to the rim. Rim trail has a few nice overlooks. I would rate this moderate, with steep climb at end. Don’t wear flip-flops!!

hiking
1 month ago

The trip was great! Our group made it a small weekend trip. We hiked into Martha's Pretty Point Campground Saturday morning and then relaxed most of the day. We got up early Sunday morning and hiked down to Virgin Falls and back out. It was a nice weekend and there were a lot of people there. A lot of the people seemed to be day hikers although the campgrounds fill up fast, so book in advance if possible. I recommend making the journey up to Martha's Pretty Point overlook. It is an "extra" bit of incline hiking but the view from the top is worth it. As many other reviewers have stated, the hike down to Virgin Falls is worth it but can be deceiving as it's mostly downhill. The hike back up the trail can be a long exhausting trip for those who aren't physically fit. I consider myself a fairly active 26 yr old and it was tiring but I've definitely done harder. My recommendation would be to make this a two day trip if possible. There are a few campgrounds along the way (all with a beautiful setting) and this makes the trip a little less tiring, especially if you can make the hike to Virgin falls without any gear. Happy hiking!

Beautiful views, considerable elevation gains and descent. Tricky footing in some places over rocky trails especially when climbing or decending on the gulf. Take the extra .8 miles to see Ranger falls!

trail running
1 month ago

Very well maintained trail that is easy to follow. Highly recommended if your in the area!

hiking
1 month ago

Went last week to get a feel for the trail and made it just past Big Laurel Falls. Tough hike on the return though! Wish I had arrived a hour or two sooner to complete it. Will be back in a couple weeks!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing spot! My tracker measured as 10.5 miles. Difficulty is correct & you hike uphill a significant part of the return. Be prepared & don’t make them rescue you from out here.

We did this for a half marathon. It was tough, but fun.

it's a tough trail but worth it!

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