Explore the most popular camping trails in Nantahala National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike! Other than a few rattlesnakes it was spectacular!

Just did this loop on 5/18/18. Altered the trip slightly and took the spur trail from the AT to Siler Bald Shelter for a quick stop. Took us 1 hour 50 mins to get from the start of the trail to the shelter. The trail from the shelter up to the bald is very steep, but the views at the bald are gorgeous. We initially planned to camp somewhere near the bald/summit, but bad weather was rolling through so we hiked back down. All-up about 5 hours including stops with ~20lb packs on our backs. Nice trail - Would recommend.

An incredible hike with an incredible view! Being from South Florida, the elevation was quite difficult to adjust to but the view was definitely worth it! Also totally recommend hiking up to slide down turtle back falls.

Super fun trail, with great views if you enjoy waterfalls, and natural streams! It had a good amount of hills to walk up so be advised young children (under like 6) could get tuckered out on the hike back. Overall 4 mile round trip.

Very steep in some areas with 3 young kids and 2 dogs but not busy at all and great hike.

Went a while back really enjoyed! A lot of people!

We have been to this group of trails several times, and love the forest and lake views here. Just yesterday, May 10, 2018, we started out on the marked left-hand loop from the parking spot on the All Trails map, and ended up cutting across the interior of the loop on a trail marked with blue painted tree roots. About half way across the interior, on either side of the trail, we found lady slippers in full bloom, light of the setting sun falling across them...a rare sighting of this endangered species. See photo.

We hiked this section the last weekend of April, and while the daytime temperatures were wonderful for hiking, the temps plummeted at night down to around 30°F. We hiked the trail to the telico bald and back tracked to a camp at Burningtown Gap. If the weather is windy, I would suggest either stopping at the shelter between telico and burningtown, or pass through the burningtown gap and head down to the camp pad with the water source at lick log gap. Since the fires hit this area in 2016, there’s not a lot of foliage yet, so bring some sunscreen. The majority of the hike from Wayah to burningtown is downhill, but you have to make a considerable climb to get to telico, so I suggest stopping for lunch at burningtown if you haven’t already.

Mostly uphill. Trails are not clearly marked so it's easy to get confused. Trail had lots of tree stumps and rocks. Great bathing area for dogs and kids once you get to the Schoolhouse Waterfall.
Not a huge summit but a great place to hike to just for the view.

Beautiful falls, especially after several days of heavy rain. Not a rough hike, but definitely merits a moderate rating. Great places to rest by the falls and take in the view from a well-placed hammock.

Was a beautiful and amazing hike. last 15 minutes got me but well worth the veiw!!!

Wow! The falls are so impressive. The hike was super easy — all downhill until you get to the area just before falls. It’s just a short climb that’s mostly fueled by the adrenaline you get from the sounds of rushing water and the anticipation of seeing the waterfall. I was worried that the return trip would be exhausting since it’s mostly uphill to the parking lot but the incline is gradual. Next time I would plan a trail run here!

Awesome views from Whiterock! Super easy hike!

We've done a good number of trails in the area and this one is still hands down our favorite. It's a bit of a harder hike if you're not in shape/prepared, but 100% worth it. These are still the coolest falls that we've seen in a long time and I would absolutely do this hike again in a heartbeat. This app also says you cannot take dogs on it, but we took our lab and ran into no issues with that. We even saw other dogs on the trail.

Rather easy, less than 1000 feet elevation gain trail.
We were here on a weekend , so met some people but it was not crowded.
Beautiful waterfalls.
The whole trail sparkles! You need to witness it in order to understand it.
Be prepared for several water crossings specially in wet season. .

I absolutely loved Joyce Kilmer!! The hike was beautiful and the trees were breath taking. There was something magical about this place. The hike itself wasn't challenging but still felt very rewarding.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike with wonderful views from on top of the wall to below the wall. Good amount of campsites, some with water sources and some without. Only problem is the bears in the area. They will come into your camp and they are accustom to human interaction, so trying to scare them off is a bit more difficult. Just come prepared for bears if you are camping and it should be fine.

Rainbow and Turtleback are gorgeous. lots of stair climbing and elevation changes (103 floors per my fitbit) but its all worth it. My 8 year old and I enjoyed the trail, waterfalls and all the cool spots to walk out on the rocks in the river.

Nice trail, lots of up hill & steps, but pretty waterfalls at the end. ~4 miles, 1.5 hours

Easy and pleasant!

The car may of hike more than I did that day. Short hike from the parking lot to the tower. I am excited to go back and hike down to the spring this time.

We walked several of the loop trails. We had the place totally to ourselves except for various birds to include a wild turkey.

Had a fantastic time here. We hiked all the way to the end of the trail seeing all 3 waterfalls. It was Thursday so very few people were on the trail. Had lunch at the top if rainbow falls. It was an amazing view.

Nice trail. Not too strenuous. Tracked it at 6 miles total. There were plenty of children doing this trail with no problem. There are places where I would not have a dog with no leash. The views at the end are well worth the trip.

Our first hike on this trail. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the hike.

Ended up doing this trail by accident... but so happy we did! We went around to Little Green summit first and then down to the falls. The trail was definitely easy going for the first 3+ miles. A nice/steep climb to the top and then some AMAZING views. Got a little turned around on the summit thanks to some careless wandering but never got too far off path. The entire 4 hours we were in the area we only saw 4 other groups of people which made the experience even more perfect. Can't wait to come back for a weekend of camping/hiking.

Great Trek! Siler Bald views were fantastic!

Has been a favorite hike for 35+ years.
Just before the switchback to ascend the back side of Whiterock, there are some Awesome geological formations ~ 50 yards off the southwest side of the trail that must be explored.
But word of warning.... I have only ventured there during colder months, as it is rattlesnake and copperhead heaven.

First time hiking out here and enjoyed it a lot. It may have been raining, not too hard but enough to keep us wet but well worth it.

Great day hike! As mentioned by a few others it is best to not follow the directions from All Trails. I'll repost the better directions here : http://southernhighroads.org/north-carolina/attractions/highlands/hiking...bartram-trail-jones-gap-to-whiterock-mountain

Begin by referring to the above directions to get to the trailhead. Although some of it is paved, a good majority of it is not so you'll likely drive ~2 miles on dirt road up I believe Scaly Mtn to the trailhead. Trailhead will be obvious after a long uphill drive. From there we went right on the yellow blazed trail. About a half mile in there is a spur trail on the left with blue blazes to take you up Jones Knob and Whiterock Mtn (maybe a mile at most to do this trail). AMAZING VIEWS!!! these will be the best views during the hike so i highly recommend taking this spur. then you can back track and get back on Bartam trail. This trail can take you a ways so you can do a lot more/go a lot longer than what is listed on this page. This is mostly a backcountry type trail with a lot of vegetation. it is really pretty and not overly difficult. You will see an option to go up Whiterock from this trail down near the Whiterock Gap

There is an option during the hike to take a spur trail to the summit of FishHawk Mtn. Hiker be warned that the sign that says its 528ft refers to the elevation gain!!! This is a heartbreaker! Def use your trekking poles if you have them-very steep! Not really a view from the top but there is a summit marker and a plague in the rock. Def the hardest part of the hike! but not mandatory!

I recommend after the hike to go checkout the Satulah Mtn Brewery! it is a 15 min drive. No food but there is a neat little pub called Ugly Dog just down the street with plenty of food options-and more beer! This is all downtown Highlands which is a cute little town worth stopping by

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