Upper Creek Falls Loop Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(236)
Pisgah National Forest

Upper Creek Falls Loop Trail is a 2.4 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Newland, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.4 km Elevation Gain: 130 m Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

snow

Users have reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Great waterfalls, huge boulders and pools, and a large overhanging rock. There are two ways you can start out. Either the Upper Falls trail or the Lower Falls trail. If you start out on one you can come back on the other and make a complete loop. The Upper Falls trail is much steeper. So it is a good one to take down to the falls, cross the creek and go down the trail to the lower crossing and then come back up the Lower Falls trail. As soon as you leave the parking lot, the trails starts to decend rather quickly and very steeply down. The closer you get to the creek and falls, the down slope gets steeper. After you cross the creek using rocks sticking up out of the creek, the trail still goes in a down slope to the lower crossing. The trail crossings are very well marked with signs. This is a state maintained park. The upper falls crossing has a set of man made wooden steps and "bridge" to help you from the falls up to the Upper Falls trail or vis versa, to help you down to the creek side and top of falls. There is one scenic view on the Upper Falls trail to stop and see a swimming hole in the creek above the falls. The view is far above looking very far down onto the creek and small set of the falls above the main falls. There is a rope swing, used by many to swing out and drop off into the "pool", very deep water pooled in the creek. The water stays ice cold year around. You can also use the smaller falls as a slide down into the "pool". There is a spectacular view of the lower valley below the falls from atop the main falls edge. You can see for miles down the river valley. Very pretty during the summer months, green trees lining the mountains for miles down the valley. During the winter months can see snow covered mountains for miles. There are quite a few picturesque views to take. This trail is not for the elderly or weak at heart. Several strenious stretchs of the trail. The Lower Falls trail is not as steep but still down slopeing at points. There is a small area after crossing the creek on the Upper Falls trail above the main waterfall, that some use as a camping or gathering spot. Leveled and cleared out spot in the forest. With a campfire area and large enough area for a large tent. They do allow swimming and camping here. There is a small trail that goes up to the swimming hole and points north of the main falls after you cross the creek into the "camping" area. Turn left and go up the rarely used trail. If you wish to go to the swimming hole area, you can also walk the large boulders before crossing the creek on Upper Falls trail,along the creek side up to the large boulders surrounding the "pool" swimming hole.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Started storming (thunder and lightning). The trail got real slick and hard to navigate with kids. Had to turn back a half mile in. Didn’t get to see the falls. It looks like there are some “shortcut trails” that cut out allot of the back and forth zigg-zaggy part at the beginning. People were at the parking lot, but didn’t see hardly anyone on the trail.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

Did upper creek about a year ago. Absolutely loved it! Some of the best views. Lots of fun.

22 days ago

We did this a couple weeks ago with our 9, 6, 5, & 2 year old and our English Mastiff puppy. The kids love water crossings. After a rain it could be a little tricky. You can tell a lot of people get off trail at the end to cur corners. walking down the falls to the bottom is super cool when the water isnt high. we ate our lunch on a rock in the middle of the trail. I'd rate this as moderate but keep in mind our 2 year old was able to walk a lot of it.

hiking
muddy
rocky
27 days ago

Hiked this trail earlier, it’s open! Great hike, but be prepared to cross the water to access the other side.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

Tried to go here this morning but access is closed due to COVID-19.

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike!!! Very beautiful and able to get close to waterfalls.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful views of the falls, creek and mountain vegetation. Several creek crossings and points to view the falls. Would definitely recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

I did this about a year ago and really enjoyed it. Highly recommend.

hiking
4 months ago

Trip was steep and full of switchbacks but in good condition. Couple of stream crossings with beautiful waterfall views.

