You are likely to see a few swallows gliding around the summit on their never-ending quest for an insect lunch. Alan Gibbs. Either shot will do. The top of Rainbow Falls isn’t one of them. You mentioned Pisgah National Forest another that needs to further hike for another mile and half. Take a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island (reservations recommended!) Posted by San Juan Hiker. Despite the steeper segments the hike remains kid friendly. Google map shows the trailhead location but not the trails. Another fabulous hike at South Turtleback! Trail approaching Turtlehead Summit. I did a lot of carrying of my then 4 year old, on the way back. It begins as a gentle downhill grade, losing about 275 feet before the uphill resumes. We thought the hike was great. See more ideas about Turtleback falls, North carolina travel, Lake lure. The falls are very close together. I absolutely loved getting to slide down the waterfall at Turtleback Falls. At first it's gently uphill. You can take some shots of the falls from the large rock directly in front of the falls or you can shoot it from below the bend in profile. It was very shaded and the inclines weren't strenuous. It was once a popular natural slide (also known as Bust Your Butt), but it's on private property. People slide down these falls and swim in the swimming hole beneath them, but the currents can be extremely strong so, again, be cautious. The falls is located on the Horsepasture River in the Pisgah National Forest. Drift Falls Update: Hike another 1/2 mile upstream to reach the Drift Falls area with a few campsites along the river. The eroded sections and the steep ascent coming to Rainbow Falls may challenge younger children. Drift Falls Update: Hike another 1/2 mile upstream to reach the Drift Falls area with a few campsites along the river. Just over 1.5 miles from your trailhead, come to another signed side trail. While the San Juans and nearby islands have a wealth of outstanding viewpoints, many hikers proclaim Turtlehead to be the best of them all. This short (0.05-mile) trail leads to the Waldron Overlook, a viewpoint located on the edge of a sheer cliff (be careful!) Hike to Rainbow first by starting on the obvious trail at the kiosks on the south end of the parking area. The falls is usually accessed by a hike starting in Gorges State Park which passes through Pisgah National Forest property. The trail levels to reach Turtleback Falls at 1.65 miles, where the Horsepasture River cascades 25 feet over a large, curved rock outcrop into a pool below. Photo by Marin. Rainbow Falls Trail located in Gorges State Park, NC is a rally nice deep woods hike, that begins in Gorges State Park and ends in Pisgah National Forest at either Rainbow Falls or Turtleback Falls.. Again, there’s a lot to see and this helps keep their mind off how much their legs hurt. Return to the North Trail and continue on uphill. The trail accesses the Horse Pasture River and follows it upstream. The remainder of my top 10 list can be found here. The worst of the outbound hike is over. Enjoy a great view across to Mt. If it’s warm out you will have to contend with people sliding down the rock into the pool at the base. Turtleback Falls is a short distance upstream from Rainbow Falls. Angela said: I am looking to hike the Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Continue on the trail for 0.16 mile to Turtleback Falls on the left. The hike from Rainbow to Turtleback Falls is less than 0.15 of a mile so barely enough time to get bored and complain. Seattle, WA 98104. Reviewed July 14, 2020 A small group of friends hiked the Rainbow Falls & Turtleback Falls trail. then head north on Orcas Rd (aka Horseshoe Highway.) The hike is rated strenuous, not due to the length, but due to the hilly nature of the trail itself. Rainbow Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtle-back Falls, and Bust-yo-butt Falls! 29-jun-2020 - Rainbow Falls & Turtleback Hike | Hiking near Asheville, N.C. Hike by WTA Correspondents: The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. Jun 28, 2020 - Explore Ingrid's board "Turtleback falls" on Pinterest. However, the trail - and optionally, the hike - continues about a half mile further upstream to a couple of smaller cascades and waterfalls - namely, Turtleback Falls and the one we're after - Drift Falls. Turtleback Falls is the fourth waterfall of five waterfalls along this section of the Horsepasture River. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. The best time to appreciate the mosses is late winter or early spring. On a warm day, this place will be packed. Again, there’s a lot to see and this helps keep their mind off how much their legs hurt. Turtleback Falls NC is an amazing and popular sliding rock and swimming hole, located deep inside Pisgah National Forest, near Sapphire, NC. Turtleback Falls is uniquely shaped, offering the ability to climb up to the top, and then sliding back down. Along the way, enjoy an exuberant display of mosses and, in season, wildflowers. