Bear Creek Falls


Lisa and I

We are going home from the Smokey’s today. Today is day 4 and I really need to get back home. Lisa is going to get a nearby waterfall and since I have FOMO I’m going with her. We headed to Bryson City. We went to the trailhead which was in the GSMNP. It was at the road to nowhere. Which is a road the government backed out of building. All that is there is a tunnel that is .2 mile (1000 ft) long then the road ends.

It’s pretty cool. It’s semi dark but you can see the end. Problem is that there is graffiti everywhere! In it and on it! I just don’t get people! Hey let’s go hiking don’t forget the spray paint. 🤦‍♀️

The Lakeshore Trail starts here. There is a bypass trail if you don’t like to go in the tunnel. This is a really nice trail system. The trails are wide, not rocks or roots and none are very steep. Only problem with these trails are that there is nothing to see. Really about the only thing to see is some campsites along the river and one nice bridge to cross. There are no views, not even of the falls.

We did this entire trail including the creek walk and bushwhack in record time. It was nearly 10 miles. We did it in 4 hours.

Lisa had a track to the falls and the very first intersection we go the wrong way! After a long long way (she says a short way 🤔) I say it doesn’t look right. Trees are down trail disappearing. She looks at the track- wrong way! Turn around it’s all up hill. Get back on the correct trail and keep booking. I swear we are walking at 3 mph which is fast for me.

The campsite by the river was cool there were 3 campers there. There is a bridge over the river. We keep going down our trail. At the next intersection we go left and cross the water. This is now Bear creek trail. We continue up it and then look at the track. Now the track we are looking at makes a loop here. We decide it was shorter to go back a bit and take the left side of the creek. It’s a bush wack either way. It all starts out fine as we follow the creek up stream then it becomes a rhododendron fight! With my Curley hair the rhodo’s always win so I say “let’s get in the creek!!!!” We start climbing up the creek now. It’s much better! That part was fun!

After a bit we crossed and started climbing through the rhodo’s. In a few minutes we can see the falls and climb down to it. It’s easy to climb around it and cross to the other side.

Now we decide to climb out towards the trail rather than creek walk down. We go up and to the right until we get to the trail. This part usually kills me but not today! In the pic below is what we came up. The falls is in the back. I just don’t understand why there is a waterfall within a couple hundred yards of a trail and they by pass it altogether?! Wouldn’t it be nice to make a spur trail to it? This one isn’t dangerous. This is the 2nd one in GSMNP like this. I just wonder.

So back on the trail we booked it back to the car. Even eating while hiking! I don’t know why but it was my strongest hike ever. I didn’t struggle a bit. Lisa said it’s weird not listening to you complain on the trail! 🤣🤣 No she didn’t but I bet she thought it.

All most there

When we got back to the road to no where we climbed up on it. There was more graffiti up there. It looked like there was a trail all the way across it.

We did all that and were done by 2 pm! we were able to get home at a decent time too! We did approximately 30 miles this weekend.

‘Twas a great weekend of hiking and camping with my friends!

3 thoughts on “Bear Creek Falls

Add yours

  1. I’ve been to the tunnel 2x and didn’t know there was a waterfall near it, then again if the book said bushwhack and creek crossing, I probably breezed right by it.

    Liked by 1 person

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