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

I would rate this trail as difficult. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and I was feeling on the way up the lower creek falls section. I also decided to take the straight cut through trail to avoid all the switchbacks to save some time. I had to do a couple sketchy creek crossings and I would definitely avoid any rocks that are wet. if conditions allow you to safely go up and down the creek, the views and the larger pools are breathtaking. I would definitely not bring small children or anyone that isn't in at least decent shape.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

so... thinking this was a "moderate" trail and "dog capable", we ventured out with two aussies down the upper creek. Had to let them go for most the trail as the terrain was too much for my ankles to bear. Absolutely loved the trail but even two of the most high energy dogs I've ever known looked at me like "what the heck!!???" multiple times. Would do it again over and over but would definitely leave the dogs at home. 5 stars but wouldn't suggest bringing dogs.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is rated as “hard” by the US Forest Service, according to the sign in the parking lot. I would agree that it is very difficult, but we managed to finish it with our 3, 6, and 8 year olds. The falls were very nice but we had to jump some rocks to cross the river, which wasn’t difficult for the adults but made me a bit nervous with the children. I’m glad we did it but I wouldn’t do it again while the kids are so little.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike. Watch the ankles. Trail to the Lower Falls had several switch backs that had some steep cut throughs in the middle of you don’t want to do the full switch back. Easy side paths off the trail down to waterfalls, views are incredible from the bottom and a good ways up from the upper creek side, definitely take the time to explore the whole falls.

hiking
scramble
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

it was a cool little hike. There were lots of short cuts. I had to pay close Attention to make sure I was staying on the trail. The falls were beautiful. Next time I'll bring beer. Lots of cool spots to stop and enjoy.

hiking
9 months ago

Parts are steep and you have to jump rocks to cross creek but 8 year old son was able to do all of it and the views are worth it.

hiking
9 months ago

Intense but worth it!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

This trail I will give five stars it is a challenge and if your looking for a flat solid trail this I sent it but if your willing to travers the rocky hillsides it will be very much worth the view it’s a beautiful waterfall it’s a challenge but I will recommend it just be ready to push thru I saw children and we took our dog so I just urge watching your step

hiking
10 months ago

Easy hike but got us sweating for sure. Falls are gorgeous and a few good swimming holes. Water is super cold even in July!

nice parking area. people have made shortcuts off of marked trail so it is very confusing going down lower falls side. it's nice and shaded by rhododendron. nice old trees and some huge rocks along trail. the falls are beautiful. the upper falls is just breathtaking. you must navigate roots and steep areas but it's beautiful if the below description doesnt happen. idiots, approx 8 blaring their obnoxious music. their food and clothing haphazardly strewn around them at the swimming pool at bottom of lower falls, massacred the serenity and magic of such a stunning area. our peaceful day ruined by their sight and sound. we were also saddened by the complete disregard of previous visitors leaving water bottles, beer cans and clothing scattered along they trail.

hiking
10 months ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this trail. It is wide, but there are a lot of roots, so watch your step. The views are absolutely amazing, especially at the middle of the waterfall. The way back (clockwise) was a bit confusing, so this app came in handy to make sure I was going the right way. I'll definitely be back though.

hiking
11 months ago

What a fabulous waterfall that you can see from the top and the bottom. Wide enough trails, little rocky and muddy but perfect. Plenty of parking for roughly 30 or 40 cars, no bathroom facilities and cell signal is limited. Waterfall has some great spots to see from the top, middle and bottom and some swimming holes as well.

hiking
11 months ago

My wife and I took our 5 and 2 year old on this trail. The kids loved it and the 5 year old walked the whole loop. They liked the water crossings and places to play. The waterfalls were great and rhododendron was blooming. The next time we do this hike we will reverse our path. My wife and I feel that starting on the grassy side (walking to the right side) and walking up creek would provide some good sights. My watch ended with 1.83 miles and we went at the kids pace .

hiking
11 months ago

We tried to do the loop but the water was too high so we hiked down the lower, back up and around to the upper. We got more of a workout and the dogs loved being off leash. It was a bit crowded so go early if you want to let your dogs roam.

hiking
11 months ago

Signage actually says this is most strenuous in Pisgah! It gives closest hospital info! No thanks. We spoke with others who had just completed it and they suggested taking the grassy back trail because it's easier and quicker. Nice trails but very easy to get lost on the multiple side trails. Markings are not close together enough. Waterfall was pretty but not worth the hike. Would not do again.

Showing results 1 - 25 of 236