Bearcamp Creek Falls Loop is a 11.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running.

Length11.1 miElevation gain2,513 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingRunningCaveForestLakeWaterfallOver grownRockyScrambleOff trailNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (1)

This route starts by following Auger Hole Road from the gate at the NC Wildlife boundary to a campsite near Bearcamp Creek, where the route is through the woods to the base of HIlliard Falls. A blur spurred connector trail then heads downstream to the Foothills Trail (Blazed White). Stay on the Foothills Trail until you reach a bluff above Lake Jocasee. At that point, as the trail goes to the left, go straight and follow the contour toward the lake and then into the Bearcamp Creek drainage. The terrain is thick and steep but less than 0.2 of a mile upstream from the lake you came to Splash Dam Falls, a great waterfall with a unique tunnel downstream through which the creek is funneled before dropping another 15 feet. From Splash Dam falls the route is a steep climb up the bank (to the left if you're looking at the falls) to reach the top of the ridge. The ridge spine comes back to Bearcamp Creek above the falls and once across a moderate bushwhack up the hillside will get you back onto the Foothills Trail. This mini-loop within the bigger loop is the most time consuming part of the hike. The Foothills Trail is going to be the route most of the way back from here as it follows Lake Jocasee to an eventual crossing of the Horsepasture River. The trail heads up a long set of steps and for the first time becomes strenuous as it climbs back toward the end of the hike at Auger Hole Road. The overall hike is strenuous, even if you omit the side-trip to Splash Dam Falls. That part is for those experienced in off-trail hiking only.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (5)
Photos (103)
Recordings (4)
Completed (5)
View user's profile page
Chris Armenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking
View Chris's Recording
View user's profile page
Chris Armenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 17, 2019
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble
First to Review

A day-long adventure in the Jocasee Backcountry in Gorges State Park. The majority of the hike is on Auger Hole Road and the Foothills Trail, which comprise the outer loop. In order to include Hilliard Falls, there is a 0.2 mile bushwhack alongside Bearcamp Creek. Below Hilliard Falls a connector trail leads to the Foothills Trail, which parallels Bearcamp Creek downstream on a mostly level course. To include the mini-loop to see Splash Damn Falls, break off the Foothills trail where it makes a hard left at Lake Jocasee. At that point head down and to the right to work your way into the Bearcamp Creek drainage. There are remnants of old logging roads here and there to help you get the 0.2 of a mile up to the falls but it is a wild places with steep cliffs and huge boulders. To get back to the Foothills Trail climb up the bank to the left of the falls to the top of the ridge and follow the ridge to the creek, cross and head up the other side. It's not as easy as it sounds and you will get wet and dirty. Once back on the Foothills Trail, make a right and resume the outer-loop. This section of trail is along an old logging road so it it wide and level. It isn't until you get to the steps near the Horsepasture that elevation comes back onto play. A bridge spans the river and the steps await on the other side. From here the Foothills Trail is a narrow ribbon stuck to the side of the mountain. It runs back to the gated road where the hike began just over a mile from the crossing of the Horsepasture River and gains 1000 of elevation over this last mile.

View user's profile page
Brad Bowen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking
View Brad's Recording
View user's profile page
Chris Armenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 17, 2019
Hiking
View Chris's Recording
View user's profile page
Bob Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2016
Hiking
View Bob's Recording