Saturday, June 11, 2011

Max Patch to Wolf Creek Falls

Here again is Wolf Creek Falls, a 30' waterfall just over the border into Tennessee near Hot Springs, NC. I wrote a couple weeks ago about the very difficult hike up Wolf Creek from the Hot Springs side (post here). Not exactly the ideal or recommended route. The more direct approach is to drive there after visiting Max Patch, since they are so close together.  With all the slow-traveling, gravel roads, it's easy to make a day of it visiting these two destinations. And after all, Max Patch shouldn't be hurried - it's a place to wander and wonder - to breathe the air and let the mountains extract the worries. 

After you have your Sound-of-Music-Moment at Max patch, it's a mere 9.5 miles up to Wolf Creek Falls. And while that's a short distance, it's not without its difficulties.  First, the road can be rough in places. Not terrible, but I'd still recommend a high clearance SUV or truck to be safe. I was surprised how long it took to get there from Max Patch -- about 40 minutes.  I took my time on this narrow, gravel road -- never knowing who might come flying around the corner in the other direction.  The second possible issue, depending on the time of year and amount of recent rainfall, you may encounter some difficulty with the creek crossing once you arrive at the falls. Neither issue is insurmountable by any means, but just wanted to let you know about them.

Directions from Max Patch parking area: Turn right onto Max Patch road and drive 4.7 miles. On your way, you'll pass by Max Patch pond (photo right) and further down a parking area for AT access, both on your right. At 4.7 miles, turn right after a sign pointing the way to Rattlesnake Gap, and continue up this road for 1.7 miles till you get to Rattlesnake Gap.  Once there, continue to the right again and drive an additional 3.1 miles to a wide area immediately before the road crosses a creek. Park here. The dirt road to the left will lead you to the falls (while it looks at first glance to be drivable, it isn't). It's probably a fourth of mile walk to the falls. There's a short path that leads to the top of the falls. It's a neat perspective, but you can't really see much from there (Be careful and don't attempt to step out on the rocks or stand on the edge of the falls!).  The better and much safer views are found by taking the short, narrow trail to the right that leads down to the base of the falls. Enjoy!


  1. We went here yesterday, it's a beautiful waterfall. Definitely need a high clearance vehicle, the road has some gullies in it in several places. Check out our facebook page for some pics. Tri-Cities Hiking Adventures.

  2. Went on 1/24/2014 and the falls were almost completely frozen, I have enclosed a link of some pictures I took of Max Patch and the falls.


Thanks for visiting and joining in the discussion on Appalachian Treks! Your comment will be sent to me to be approved. Sorry for this added step, but it is necessary to avoid spam. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!