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Upper Creek Falls Loop Trail

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Pisgah National Forest

Upper Creek Falls Loop Trail is a 1.5 mile 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: 1.5 miles Elevation Gain: 426 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

snow

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
4 days ago

We LOVED this trail. The water is ice cold to swim in but worth it. Our kids are younger (4+6) and even though this is a distance they have hiked before the terrain was more difficult for them (roots, stones) and they were worn out by the end. We will take them back next summer and see how they do because we loved it so much!

Great moderate hike. We did the loop starting with upper falls and ending with lower falls. We had to cross the creek twice and did get our feet wet in the process. A great day!

Very beautiful waterfall & swimming hole. super easy trail. Yes the trail crosses the river so might be hard during high rain. It was not a problem for us

hiking
flooded
15 days ago

Be careful and watch the weather. The creek crossings get gnarly after a heavy rain. Got caught on the wrong side and had to do a human chain to cross.

hiking
muddy
22 days ago

I loved the swimming area at the bottom of the waterfall. Clean trail but very rocky/muddy, I would recommend a solid hiking shoe so you don't slip on the steeper parts of the trail

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

Fantastic hike. A little more strenuous then the map will lead you to believe, just pack lots of water and have fun with it. Go left for an easier way to the upper falls, go right for a zig zag to the lower falls. Back-end trail connecting the two is a little confusing to navigate, just follow the yellow markers.

hiking
25 days ago

Fun 1 hour loop trail. First half is downhill with lots of great views of calm, then rapid falls. Wide open hangout area at the payout itself. Tubers were shreddin the gnar. New pup did great.

hiking
29 days ago

If you take just the upper falls trail to the falls it’s probably a mile and a half. The whole loop, which connects to the lower falls, is much longer than that. Great hike!

hiking
muddy
1 month 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
1 month ago

Easy hike. The waterfall is nice.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

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

1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
closed
2 months ago

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

hiking
off trail
rocky
3 months ago

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

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
7 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
7 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
8 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
8 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
9 months ago

hiking
10 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
10 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.

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