Backpack to Angel Falls Overlook in the Big South Fork

6.4 miles 800 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Cole Burris

This amazing, low trafficked trail is an ideal spot to get away from it all and enjoy nature in peace.

Starting at a very small parking space, you head onto a fairly overgrown trail for half a mile. The trail then begins to thin out and is not as overgrown. Keeping a steady incline, you almost instantly feel the burn in your calves. 

At around 2 miles in, there is a single grave from a baby that lived only 3 months, and died in 1932. The grave is marked and has a headstone surrounded by flowers. At around 2 1/2 miles, you will come to a fork in the trail and a sign. To go to the river overlook and rock bluff, continue straight on the path. To go down towards the river and camping site, head right. 

You can feel the temperature drop as you go down the trail surrounded by massive boulders and as you approach the river. While there are no set campsites, many are distinguishable where other people have camped, so try to stay at those instead of making your own. The area has water access for fishing, kayaking (beware of rapids if you are inexperienced), and anything else. Fires are permitted but maintain basic fire safety. The site offers spectacular views year round and has many trees for hammock camping.

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Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


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Overall rating: 

Easy day hike

Generally a good hike, especially for beginners. The hike itself is mostly flat with the last half mile being somewhat technical. Lots of great swimming spots along the way. The falls themselves are no longer visible from the lookout, but it’s worth it regardless. Watch out for bears and copperheads. Note: The location of the trailhead is at the bridge that crosses the river (there’s a sign). The location recorded on The Outbound app will take you past all of this to Bandy Creek Loop at the top of the mountain.

Amazing Angel Falls

Great hiking and beautiful views.

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