Bad Creek Trailhead to Upper Whitewater Falls

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Nantahala National Forest

Bad Creek Trailhead to Upper Whitewater Falls is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salem, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 6.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,174 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

The hike from the parking area at the Bad Creek Trailhead and follows the Whitewater River upsteam ending at Upper Whitewater Falls. The falls have a 400 feet drop and are easily accessible by most folks. Most all the climbing occurs in the second half of the hike, making the first portion a very pleasant walk along a gorgeous river with numerous rapids created by boulders and rocks throughout the river's pathway. There are numerous ladders and wooden staircases placed along the trail to assist the hiker in climbing some of the steeper/rockier areas.

excellent hike with great views. The Waterfall is breathtaking! Lots of great up hill workouts. Took us about 3hrs with breaks

hiking
3 months ago

This was a fun hike. Relatively easy until the approach to the falls. The pay off was totally worth it.

nice hike. last 6 tenths to platform is quite difficult.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Trail is very pretty. 3-4 trees across the path. Follow white blazes. Very pretty hike next to cascades, bridges, ladders, stairs and rock scrambling. Took us 4 hours but flew by!! Lots of through hikers doing the full Foothills Trail 76 m.

hiking
8 months ago

3-mile hike up to Upper Whitewater Falls along the river, includes plenty of stairs and rock scrambles, log-clearing, even jumping a large rock during a river cross. The last 1/2 mile is a strenuous, straight up climb with more stairs to the lookout deck. We were lucky to catch a beautiful view of the falls before fog settled in for the afternoon. Be very careful with footing on damp steps and rocks. Take your time with this hike.

A great hike, a little more than I had expected, but all in all a wonderful hike. Be careful of the hornets & bears . My wife had a bad experience with a hornet! The falls where covered buy a canopy of trees late in summer but they will return to see it in late fall early winter.

This trail is not well traveled. It is easy to follow even though it is not blazed. Pleasant to be near the river on a hot summer day. After the initial climb, along the river is relatively flat. This area was not logged so many large pine, tulip poplar and dead hemlocks.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
10 months ago

From this trailhead, you can hike to both Upper and Lower Whitewater Falls overlooks. However, this would be more challenging than hiking each separately from separate parking lots. Upper Whitewater Falls overlook can be accessed via a walkway/trail, rated as easy, and located at a different parking lot off of SR 281. Upper area is managed by the Forest Service. Both falls are beautiful and vast in size. Hence, in order to take in a full view of the falls, it requires being some distance away. Both are viewed via overlooks. The overlook for Lower Whitewater Falls is further away from the falls than the overlook for Upper Whitewater Falls. Both are worth seeing! The trails are in this area are well marked. The trails in the Duke Energy section have good signage, at trail intersections, that includes mileage. Warning: snakes. We encountered a snake on the trail on the ascend/steep section near Upper Whitewater Falls overlook.

Hiked it in the rain and it was very slippery. Would suggest supportive hiking boots. Lots of water for your dog. Nice hike and fairly easy especially when dry.

hiking
Mon Apr 22 2019

Awesome!

hiking
Thu Feb 07 2019

upper Whitewater trail from Duke energy property

Thu Jan 10 2019

Nice and easy trail with beautiful waterfall

hiking
Tue Nov 27 2018

Great hike with the Scouts backpacking. Steep inclines and lots of wet leaves making footing a little tricky in places but the views are worth it.

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

hiking
Tue Jul 03 2018

This was a beautiful hike. You get to hear the water babbling as you hike for much of the trail. We were unsure if we were in the right path at first. You leave the parking lot and start hiking. At the first sign, follow the blue blazes to the left. After about a mile and crossing two bridges, go left following the white blazes. Much of the hike is easy but I would consider the last mile difficult. Many stairs and rock scrabbling. It took us 3:20 there and back. We had a dog with us but the last mile with ladders, boulders, and stairs are not dog friendly. We also were brushing ticks off us. DEET would be good to spray before heading out.

hiking
Tue Feb 20 2018

Beautiful hike, we started at Bad Creek parking area on the Duke Engergy property. The initial hike to the Whitewater trail is 0.7 miles, then another 2.3 to the Falls over look. The The hike is easy until you cross the river at the second bridge over Whitewater RIver, then it is more challenging. Return is mostly downhill, it took us about 1.5 hour to the top and another 1 hour to return to the car. Well worth the hike to see this beautiful powerful waterfall!

hiking
2 months ago

running
2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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