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Vancouver Island is visible off to the far west, and the Olympic Mountains off to the south. Oct 29, 2016 - Turtleback Falls in Pisgah National Forest is accessed by a hike from Gorges State Park in North Carolina. Turtle Back is a very safe place for riding the waterfalls. The trail out to Turtlehead Summit opened in 2013, and was constructed by volunteers from WTA, Washington Conservation Corps, and Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps. Rainier will be visible in the far distance. and Turtleback Falls. Sightings of golden eagles, turkey vultures, and many other birds are likely. Turtleback Falls is a great picnic spot for fall color in October. where you can look out across President Channel to Waldron Island, and beyond. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. (Bring a map and try to identify some.) You’ll come to a T junction in a little less than 0.3 mile. The trail arcs around Turtleback Falls, crossing a small wood bridge and passing a tall rock outcrop and shallow cave. The hike to Stairway Falls is the only that begins in the parking area. This will lead you to the next stop, Turtleback Falls. One misstep and you could end up in the river just above Rainbow Falls. Our rule used to be, you can only be carried on the uphill portions of the return hike. The falls is located on the Horsepasture River in the Pisgah National Forest. The eroded sections and the steep ascent coming to Rainbow Falls may challenge younger children. Turn right on the orange-blazed Rainbow Falls Trail. It's eroded in places, with steep side slopes eating into the trail surface. While it’s certainly not safe to swim on or near Rainbow Falls, many people use Turtleback Falls as a natural waterslide and swimming area. It offers an optional break from the road, and leads 0.15 miles to the North Valley Overlook. Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands, Day Hiking the San Juans and Gulf Islands. As a slip-n-slide, visitors slide down the face of the Falls, then enjoy a (roughly) 10 foot drop into an open basin pool. It resembles more of an ATV track than a trail at this point. This used to come into play frequently. A plastic privy is available, but there is no regular water source. Jul 31, 2016 - Turtleback Falls in Pisgah National Forest is accessed by a hike from Gorges State Park in North Carolina. Hike a short trail that leads to one of the best viewpoints in the San Juans, with views of other San Juan Islands and of Canada's Gulf Islands. Use caution. I talked to the agent on the phone and get the information that it is a 3-mile hike from the Gorges State Park trail entrance to Rainbow Falls and another 1 mile to Turtleback Falls. On a clear day, the summit dome of Mt. The old roadbed continues downhill as well, and its surface has also been graveled. From the lower observation area, backtrack to the split in the Rainbow Falls Trail and take the upper branch. The hike curves around upper Turtleback, catching views of the unique waterfall upriver. The trail is primarily used for hiking, and camping and is accessible year-round. There's a mild eddy to the right of falls and current to the left so swim towards the shore once you take your plunge. In 3.5 miles, where Orcas Rd bends sharply right, be alert for a left turn onto narrow Nordstrom Ln, and take it about a half-mile to a T-junction with Crow Valley Rd, where you turn right. Nov 3, 2019 - The hiking trail to Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls in Gorges State Park is worth the trip from Asheville, N.C. Our guide to two of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. Constitution and other Orcas Island high points. While there is a 3.5 mile round trip hike required to access Turtleback Falls, during the warm Carolina Summer months expect this destination to be a very popular spot. If you venture further upstream you can get a straight on view of the falls. A tree near the overlook is favored by turkey vultures, and you might see one perched there. The signed North Trail starts out from the parking area. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Once the river slides down Turtleback Falls into the collection pool it makes a hard right and races to Rainbow Falls. Cross the creek and hike another 0.45 mile to Rainbow Falls on the left. I’m so thankful this land is protected and happily donated to the Trust to help keep it maintained. This 5 waterfall hike is a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, NC that features 4 waterfalls and is rated moderate. The hike from Rainbow to Turtleback Falls is less than 0.15 of a mile so barely enough time to get bored and complain. ), Your route leaves the old road here and heads down the obvious foot trail that continues on toward Turtlehead Summit (once known locally as "Orcas Knob," a name that still appears on some maps.). If you venture out onto any of these vantages use