Harper Creek Falls Trail

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Pisgah National Forest

Harper Creek Falls Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Collettsville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 2.8 miles Elevation Gain: 472 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

Short hike to one of the popular waterfalls/swimming holes in the Wilson Creek area. Waterfall with two nice swimming holes. The bottom swimming hole is larger than an Olympic size pool, so you can really swim. Both pools offer swimming, wading, diving, or simply floating. The pools are very deep and the water is cool and refreshing. The upper part of the falls cascades into a deep pool, and it is not uncommon to see people slide, jump, or dive off into this pool. This is a popular place in the summer so expect to see people here on the weekends or holidays. The campsite at the end of this trail is hidden away from the crowds, and is above the falls. This trail shares part of the MST so keep to the orange blazes. There is a rope down a steep rock face to the base of the falls

1 month ago

I was up there trout fishing on April 22 and this trail did not appear to be closed, several cars were parked at the trailhead. The Wilson Creek gorge area of the National forest is closed even for day use.

hiking
1 month ago

This specific trail is not indicated on the closure order. Other parts of Wilson Creek located further down stream are. Y’all be safe. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd724787.pdf

hiking
1 month ago

Can anyone else confirm this trail is closed? Conflicting reviews on here. Love this trail especially in the summer. Ropes to climb rock faces and slide down rocks.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

Tried to go here this morning but access is closed to all of Wilson’s Creek due to COVID-19 - including the trailhead for this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

The Harpers Creek Trail is great to the waterfall. My boyfriend and I wanted to make the hike a loop (to the end of Harper's creek, taking the .8 connecting trail to the Yellow Buck Mtn trail to come back to our car), so we continued the other half of the trail past the waterfall. Tons of places to camp with awesome places to swim. However, if you continue to finish to the end of the Harper's Creek trail make sure you are prepared to cross water. If you take the connecting trail, you're crossing at least 4 times in shin to knee deep water. Yellow Buck is tough. The trail is basically all uphill and then all downhill with many places in the trail that rainwater has turned it into a "u" shape. Very tough to walk down, especially with the build up leaves. No vistas, but there is a camping spot at the peak of the trail. Overall, very adventurous hike for us!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail! Can be strenuous in parts if you go off trail down to the water. Lots of fun boulder hopping. Can’t wait to go back in the summer months to swim, fish and hang all day.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Easy to moderate. Shaded. Great water views. Found some fishing holes. Highly recommend!

1 month ago

loved but didnt make it to the end due to bears

One of my favorite hikes, very dog friendly, and the trail was well kept. Some of the trail head makers were a little confusing in terms of directions so you have to pay attention. In early April there are hardly any bugs. Definitely recommend bringing an eno, swim suite and water shoes/chacos!

hiking
2 months ago

Had a great, short hike on this trail today. Hung up the hammock once we got to the top by the falls and just relaxed for a few hours. Great place to take the dog for a walk.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Beautiful views! The falls were stunning..

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Great trail to hike. Beautiful , trail was well marked. Wooded and shaded all the way. Watch your footing, some of the trail gets narrow and the leaves that’s fallen are slick. It’s a long hike to the gorgeous waterfall at the end. There is a rope that you can scale down to the bottom of the waterfall. I do not recommend going down with the rope unless you are experienced. The rocks are slick as you rope down. But you can see the waterfall from the top you don’t have to go down the rope. The waterfall is beautiful. Well worth the hike. In and out we had a total of 6.5 miles

hiking
fee
7 months ago

How is the camping their and particular camp sites I should go to or all of them are good??

hiking
8 months ago

awesome trail with an amazing reward... the rope is sketchy when rocks are slick but other than that awesome

hiking
8 months ago

love this trail. relatively easy walk with a swimming hole and waterfall near the end.

hiking
10 months ago

Great moderate hike, however, at the end of the hike you must scale down down a steep rock with a rope that is securely bolted to a rock in order to get to the top waterfall view area. It was a little slippery at times, so if you bring children make sure to watch carefully. Afterwards, enjoy swimming, relaxing on the rocks, and sliding down the lower waterfall. Very fun, a great way to enjoy a summer day!

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome trail

hiking
11 months ago

This trail was brilliant. Definitely worth trekking all the way to the sandy end. Lots of places to jump in the creek for a dip. Very dog friendly. Great place to spend a day and bring a picnic lunch.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful trail although some areas were washed out nice place to cool off at the bottom of the water fall. A

hiking
bugs
washed out
Tue Jun 04 2019

This was an excellent trail! Went with one friend who is just getting into hiking and she loved it. There were some bugs once you got closer to the water, but nothing some bug spray can’t fix. It was also washed out a little at some places, but nothing major to block progress. Just don’t be scared of a little mud in some areas. The rope down to the waterfall is a little daunting at first, but it’s actually really easy. It’s even easier if you go down barefoot. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
Sat May 25 2019

A nice short hike to a nice waterfalll & swimming hole. Completed this hike on Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, and was surprised to find it uncrowded. There was only one other pair of hikers at the falls upon our arrival. The trek is mostly flat excepting the first quarter mile and there’s plentiful flora (rhododendrons and laurels abound) and some fauna too (we saw a rabbit and a red salamander). The path to the falls basin is steep, particularly the upper pool, which we didn’t attempt. We did scramble down to the lower basin, with the help of the available rope, where there is a fine large swimming hole. A beautiful place to see. after our hike, driving back down the gravel road the traffic and dust were certainly picking up. Now to find a car wash.

hiking
Sun May 12 2019

Easy hike for the whole family. Not too long, not much elevation, great waterfall and swimming hole at terminus.

Harpers Creek was very high and impassable. After finding out there would be 12+ river crossings, we decided to change our plans and hike Yellow Buck Mountain. Yellow Buck was beautiful and can connect you to Harpers Creek fairly easily. It’s also pretty washed out. Definitely a butt-kicker!

backpacking
Sat Mar 30 2019

I did an overnight backpacking trip on this trail and it was extremely enjoyable. The trail winds along the creek up to the falls, there's several campsites along the way as well and plenty of water. Would be a great area to visit when it's warmer out for dayhiking or backpacking because there's several swimming holes and areas to cool off. I ventured about 4 campsites past the falls and made camp at a great spot where someone had made a seat and backrests out of large flat rocks right next to the fire ring which was awesome. I don't know why this trail is marked as difficult because there's really no elevation gain besides a few places, overall it's relatively flat with some scrambling over rocks and tree roots. Nice trail over all. My friends and I are doing the Yellowbuck-Harper Falls, Raiders Camp loop end of April and we'll be adding on some nearby trails to try and make the loop a bit more distance wise. Looking forward to going back. This area is great if you want to bring kids and do an overnight trip because there's several campsites to choose from all within an hours hike which is not bad.

hiking
Mon Mar 25 2019

Beautiful day for a hike with our 14 month old son and 2 dogs. Trail was easy to follow. I did not go down to the water using the rope with my son on my back but my husband went down without a problem. We are very active people and this was a enjoyable hike.

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