Hiking Crabtree Falls NC is one of most popular trails along the world famous Blue Ridge Parkway. And at 70 feet, it is the tallest waterfall along the entire parkway. Located near Little Switzerland, North Carolina, the Crabtree Falls Trail is a 2.6 mile loop featuring just over 500ft of gain. And is accessible year around.
Key Takeaways for Hiking Crabtree Falls NC:
- Tallest waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 70 feet.
- 2.6-mile loop trail with 577ft of elevation gain.
- Best for fall foliage photography, but prepare for a climb back.
- Moderate difficulty with ample shade and water sources.
- Consider hiking poles for root and slick rock terrain.
- Choose trail direction for desired difficulty placement.
- Falls are shallow, suitable for standing or wading.
- Campgrounds and bathrooms available at Crabtree Falls Campground.
- Check for seasonal road closures and wear bright colors during hunting season.
All About the Hike
Starting at the top of a canyon the trail will lead hikers down to the falls. The views leading down makes for some great photos. And this is a great trail for when the fall colors start changing the trees. Just remember as you descend, that every step you take down is one more you will have to come back up. The return trip will have a bit of a climb. With a trail featuring lots of roots and slick rock, hiking poles would be a good idea.
Hiking Crabtree Falls NC – Tips, Video & Trail Info
Overall this hike would probably qualify as moderate. Features plenty of shade along the trail. And there are plenty of spots to fill up on water if you bring your water filter. Which I always recommend. The trail can get busy during holiday weekends. So if you’re looking for solitude make sure you take that into account.
Below are some quick tips, videos,and photos from Crabtree Falls NC.
Crabtree Falls Trail Info
Distance: 2.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 577ft
Alltrails Link: Alltrails Link Click Here
- Doing the trail counter clockwise will have the hardest part of the trail as a climb at the end. Going clockwise will have the hardest part of the trail at the beginning as a descent.
- There are sections of trail on rock that can get very slick when wet.
- The falls are not deep enough to swim in. But many people do stand or wade (when the water level is high) in the falls.
- There is camping available at the Crabtree Falls Campground. You can find out more about the campgrounds and reservations by clicking here.
- There are bathrooms located at the Crabtree Falls Campgrounds.
- You can check for seasonal road closures at National Park Service website by clicking here.
- During hunting season make sure you are wearing bright colors to be safe.
Hiking Crabtree Falls NC offers a memorable outdoor experience. As the tallest waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it beckons with its beauty and photo-worthy vistas. This 2.6-mile loop, though moderate, provides ample shade and water sources, making it a year-round adventure. Remember to bring hiking poles for the occasional challenging terrain. Choose your direction wisely for either an initial descent or a final climb. While the falls are shallow, they make for a refreshing stop. For those seeking extended stays, Crabtree Falls Campground is conveniently located. Just keep in mind seasonal road closures and, during hunting season, don bright colors for safety. This trail is a gem, and when prepared, it promises an unforgettable outdoor excursion.
Where is Crabtree Falls located?
Crabtree Falls is located in the Pisgah National Forest, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is about 45 miles north of Asheville, North Carolina. The nearest town is Little Switzerland.
How do I get to Crabtree Falls?
To reach Crabtree Falls, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 339.5. There, you’ll find a parking area and trailhead. Follow the well-marked trail for approximately 2.5 miles round trip to reach the waterfall.
Is the hike to Crabtree Falls difficult?
The hike to Crabtree Falls is considered moderately strenuous. It involves some uphill and downhill sections, rocky terrain, and stream crossings. While it’s not the most challenging hike, it is recommended to wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for a moderate level of physical activity.
Can I swim in Crabtree Falls?
No, swimming in Crabtree Falls is not recommended. The currents can be strong, and the water is quite cold, making it potentially dangerous. It’s best to enjoy the waterfall from a safe distance and follow any posted guidelines or warnings.
When is the best time to visit Crabtree Falls?
The best time to visit Crabtree Falls is during the spring and summer months when the waterfall is flowing strongly, and the surrounding foliage is lush and green. Fall is also a beautiful time to visit due to the vibrant foliage in the area. It’s important to check the weather and trail conditions before your visit, as the trail may be slippery or closed during inclement weather.