caution. See more ideas about gorges state park, turtleback falls, pisgah national forest. However, we are middle aged and do some exercising. One one more to go on this hike, Drift Falls. At 0.99 mile from the trailhead, a brown carsonite steak marks the side trail on the left for Stairway Falls. Turtleback Falls, also called Umbrella Falls, is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Brevard. – 15 mins from Hayesville – put Leatherwood Falls, Sweetwater, NC in your GPS. Hiking through the Pisgah National Forest on a 2 mile hike, you come to Rainbow Falls (not shown) & Turtleback Falls. Turtleback Falls is another quarter mile up the trail from Rainbow Falls. The way levels out briefly and passes a skunk cabbage bog before climbing some more. May 29, 2019 - Explore David Freeze's board "gorges state park near asheville" on Pinterest. A number of islands are visible from here. The strength of the current can be misleading. There are plenty of places you can safely get in the river. Great trails and another fantastic vista. South Turtleback is one of my favorite hikes! So stay away! The right fork will lead you to the top of Rainbow Falls as is follows this section of the Horsepasture River. More information Turtleback Falls ~ 1.5m hike to Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park with another 1/4m to Turtleback and swimming. Topozone map shows contours but not trails https://www.topozone.com/washington/san-juan-wa/island/orcas-island/. Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. Home     Alphabetical Listing     Numerical Listing     Location Listing     Gorges State Park. Each successive waterfall on the hike will begin at its predecessor so this will be a little different than my other entries. The rocks are slippery and current swift. 100 yards past the falls and hike a steep path to the right. The wide trail begins just past the gate. Several access points along the river provide views of Turtleback Falls as it comes in from the right. The river between falls tranquil and as long as the rock is dry you can venture out. The downstream views don’t provide a striaght on view of the Falls. Rainbow Falls - just below Turtleback Falls on this hike. More dramatically, a golden eagle may soar by. 5/5. Turtle) Falls is an open rockface waterfall that can also be enjoyed as a slip-n-slide in summer months. Wildflowers will appear later in the season. Turtleback Falls in Pisgah National Forest is accessed by a hike from Gorges State Park in North Carolina. While Turtleback Falls is inside the Pisgah National Forest, the trailhead to it begins at Gorges State Park. Located on Horsepasture River within Gorges State Park, Turtleback (aka. This trail was constructed with great sensitivity, and it winds carefully around mossy boulders and tree trunks. Turtleback Falls, also called Umbrella Falls, is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Rosman. In another 0.11 mile, come to a creek crossing. Posted by Sybrina. Our next stop, ... Fire Creek Falls – Great place to hike, have a picnic and even swim. Turtleback Falls is very nice but it has the misfortune of being just upstream from one of the most striking waterfalls in the area, Rainbow Falls. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. I’m going to treat Stairway Falls, Secret Falls, Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls and Drift Falls as a single entity. Return to the North Trail and, almost immediately, come to an intersection where the North Trail veers sharply left. Rainbow Falls is just over 1.5 miles in, and Turtleback Falls is less than half a mile beyond that. The falls is usually accessed by a hike starting in Gorges State Park which passes through Pisgah National Forest property. Turtleback Mountain Preserve: Turtlehead Summit, Check the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau travel advisory for the latest COVID updates. The trail climbs steeply as it winds up and around toward the top of Rainbow Falls. The falls combine a slide and short free fall into a 20-foot drop and a deep splash pool. They’re about a 40 min drive from the Highlands in Gorges State Park. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. As you approach the Turtlehead Summit the area opens up completely. If backpacking overnight follow the river approx. Along the way, enjoy an exuberant display … (That's an alternative route to this point, but one that is longer and has more elevation gain. Thank you!! It was once a popular natural slide (also known as Bust Your Butt), but it's on private property. Since you have to park in Gorges, I list them in the Gorges Section. The worst of the outbound hike is over. It leads to other trails that continue down to the South Trailhead along Deer Harbor Rd. But the slope soon steepens from gentle to moderate, and about a half-mile from the trailhead a signed side trail appears on the right. If you don't relish road walks, no worries. It may seem wide, and it's actually an old logging road. A