If you are heading in on I-40 West go north on NC 181 near Morganton. You will see a sign for the falls just before mile post #22. The hike is loop about 2 miles that begins on either side of the parking area.
The coolest part of this hike is standing on top of the falls. The view here is amazing and it only takes about 15 minutes to get to. To hike down and see the lower sections you must first rock hop the creek and pick up the trail heading down the mountain. Not a hard task, but a little trickier holding a dog, that is afraid of the water, in my arms.
As you hike down the mountain look for scramble paths down to the creek for different views of the waterfall. This part of the waterfall was really cool although the picture isn't that great. There was a huge rock right beside the falls to sit and watch the falls. Here is a video I shot from here.
Once you hike down to the bottom cross the creek, pick up the trail on the other side, and hike back up to the parking area. This is a really nice waterfall worth seeing. There are many different vantage points of the falls and rock surrounding the creek to walk around on. Still the best part has to be standing on the very edge at the top of the falls. The massive boulder at the top (you can see part of it in the top picture) is very impressive and much larger than it looks in photos.
Different Views of the Creek:
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