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Upper Whitewater Falls to Hilliard Falls

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Sapphire, NC
Date(s) & Time:Tue, Jul 13 2021  9:30 am >> Tue, Jul 13 2021 4:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Wed, Jul 7 2021 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Jul 12 2021 8:00 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:15 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Leigh B
RonnyJ (Call me Ron)
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.



Join us in a waterfall and river view extravaganza on a truly beautiful hike. We begin our hike at the Upper Whitewater Falls Overlook. Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the rockies falling 811 ft. The upper falls plummet 411 ft. We then begin a charming stepped descent on the Foothills trail through stunning woodland. When we reach the bottom of the Jocasse Gorge, we cross the Whitewater River on a rather interesting bridge which involves a small leap from a rock to the metal bridge. Once across the river we climb back up an enchanting trail, then amble alongside the river seeing merging creeks. We will have crossed the state line in to South Carolina by this point. 

A left turn at a beautiful river bridge has us continuing on the trail to cross the gorgeous Thompson River. We keep going on the Foothills trail to Hilliard Falls which is somewhat hidden and off to the side on a small, narrow trail. It is a lovely surprise when you see it. Further exploration along the small path reveals more of this hidden gem. 

We will lunch at Hilliard Falls and retrace our steps.

(On the way back, depending upon the group and what pace we have done, it is possible to take a side trail which is quite steep to a viewing platform of Lower Whitewater Falls which allows one to see the other 400 ft of the falls. We would undertake this addition only if everyone in the group agrees we should add this and we are making good time. This will push us in to D6 territory). 

Attendees for this event should have recent upper D5 experience. We will be keeping an aggressive pace for this hike. 

Required Items to Bring:

Good shoes



Copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller Album

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Hiking Poles



How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Trailhead location

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):246Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $98.40 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

AOC policy