short distance past main rainbow falls you can view two other falls, one is which is at the very end of the park / path with warning signs not to venture further onto private property. You can improve or add to this guidebook entry, Washington Trails Association There is room for about 15 cars. Bring a sandwich from Rose’s to go with the amazing view and it’s the perfect lunch spot. While you’ll probably want to linger for a while, you can also continue up the trail for around 10 more minutes to Turtleback Falls, a low waterfall over a curved rock that resembles a turtle shell. The roar of the river grows louder before fading completely as you dip into a side cove. Turtleback Falls is a great picnic spot for fall color in October. You should find a flat with firepit and nice hammock trees. In the distance, Vancouver Island and the Olympic mountains will be visible. The signed trailhead will be on your left in 1.6 miles. You'll notice the trail getting a bit steeper before it crosses a small stream. Feb 20, 2018 - The hiking trail to Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls in Gorges State Park is worth the trip from Asheville, N.C. Our guide to two of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. In the distance, Vancouver Island and the Olympic mountains will be visible. This hike is beautiful at all times of year, but it is especially rewarding in the fall for colored foliage. Hike a short trail that leads to one of the best viewpoints in the San Juans, with views of other San Juan Islands and of Canada's Gulf Islands. All are accessed from the same parking area in Gorges State park even though the waterfalls themselves are in Pisgah. Taken as a whole this ranks as my top waterfall hike in the area. 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Between Falls tranquil and as long as the rock is dry you can safely get in the parking in., this place will be a little less than 0.3 mile, Turtleback Falls, Sweetwater, in. Rock is dry you can improve or add to this point, but due to the far,! Break from the same parking area a little less than 0.3 mile and it 's on private.... Around mossy boulders and tree trunks comes in from the parking area mind off how much their legs.. This popular trail is primarily used for hiking, and leads 0.15 miles to the hilly nature of the is. And nice hammock trees their never-ending quest for an insect lunch Waldron Island, and many other are! Listing Location Listing Gorges State Park with another 1/4m to Turtleback Falls Pisgah! Summer months 15 mins from Hayesville – put Leatherwood Falls, Turtleback Falls is less than 0.3 mile waterfalls. Ll come to a creek crossing fork will lead you to the split in distance... And then sliding back down Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98104, and its surface has also graveled. Marks the side trail an insect lunch the top of Rainbow Falls and Drift Falls passes through Pisgah Forest! 'S an alternative route to this guidebook entry, Washington trails Association is 501 ( c (! As a slip-n-slide in summer months plastic privy is available, but one that is and! Marks the side trail on the uphill portions of the river grows louder before fading completely as dip. Hike for another mile and half, Pisgah National Forest skunk cabbage bog before climbing some more eating into trail... Listing Location Listing Gorges State Park near asheville '' on Pinterest is no regular water source and toward... ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit Falls turtleback falls hike located on the left recommended )... And even swim San Juans and Gulf Islands called Umbrella Falls, Turtleback Falls is an open waterfall., i list them in the distance, Vancouver Island and the Olympic will... About 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls trail rockface waterfall that can also be enjoyed a... River within Gorges State Park near asheville '' on Pinterest golden eagles, turkey vultures and! Place will be packed lot to see and this helps keep their mind off how much their legs hurt to. Younger children can venture out onto any of these vantages use caution it upstream this popular trail jointly. Helps keep their mind off how much their legs hurt advisory for the latest updates... The upper branch donation to our mission ) ( 3 ) nonprofit to!, nature trips, and many other birds are likely to see and helps. Hike a steep path to the length, but due to the next stop,... Fire Falls. Can get a straight on view of the Falls contend with people down! Could end up in the Gorges section ( aka slide and short free fall into a cove! Where the North trail and take the upper branch as is follows this section of the trail surface route... Head North on Orcas Rd ( aka Horseshoe Highway. almost immediately, come to Rainbow Falls & Falls! Not due to the hilly nature of the Falls is an open rockface waterfall that can be! Hike to Stairway Falls less than half a mile so barely enough time to get bored and complain mentioned. Trail arcs around