Beech Creek, High Falls, Big Scaly, Bull Cove Falls, and Chimney Rock - Sat, Oct 4 2014

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Beech Creek, High Falls, Big Scaly, Bull Cove Falls, and Chimney Rock

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Near Tate City, GA   Hike: Beech Creek, High Falls, Big Scaly, Bull Cove Falls, and Chimney Rock   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Oct 4 2014  8:00 am >> Sat, Oct 4 2014 6:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Tue, Sep 30 2014 7:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Oct 3 2014 4:00 pm
Event Duration:10 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:9.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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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: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes

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.


The Upper Tallulah Basin, located on the GA/NC border in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area, is an absolutely beautiful area and one of my favorite to visit.  The Beech Creek Trail winds through a scenic valley, skirts the side of Big Scaly, passes two waterfalls, provides scenic views of the mountains, contains gorgeous relict forest (species remaining from the last ice-age), and meanders along a beautiful mountain creek.


We will be hiking the Beech Creek Trail – a very scenic trail with many highlights - in a counterclockwise direction.  We will start off ascending a couple hundred feet over the lower end of the Big Scaly Ridge and then descend to Beech Creek.  At this point, we will cross Beech Creek, which is the only significant creek crossing during the hike.  Depending on the water level, we may be able to rock-hop, or if it’s too high, we may have to remove our shoes/boots temporarily.  Regardless, the water should be less than knee deep.  The trail will follow Beech Creek and after a short distance we will take a short side trip to Bull Cove Falls.  From here the trail ascends steeply and generally follows Beech Creek until we get to the ruins of a corundum crushing site.  At this point we will take a side trail to High Falls, which is a 100+ foot waterfall that should be very nice considering the rains we’ve had.  After spending some time at the falls, we will continue through the valley in between Big Scaly mountain and the high ridge where Standing Indian lies, until we reach Case Knife Gap (~4,700 ft).   Near the gap, we will then take a side trail to the summit of Big Scaly mountain (nearly 5,100 ft) for some spectacular views of the Tallulah Valley and surrounding mountains.  From the summit of Big Scaly, we will head off trail on a steep descent for less than a mile until we reach Chimney Rock. For those who are daring enough to climb up the rock, there are some nice views of the surrounding mountains and valley. From Chimney Rock, we will then take a side trail to Beech Creek Trail and continue to follow it until we reach the upper Tallulah River and then back to the parking area.



1) This is not a beginner hike; although it is on the short side (9.5 miles) for a D5, the hike will have over 3,000 feet of total ascent.  You should be in good physical condition and have recently completed higher difficulty (D4/D5) events with the AOC prior to registering.

2) There will be a short (less than a mile), but steep section of this hike that will be off-trail.

3) Although I've done about 2/3rds of this hike on different occasions, I have not done all of it, including the off-trail section, so it's therefore listed as exploratory.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Water or sports drink (2.5 liters minimum)
  • Lunch and snacks to keep energy levels up for 5 hours of hiking
  • Sturdy Hiking shoes/boots (tennis/athletic shoes are NOT appropriate)
  • Clothing appropriate for the weather - dress in layers
  • Emergency rain gear
  • Hand/foot towel
  • Cash for carpool
  • A great attitude
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet
  • Change of clothes for the ride home

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Take I-85 N to I-985 N which turns into US 23/441 to Clayton GA.  In Clayton, go West on US 76 about eight miles. Turn right on Persimmon Rd, near the volunteer fire department and sign for Tallulah River Campgrounds. Continue about 4.2 miles and turn left at Tallulah River Rd. This road will turn to gravel after a mile or so and leads to Tate City.  Continue to follow the road through Tate City, across the NC state line until the road ends.


Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):218Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $87.20 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.


Up to three well-behaved dogs will be allowed on the event.  If you bring a dog, make certain that your dog is capable of "comfortably" completing a hike of this distance and ascent.

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

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