I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself! I mostly stuck to my itinerary, but I did avoid going north to Clingman's Dome and Bryson City due to rain (and what I now know turned into snow). I had plenty of other stuff to do on my list and I wanted to give myself time to really enjoy my hikes. The foliage I encountered told me that I made the right decision. If I remove the steps from the day I arrived and walked all over the Biltmore Estate, it looks like I hiked about 11.82 miles! These next 3 days were all about scenic driving and hiking. Below is a little story about each of my adventures at these falls. Although I've been to some of these waterfalls before (some several times), they are never the same waterfall twice. Fall color is never the same and water flow changes year to year.
Each waterfall is underlined and is also a clickable link, if you want more information and/or its location. Sorry, not sorry, but this blog post is going to be very long. I have a few more posts to create and then will share the link to all of the galleries. I hope you enjoy my waterfall adventures.
There's this one spot that I always pull over at on my way to Dry Falls and it never disappoints!
Dry Falls drops 80 feet (40 feet is free fall). The fall color this year with the overcast skies, made this year's visit nothing short of spectacular! The waterfall itself was running a little on the dry side. It almost looked like 2 waterfalls coming down.
I had run into this one online, although not truly a waterfall, but a beautiful and quick stop off US64. I was there alone, so only grabbed these 2 shots from a safe viewing area and after traversing a few large rocks. I did not want to venture all the way down, as there were warning signs.
What I love about visiting this waterfall is that you have to leave NC and briefly travel through SC and back up into NC to get to it. There's a lovely path taking you to the waterfall and if you are able, I highly recommend taking the 154 stairs down to the viewing platform. They say the best views are from the 2 viewing platforms.
An easy waterfall to access right off of US276 in the Pisgah National Forest. I've stopped here many times. This was a late in the day stop and probably the fewest people I've ever seen here. Just a quick stop, but she's pretty.
By far my favorite day, favorite hike, favorite waterfalls! This was my first visit to Dupont Forest and it did not disappoint. The hikes are long and steep, but I really enjoyed every minute. I arrived here after doing sunrise at Pretty Place, so it was nice and early and I had all day to explore.
First up was Hooker Falls. This is a fairly short walk from the parking lot. Since this was first stop, I had beautiful morning light.
Galaxy S22 Ultra Hooker Falls Hooker Falls - Galaxy S22 Ultra Next was my hike over to Triple Falls. You hike back to the parking lot and cross a foot bridge. From there it's about 1/2 mile to the overlook. By the time I got here, the light was a little harsh, but it was still beautiful.
Bridge to Triple Falls - Galaxy S22 Ultra Triple Falls Triple Falls Triple Falls For High Falls, I decided to get in my car and drive to the parking lot access closer to this area. I probably could have just done the entire waterfall loop, as I don't think this cut out any hiking. I know 1/2 mile trails don't sound far, but I was carrying a heavy photo backpack, tripod, etc. It definitely can tire you and wear you down. I first came across the covered bridge, which was built in the 1990's as part of a planned housing community. This bridge sits on the top of High Falls.
From there it's a little bit of a downhill walk to get to the base of the falls. When you get to the waterfall, the view is unbelievable! You cannot imagine the size of this waterfall until you approach it. Look how small the people are in the first photo! To get closer, you have to traverse the river and boulders and try not to fall in. Yes, they discourage you from climbing up to the top, but I was determined...heavy backpack, tripod and all. I did have a mishap here with my tripod at the top of the falls. I had my camera mounted with my magnetic filters attached. I had stacked my polarizer with my 10 stop ND filter and the ND filter popped off into the water! A nice lady standing nearby heard my distress and held my tripod and camera for me. I had to get myself into a seated position between 2 rocks in order to get my short little arms deep enough (up to elbow) in the very cold water to try to retrieve it. Thankfully, it fell into a shallow area, but I couldn't see it at all. I did finally fish it out, but that was so crazy!
High Falls High Falls High Falls High Falls - Galaxy S22 Ultra SOCO FALLS - Maggie Valley
Another new waterfall for me! This was another adventurous waterfall hike. Well, it's not actually a hike, as it's right off the road. However, it's the way that you have to get down to view it properly, which is something I didn't think I could do. The only way down (with backpack gear on my back), was to climb down large and slippery rocks and boulders. About part way, there is a rope to hold onto to shimmy down to the next flat area. Point is, that I made it unscathed and was rewarded with a beautiful view of this double waterfall. I shared a video on social media showing the area and people making their way down, but I sadly didn't take a photo of it with my camera or phone. Trust me though when I say that this was challenging and I still had to climb my way back up!