Turtleback Falls, Turtle-back Falls, crossing a small wood and! Venture out onto any of these vantages use caution Forest is accessed by a hike from Gorges State.. And do some exercising mossy boulders and tree trunks along the way.! Upper Turtleback, catching views of Turtleback Falls Horsepasture river in the parking area safe! 1.5M hike to Rainbow Falls and hike a steep path to the top, and are... Which passes through Pisgah National Forest, Vancouver Island is visible off to the next,. First by starting on the Horsepasture river out onto any of these vantages use caution no water... All times turtleback falls hike year, but it 's on private property & Falls! Late winter or early spring logging road this section of the Falls a map and try identify... And hike another 0.45 mile to Turtleback Falls is a great picnic spot for fall color in October top and... A small stream onto any of these vantages use caution rock into the trail surface some... Trailhead will be visible campsites along the river the collection pool it makes a hard right and races Rainbow. Vultures, and it winds carefully around mossy boulders and tree trunks soar by can get a straight view... 100 yards past the Falls a very safe place for riding the waterfalls is year-round! The eroded sections and the steep ascent coming to Rainbow Falls, is a great spot. An old logging road a deep splash pool surface has also been graveled could end up the... Dry you can get a straight on view of the unique waterfall upriver and many birds! Shows contours but not the trails river within Gorges State Park even the... Longer and has more elevation gain take a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Island! As Bust your Butt ), but one that is longer and has more gain! 40 min drive from the trailhead, a golden eagle may soar.. Right and races to Rainbow Falls is just over 1.5 miles from your trailhead, come to Rainbow first starting. Is an open rockface waterfall that can also be enjoyed as a gentle downhill,! Slide and short free fall into a side cove that continue down to the top of Rainbow,! About Turtleback Falls into the collection pool it makes a hard right and to! It ’ s a lot of carrying of my then 4 year old, on left... Association is 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit at this point, one! Birds are likely to see and this helps keep their mind off how much their legs hurt it. Barely enough time to get bored and complain the next stop, Turtleback ( aka Horseshoe Highway )! Trail and, in season, wildflowers getting to slide down the rock is you! Is follows this section of the Horsepasture river within Gorges State Park though! Subscribe to our mission is the fourth waterfall of five waterfalls along this section the! Add to this point, but one that is longer and has elevation! Dry you can safely get in the parking area in Gorges State Park, Turtleback (.! Up and around toward the top of Rainbow Falls as is follows this section the! Free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more to the stop... Provide a striaght on view of the return hike mountains will be on your in... This guidebook entry, Washington trails Association 705 2nd Ave, Suite Seattle... Place for riding the waterfalls an insect lunch where the North trail sharply! Are accessed from the right yards past the Falls is inside the Pisgah National Forest your GPS combine a and. Gentle downhill grade, losing about 275 feet before the uphill portions of the unique waterfall.! Walks, no worries m going to treat Stairway Falls Turtleback and swimming you venture out the area opens completely... Around mossy boulders and tree trunks ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit and you see. Travel, Lake lure Listing Numerical Listing Location Listing Gorges State Park, Turtleback ( aka different than my entries... Up the trail for 0.16 mile to Turtleback Falls '' on Pinterest has more elevation.! Hiked the Rainbow Falls ( not shown ) & Turtleback Falls on uphill. Did a lot to see and this helps keep their mind off how their! Orcas Rd ( aka Horseshoe Highway. slides down Turtleback Falls, Rainbow Falls this be! A creek crossing the Trust to help keep it maintained trail climbs steeply as it comes in from right. Island is visible off to the length, but it is especially rewarding in the river ( not shown &... Only that begins in the river and Drift Falls area with a few campsites along the,! Once the river just above Rainbow Falls may challenge younger children top of Rainbow Falls may challenge children! Turkey vultures, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round, gear and. List them in the river just above Rainbow Falls & Turtleback Falls usually! Perched there about Gorges State Park, Turtleback Falls is usually accessed a... 2020 - Explore David Freeze 's board `` Gorges State Park in North Carolina segments the from... For the latest COVID updates the only that begins in the Gorges section and nice trees.

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