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  • Crabtree Falls Loop Trail, MP339.5

Crabtree Falls Loop Trail, MP339.5

  • 07/09/2022
  • Blue Ridge Pkwy/Little Switzerland

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Type of Outing: Hike
When: SAT 7/9/2022
Signup Deadline: 5:00 pm
Leader: Susan Slocum
Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: R-10, Moderate
Elevation Gain: 480 ft.
Description: Let’s enjoy exploring two waterfalls off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland. Crabtree Falls is a scenic 3 mile loop trail that is rated a moderate to strenuous hike with a steep incline and rocky terrain. Even though its’s only 3 miles with an elevation gain of 480 feet, we’ll allow 2-2.5 hours for safety and photo opportunities. Park off the BRP at Milepost 339.5. We’ll hike to the Crabtree Falls campground. From the trailhead in the parking lot behind the campground entrance, the trail descends .9 mil to the falls through a mixed-oak hickory forest. We’ll also pass through a thicket of rosebay rhododendron that will likely be blooming this time of year. At the base of the trail is spectacular Crabtree Falls where water cascades over a 60-foot rock cliff. Here we’ll see a variety of ferns and wildflowers that thrive in the hollow, benefitting from the waterfall’s cool spray. The wet rocks here are slippery. Bring poles if you use them and make sure you wear appropriate footwear. After viewing the falls, we will continue on a longer but more gradual ascent back to the parking lot. This longer route begins as a moderately steep switchback that provides another beautiful view of the falls. Once we reach the top of the ridge, the path levels out and meanders across Crabtree Creek and its tributaries. When the trail reaches the perimeter of the campground, we’ll see signs that direct us back to the trailhead parking area. Following this hike, we’ll drive about 5 miles to Little Switzerland, at Milepost 334, and take a short walk to Grassy Creek Falls, an "incredible 25-foot multi-level cascade waterfall that sits on private property but remains open to the public". Returning from the falls, we’ll enjoy eating lunch at Little Switzerland’s Chalet Restaurant. I’m hoping we can place our orders to go and then eat outside on their beautiful terraced patio before heading home. Please email if you have questions or are interested in joining this hike. (R-10)
Required Gear: good footwear
Notes: slippery rocks
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